The wait is finally over. It feels like it’s been almost two years since Views was announced and we even got a mixtape/album (If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late) in between to tie us over until the right time came.
This is technically Drake’s 4th studio album and with anticipation at an all time high, Drake needs to drop something game changing. He has yet to create a career defining album and after the first listen, I would say he still hasn’t. I was underwhelmed and disappointed to say the least but giving it the whole weekend, it started to grow on me. After Nothing Was The Same, Drake has dropped only bangers, I was expecting hit after hit and that is not at all what this album is.
This is not a Drake album, this is an Aubrey Graham album. Someone who has had their heart broken more than all my friends combined. It’s personal, emotional and very much the soundtrack of a cold winter day in Toronto. Once I started listening with that in mind, the album changed for me drastically. It is no classic, but it still has some great highlights. Also, I would love to know who Monica and Tiffany are and what they did to poor Aubrey.
The album starts with what I call the James Bond theme song by Drake. The production is a lot different than anything I’ve heard Drake rap over before. It hits the same beats as 'Earned It' by The Weeknd, but not nearly as catchy or memorable. This particular song wont be high on my repeat list for this album. That being said, there are a lot of slower songs that feel like filler tracks. The first 4 songs are more or less singing and rap talking rather than the bars we are accustomed to hearing from Drizzy as of late. By the time 'Hype' comes around, we get a little pick me up, but that only lasts a couple minutes until we’re hit with another group of slower tracks. This seems to be the theme for the album. A lot of slower material and then a club record here and there. Overall I was expecting a lot more from the hometown hero but the songs that are great, are really great.
My personal favourites are 'U With Me?', 'Hype', 'Weston Road Flows', 'Redemption', 'Still Here', 'Controlla', 'One Dance', 'Grammys' and 'Views'. 'One Dance' and 'Controlla' are perfect summer songs that have a tropical island vibe where as 'Hype' and 'Grammys' have that gritty trap style flow that will be played at every club, every night. Did I mention that Future is on 'Grammys,' well he is and he may even have the best moment on the entire album. 'U With Me?', 'Weston Road Flows' and 'Redemption' are great songs to listen to in the car on a cold day reflecting on the ex girlfriend you never had while 'Views' is just a great way to close the album. Soulful sample giving Drake a backdrop to just spit. I wish the album consisted of about 10 great songs rather than 20 songs and a lot of filler. Regardless, it’s 20 Drake songs so I imagine they will all end up on Billboard at some point in time.
The thing with Drake is he knows he can make a hit song however, his albums are a chance for him to get a little more personal with his fans and create content that is more than just a party record. He is relatable on many levels and that’s why people love him. Also, being from Toronto, I love seeing an artist like Drake, with his platform, rep our city so hard. When you take all this in, his album becomes better with every listen. I tend to actually listen to some of the lyrics (even the cheesy ones) on the slower songs and have grown to appreciate the amazing production that was put into this collection of music. Sure it’s not the album we wanted, but it may be the album Drake needed to make in order for him to put out his next one. This album reminded me a lot of Take Care. It was long, slow and gave us some of our favourite slow Drake records (Marvin’s Room). If this means that there is a Nothing Was The Same type album dropping afterwards, I am very happy about that.
My final thoughts…
Views as an album I would give a respectable 7/10. The good tracks are really great, but the bad tracks are uninteresting and boring. They don’t take away from the overall feel of the album but they don’t add anything either. Production is on point once again and the features on the album we’re also a plus. That being said, the fact that Drake took off Kanye and Jay-Z off 'Pop Style' is mind blowing. I would love to hear the story behind that, as well as Popcaan off 'Controlla'.
It is crazy to think that not only is Drake amazing at this style of music, but he pretty much invented it from the jump with 'So Far Gone'. Even a decent project like Views is still better than most of the artists trying to get in this lane. It shows why Drake is the king and has no intention of stepping down any time soon. We’re still in Drake season and will continue to be at least till next summer.