Release Date: 18 March 2017
Label: Young Money, Cash Money and Republic Records
Drake: More Life Album Review
Drake clearly doesn’t want to be a rapper anymore. Current Drake is not the same Drake that gave us Take Care, Nothing Was The Same and If You’re Reading This Its Too Late. Current Drake is pop and R&B Drake. Drake has been hinting towards going full-fledged R&B and pop, Views contained 60% of singing and 40% of rapping, More Life becomes even more extreme and contains roughly around 80% singing and 20% rapping. Drake does not give a fuck about what real hip hop heads think about him anymore and only gives us few rap tracks here and there to keep his day one rap fans happy. More Life starts with a rap song and ends with a rap song, in between Drake gives a us a few more rap songs and the rest pop, R&B and dancehall tracks.
Think of More Life of a more stretched out version of Views and think of More Life as a positive vibe experience album. More Life is a playlist, there is no exact theme or a concept to it, just vibes, summer vibes for listeners to chill out to and reflect on. I mean that is what Drake represents, reflection. This is the man that once said on the song ‘U With Me?’ from Views ‘I made a career off Reminiscin’. Well that is what More Life is, more reminiscing over chill, smooth and upbeat instrumentals that Drake and co sing well on. The album begins with a hard hitting rap song that would have easily slotted into If You’re Reading This Its Too late. Free Smoke had us fooled that More Life would be a full-fledged rap playlist. On Free Smoke Drake’s confidence is exuberant, cocky and he raps like a man who is on top of the world. Well he is, Drake just reached the milestone of 10 Billion streams on Spotify, the first Artist to ever do that. In a world where Taylor Swift, The Weekend and Adele exist a rap artist now turned pop and R&B reaching that Milestone before them is a testament to how accessible Drake’s music is.
It doesn’t stop there, Passion Fruit is the next positive vibe song that seems to put the listener in a trance. Summer vibes, spring vibes or whatever vibes you want to call it, this track is spell bending. This is the type of song that makes you want to drop whatever you are doing and start dancing in the middle of nowhere. This is the spiritual successor to One Dance, while it may not sound anything like it, it gives the same feeling as One Dance. The atmospheric sounds carries on, ‘Get It Together’ and ‘Madiba Riddim’ are tracks that do not feature any rapping but singing that complements both beats so well. The production on Get it Together carries the song, the funky beat in the background is as every bit as special as the beat on Passion Fruit. Drake’s vocals are average here, almost as if he feels uninspired, honestly the female he is singing alongside on the track clearly outshines him and her vocals are excellent. The London and house music vibes is all over this track, in fact it’s all over the album. Drake’s time in London has been special and probably life changing for him.
More Life as we listen on seems like an ode to the London grime scene which continues to grow in popularity and strength after being shunned all these years. Drake provides a helping hand by putting Giggs and Skepta on More Life, with the former appearing twice. Gigg’s features were average at best, the line ‘Looking all Christmas gift-wrapped, looking all turkey’ on KMT is so bad that it almost devalues the track, however Drake shines on here. His flow is reminiscent of XXXtentacion’s Look at me, but Drake makes the track his with his excellent delivery.
Blem and 4422 are one of the highlights of the album. Blem continues the Dancehall theme that drake first used on Views. Drake sings in a Caribbean voice that is cringe, yet comedic and lighthearted. His use of a well-known London slang ‘Wasteman’ shows how much London has influenced the boy. This is going to be a hit in the UK we suspect. 4422 is put plainly a great track. No Drake on the track but UK talent Sampha who has one of the most unique and distinct signing voices you’ll ever hear in today’s music climate. His voice blends beautifully over a spacely and piano driven beat. Drake and Sampha seem to go well together, this is the third time they have collaborated, with Sampha providing vocals over ‘The Motion and ‘Too Much.’
Portland’s production sounds just uninspired and weak. The flute in the song the annoying capping of what can be deemed as lazy production. Listen to the flute on ‘Mask Off’ by Future and compare it to the flute on this song. You’ll notice how terrible it is. Travis Scott and Quavo themselves couldn’t save this awful tack. Lose you is the Drake that we all know him for, reflecting on his past life over.
Following on is Glow which features a Kanye West feat and I’m sad to say that it’s one of the worst of the songs on here. Kanye sounds bored, the lyrics are awful and the beat is outrageously simple. The highlight of the song is from 2:35 onwards, a beautiful soul sample emerges but it still feels out of place on the track. Fake Love is a catchy song upbeat song that every bit deserves to be a hit, while Ice Melts is also a catchy song with an impressive Thugger feature who also had a good feature on Trap, Trap, Trap on Rather You Than Me on Rick Ross’s new 9th album. More Life ends with Do Not Disturb. Rapping Drake and introspective Drake. A great way to end More Life and the track that sounds like it’s verses were meant for 30 for 30 seeing as he flows similar on here, nonetheless Drake tells us that he’s going on break and coming back in 2018 to give us the summary. Retirement? Who knows, but Drake thank you for more chunes for our head tops.
Conclusion: Better than Views but not as good as If Your Reading This Its Too Late. However More Life is Drake’s tribute to the London scene and house and dancehall music. Good vibes are all over this album and that’s what the new R&B and pop Drake is going for and he has been successful at it.
Album Rating: 7/10