Drake gives us the album he wants — not the one we want

Miranda Moses

Fans have been waiting a long time for Drake to bless the Earth with another album. “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” and “What a Time to Be Alive” dropped in 2015 to hold fans over until the highly anticipated fourth studio album, though the hype may have been too strong.  

“Views” is possibly Drake’s saltiest albums of all time, complete with 80 minutes of rants about exes who didn’t satisfy him and rappers trying to compete with his success.  Drake feels like he is in the negatives, playing it safe with both sound and lyrics.

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I never wanted to be so critical of Drake — I even dressed up as him from the Hotline-Bling Video for Halloween this year — but the songs of this album are completely parallel to his catchy, feel-good single, lacking in variation of content. In case you’re overwhelmed by the idea of sifting through 19 songs (minus Hotline-Bling) to find the few golden tunes, here is a track-by-track review.

“Keep The Family Close” 

A mopey song with some of the more memorable lyrics of the album. The line, “All of my “let’s just be friends” are friends I don’t have anymore,” covers the basic theme of betrayal from a loved one who can’t be trusted anymore. Drake expresses his disgust for the said person, blaming them for the fall of the suggest family.

“9”

I often judge my songs by how hard I can jam to them in the car. This beat passes the test with a chill feel that will still feel exciting coming out of the right speakers. The song is all about Drake’s relationship with his hometown Toronto, revealing the ups and downs of essentially making the city a destination.

“U With Me?” 

I had to listen to this song over and over just to have something to say about it. The song is about a girl who is frustrating Drake, narrating the good and bad times of a relationship with two very different views of how it should function. “Is you with me or what?” correlates with the aforementioned themes of ‘Keep the Family Close’, possibly acting as the song’s prologue.

“Feel No Ways”

My first thought upon hearing this song was, “Oh god, this song is about me.” Drake is expressing yet another relationship with a girl he isn’t satisfied with. He feels as if this girl is holding him back from experiencing life, explaining in his catchy hook, “I try with you/ There’s more to life than sleeping in/ And getting high with you.”

If anything, this song is pretty empowering for those who feel like they’re in a relationship where they can’t bloom. But sorry, ladies, Drake doesn’t want a girl who sleeps in. I’m a little heartbroken, too.

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“Hype” 

Finally, a less sleepy beat. Probably the kind of song I’d play really loudly in my car to trick people into thinking I’m more hardcore than I actually am. Drake asserts his greatness and the insignificance of his competing haters, claiming he’s “done, done, done, done, done” with their feuds and attempts to over through his success. He may be done, but he’s still making songs about it.

“Weston Road Flows”

An easy listening song with a good old Mary J. Blige sample, ‘Mary’s Joint’, though it has no hook. Drake declares he’s “the most successful rapper 35 and under” and that 35 is his planned age to retire. It’s a reminiscent song about his days of adolescence, referencing his life growing up on Weston Road in Toronto.

“Redemption”

This song is so familiarly Drake, perfect for anyone trying to get in their feelings and eat some Doritos. Drake seems back and forth on his want for commitment, almost begging a girl for her time while also withholding caution.

Lyrics like “Why do I want an independent woman to feel like she needs me?” and, “Who’s gunna save me when I need saving?” help create one of the deeper, seemingly more genuine aspects of this album rather than its prevalent central themes of anger and dissatisfaction.

“With You (ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR)”

Yes, I can listen to PARTYNEXTDOOR’s Jahron Anthony Brathwait telling me he can’t get enough of me all day. Another easy-listener that you can actually sing along to if you please. If you really, really wanted to you could probably play this at a party, but would probably be best fit for a summer night with good vibes.

“Faithful (ft. Pimp C & dvsn)”

Singularly, this song isn’t especially dope, but the more aggressive sound of Pimp C compared to the rest of the album is refreshing. Drake is drowned out in this song, with dvsn proving to have a pretty compelling sound as well, which is good because Drake just signed them to OVO Sound.

“Still Here” 

This probably my favorite song, partly because it has perhaps the best booty-shakin’ beat of the whole album, which I am personally all about. Finally, this hook easy to memorize due to being ridiculously catchy. The oooohs and aaaahs really get me make me want just use the praise hands emoji over and over and over.

“Controlla” 

Drake just made up a word and it’s perfectly okay. This song is the closest of the album to matching Hotline-Bling’s spiciness. Surprisingly, the object of this song sounds like a girl Drake is actually happy with.

“One Dance (feat. Wizkid & Kayla)” 

This area of the album is far more up-beat, and this song brings a new kind of sound that we really haven’t gotten from Drake. Wizkid and Kayla certainly bring a more eccentric, techno vibe that almost tricks me into thinking there’s going to be a huge drop coming. This beat is interesting and shines on the album.

“Grammys (ft. Future)”

Future honestly brings out the best in Drake. While his other songs about haters come off as salty and mad, this song is more fun. Future’s verses bring a heavy bass perfect for parties and “They gunna think I won a grammy” WILL get stuck in your head.

“Child’s Play”

“Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake? / You know I love to go there.” These lyrics had me rolling. Drake is just trying to eat, but some girl’s shenanigans are holding him back from going ham on some cheesecake.

Honestly, this song sounds like every relationship ever, with Drake not really being upset with the girl he’s rapping about but rather being amused by her simplicity. A diamond in the ruff of this album, generally clear of the overlying negativity.

“Pop Style”

This song needed Jay Z and Kanye. I’m just not a big fan of Drake just spitting endless bars with no hook. I’m sorry. I need variation.

“Too Good (ft. Rihanna)”

Why haven’t Rihanna and Drake created a whole album together? Their chemistry is flawless. The lyrics are not only memorable and catchy but come off more as Drake sharing his feelings rather than being critical which makes the song more relatable for listeners. Not everyone has jealous haters in the rap game trying to bring them down, as much as I wish I achieved this amount of bad—ness in my life. Drake and Rihanna just want to be appreciated and not taken for granted and I can do that.

“Summers Over Interlude”

Why?

“Fire and Desire”

This track has a pretty strong Take Care vibe. It’s smooth and would leave me smitten if someone rapped it to me.

“Views”

I expect more due to this being the title track, but all in all I think it is a good way to end the album. He talks about overcoming the struggles of his past when it seemed like was set up for fail, very “started from the bottom now we here” oriented. Nothing about this song is extremely memorable besides the lines, “My exes made some of my favorite music/ I dated women from my favorite movies.”

In conclusion: 
The album is not cohesive and very up and down regarding tone. There are some excellent moments, but there is nothing particularly revolutionary about this work. It’s really just Drake recommitting to the Drakey sound that he’s done for the last 8 years, creating work he sees fit under his own label. You do you, Drake. You do you boo.

Collegian Reporter Miranda Moses can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @mirandasrad.