Yeah Drake’s fourth official studio album is upon us. But before we start, I’m just gonna say going into this review I’m a huge fan of Drake but his mix tapes always impressed me more than his full length albums. Nevertheless I went into this with an open mind. “Keep the Family Close” is the opening track of the album. Drake sings all through about a theme of not being able to depend on some of his friends and yada yada yada. Lyrically, it’s classic Drake, pretty emotional. Probably the best song for him to start the album with . Production wise, it definitely sounds a bit different than his usual stuff.
The second I heard the beat on “Feel No Ways” I already knew it was a Jordan Ullman beat. The other half of the duo , Majid Jordan, lends his soulful, mid-tempo sound to the LP. Jordan’s production always wins me over, and coupled with Drake’s not-so-bad singing makes quite the ambient song. Obsessed with this one. The transition to “Hype” is immense. I find the production mediocre but he goes hard with the bars. The Juelz Santana reference gave me actual life. This is the kind of song I’d probably jam to in the car but will skip it if I listen to it anywhere else lol .
“9” has a hard hitting trap beat, with really wonderful background synths. I’m in awe of the lyrics on this song. It’s almost like every line on this song could be an instagram caption. He continues with the theme of basically having fake friends who are only there because of his fame, money perhaps. Not bad at all.
So far the album’s pretty wavey but he switches it up with these mid-tempo tracks like “Redemption”. This… fucking.. song! ! ! The song is just full of atmosphere, and it just pulls you right in. The production just creates this perfect mood to fuck with your emotions, and I love how he transitions from singing to rapping. It’s pretty cool. The line “redemption’s on your mind when you think about me” just sticks, really good song.
He quickens the pace with “With You” ft PARTYNEXTDOOR which is pretty catchy. Also I thought I also heard The Dream’s voice in this .. not sure though. I generally enjoyed and content of the song . Not bad Drake. “Faithful” is just, wow. DVSN contributes some smooth 90’s r&b vibes to the song. Drake raps pretty straightforwardly here, pretty sexually too.
Say what you want about the production on “One Dance” but let’s be honest when it comes on in da club people go crazyyy, well at least I do.Lol. Not only was I super excited that Wizkid was featured , the Nigerian artist has come a long way. I mean I remember his first single “Holla at your boy” being overplayed on MTV Base years ago, now he’s on the Drake album. People were hating because he sampled a well known song by British singer, Kyla. I don’t really see what the problem is?? The song is still pretty catchy but just like “Controlla” it’s not the most mind-blowing song. I’m pretty sure he cut Jay Z and Kanye from the album version of “Pop Style” cause of bad reviews! Lol I honestly didn’t mind the song before though,I loved Ye’s verse. The song feels a bit weird now but whatevs.
Ultimately this album is a permutation of so many different sounds due to the diversity of Drake’s collaborations. From trap to PBR&B to some up-tempo sounds, it’s all there, and I love it. I love how he was able to work with all of these styles and make them his own. This album is definitely worth the listen but I would argue that It’s not exactly astounding. Drake is undoubtedly the biggest star in hip-hop right now, so I kind of expected more from him. I expected him to change it up, raise the bar a little. This album feels like something I would’ve loved to listen to last year. It’s a great album for now, but what about years from now??
TCW RATING: 6/10