Now, as mentioned, I've made it no secret that I'm not a fan of Drake for a variety of reasons, however, I'll admit he does have a few songs I feel are catchy, namely "Successful", "Started From The Bottom", "Best I Ever Had", "Over" and "Light Up". It was mostly due to the production involved and lyrically the songs weren't bad at all. There also seems to be a bit of a buzz whenever he releases a new album, so I can't knock that at all. And speaking of the new album, let's get right to it. This shall be interesting.
Release date- September 20, 2013
We begin things with the opener "Tuscan Leather". With its 6:07 running time, it doesn't overstay its welcome at all. I really liked the beat (complete with Whitney Houston "I Have Nothing" sped up samples) and it caught me off guard when it switched up in the middle of the song. Very good opener.
I like "rags to riches" songs, especially when they're done right, and that's exactly what Drake did on the apply titled "Started From The Bottom". He puts his own unique twist on things, but the song overall is catchy, especially the beat.
The Jay Z featured "Pound Cake" is great, as he and Drake deliver great verses. I could've pictured a song like this on "Magna Carta Holy Grail' honestly, but as it stands, it's a good addition to this album. I also could've done without the hook, which jacks the classic hook from Wu-Tang's "C.R.E.A.M." and it surprisingly doesn't ruin the song either.
I really like "Too Much" and its message. No matter what you have going on, "try not to think about it too much". I need to tell myself that sometimes, because certain things I tend to dwell on more than I should. I actually connected with Drake on this one.
"From Time", even with it's female oriented theme, is good, and I liked "Worst Behavior" more as the song continued.
The rest of the album
Allow me to begin with the NOT apply titled "Wu-Tang Forever". Now as a long time Wu-Tang fan, I have to comment on this, and if it sounds biased, even though I'm trying to be objective, it's because I admittedly am. This song, in which he seemingly equates his love and affection for a certain woman to "remain forever", in NO way was there any connection Wu-Tang in any form, and the "It's Yourz" samples were completely out of place on a song like this. Naming it "Wu-Tang Forever", in my view, was likely done to get people talking, especially members of the Wu, so in that sense it worked for all the wrong reasons. The song itself should've been titled "Forever" if you ask me, without the "It's Yourz" samples.
"Come Thru", "Own It", "Connect" (and even "From Time") all have something in common, in that they're largely songs aimed at his female audience. In theory, there's nothing wrong with this, because in this day and age you're going to get something like that on mainstream releases, however, 2 songs would be the maximum number of female oriented songs I would be ok with on an album, but when it exceeds that number, I kinda have an issue with that. These aforementioned songs are clearly nothing you haven't heard before. They're not wack, they're just "merely ok" to say the least.
The 2 Chainz and Big Sean assisted "All Me" has a good beat and an equally good verse by Drake. 2 Chainz, someone I'm also not a fan of (and I have a feeling I'm going to be asked to review his new album too, lol), had a SLIGHTLY decent verse here (did I just say that) and Big Sean more or less brought nothing.
Overall, I'm going to go with a 3 star rating for this album. It's decent, nothing more. The production, handled mostly by Noah "40" Shebib, was decent too and it matched Drake's flow throughout. Will this album make me want to check out "Thank Me Later" and "Take Care"? More than likely it's not. I respect him (never said I hated the man), but there's no chance of him winning me over to a point where I'll become a fan. I have no problem admitting that I like some of his songs, but that's where it ends. Would I recommend it? Yes, but only to those who are Drake fans, and newcomers would better starting with "So Far Gone".