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Drake’s “Views” goes in new directions

Andrew Dickey, Staff Writer

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If Drake’s earlier projects are compared with his fourth commercial album “Views,” one may think a different artist created them. Drake has evolved dramatically the past two years, finding his own unique sound and style. “Views” (previously “Views from the Six”) is the culmination of this evolution.

“Views” reminds the listener of his commercial mixtape “If You’re Reading this it’s Too Late” with its simple and stark production. However, “Views” has a twist, several Caribbean dancehall tracks such as “Controlla,” the PartyNextDoor featured “With You” and the breakout single “One Dance” and “Too Good” featuring Rihanna. These tracks are radically differently than the other tracks on “Views” and anything Drake has done before. These tracks are enjoyable and upbeat, but they mix like oil and water with the darker and harsher rap tracks.

For something that’s been as hyped as “Views” following Drake’s numerous feuds and complications, it would be better suited as a more nihilistic and darker rap album, something in the vein of a more epic “If You’re Reading this it’s Too Late.” Instead, we get a tapestry of dancehall, obvious fillers, and some harsh and great bangers.

The album starts out with an epic James Bondian track “Keep the Family Close.” A great start, the track has huge drums horns, strings and drums. The track is ruined however by one line: “Like when Chrysler made that one car that looked just like the Bentley.” The line is amateurish and completely disrupts the song. This epic ballad of love and betrayal is torn down and the listener feels personally betrayed.

The best tracks are the ones where Drake goes the hardest, on tracks such as “9,” “Hype,” and “Grammy’s” which features Future. If these tracks were the focus of the album, “Views” could be the Holy Grail many expected. However it suffers because of fillers such as “Redemption,” “Still Here,” and the worst offender “Child’s Play.” The first two tracks are mediocre rap tracks, but “Child’s Play” is the pinnacle of Drake’s perceived persona, which is whiny and passive aggressive. This track demeans a girl and threatens to bring her back to the “hood.”

Overall, the album is littered with poor lyrics, and seems like Drake is taking a step back lyrically. His sound and style have become something all his own, but the quality of his music has taken a hit.

However, the album ends on a sweet note with “Views.” The personal song has goofy lyrics, such as ‘My wifey a spice with Beckham,” but it’s light hearted and plays homage to Drake’s wry humor than bad lyric writing.

“Hotline Bling” is tacked to the end of the album as bonus track of sorts, and works well as a light and breezy dirt to the lumbering main course.

Overall, “Views” is not a bad album, but it is not the great one many fans expected. Instead of refining the harsh rap-inspired tracks of “If You’re Reading This it’s too Late” or even reverting back to the old “Take Care,” Drake moves in a new direction and the album suffers. This album is by no means the epitome of Drake, but rather a milestone, a change of pace. Drake’s best album is still to come, and “Views” is best to be  looked at as a reactant and not a product.

Final Score: 7/10

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Drake’s “Views” goes in new directions