Album - Views
Drake's convoluted view of love blends with dance on "Views"
The question with Drake, though, isn’t whether he can keep making hits. It’s whether he can continue to evolve and remain one of music’s leading influencers.
Artiste - Drake
Producers - Noah "40" Shebib, Boi-1da, Metro Boomin
Label - OVO/Young Money/Republic (2016)
Duration - 80 Minutes
Drake is probably the premier male artist of the selfie generation, making a career out of revelatory introspection mixed with a rapper’s reflex high dudgeon.
Drake leads the world right now as the most popping act that currently traverses the world like a sonic colossus. One mixtape, and a joint album with Future, have kept him firing on all cylinders, having a choke-hold on the charts, and generally taking down the one person who tried to get in his way (Holla Meek!).
This year, he comes through with the Toronto-themed “Views” which comes as a follow-up from last year’s successful mixtape.
Promotion for this has been systematic and strategic, with Billboards, taking spaces in various cities, and the leading singles spreading the word. ‘Hotline Bling’ was a phenomenal single, ‘Summer Sixteen’ and ‘Pop Style’, were rap gems, but ‘One Dance’ featuring Kyla and Wizkid serves a complete meal for the clubs. Another power single with the potential to give Drake his first ever solo number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Auto-tune plays a role in this, as Drake warped love life gets dissected after their deaths, he does this all with just the right swagger from Hip-hop. His love life, whether that means being unable to commit to someone who wants him or else getting friend-zoned by someone he desires, is bothering him more than ever. On the album’s opener, the lavish ‘Keep the family close’, his fame is the issue standing in the way of lasting romance. On ‘Redemption’, he’s worried about being exposed for one shortcoming or another. As ever, though, the detail – both lyrical and producerly – is pin-sharp.
While Drake calls himself “the most successful rapper 35 and under” on the lush, Mary J. Blige-sampling standout 'Weston Road flows',Views arrives at a time when he’s blending rap, R&B, and pop more freely than ever. He’s one of the most successful singers 35 and under, too. Last year’s 'Hotline Bling' was one of his biggest hits to date despite being rap-free, while Rihanna’s Drake-featuring “Work” is finally dropping down the Hot 100 after spending nine weeks at the top. Neither song is on the 19-track Views (“Bling” is in the 20 slot as a bonus track), but when was the last time Drake seemed short on melodies and hooks? Views already has one huge hit in the form of “One Dance”, and more are inevitable. 'Feel no ways' is the purest pop song here, and the Rihanna-assisted 'Too Good' isn’t far behind. The question with Drake, though, isn’t whether he can keep making hits. It’s whether he can continue to evolve and remain one of music’s leading influencers.
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