“More Life” Gives Life to Drake Fans
March 28, 2017
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Anyone that was scrolling casually through their Spotify on the night of March 22nd was greeted with a pleasant surprise: Drake’s new album More Life.
The 22-track release was met largely with criticism by fans who expected more of the Toronto artist. Drake’s past two albums If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
and Views were bangers straight off the bat. They were heralded great works by his fans and critics alike, both showing growth and creativity as an artist. However, More Life has not gotten the same receptiveness from audiences.
Many feel that Drake has moved away from his original hip-hop roots: criticism which artists such as Kid Cudi and Childish Gambino also received on their most recent albums. What these critics fail to acknowledge is that Drake’s creativity on More Life is more proficient than in past albums. The lack of concise story in the album is what makes it great. So many artists get trapped in trying to stick to a story or to a genre that they end up getting repetitive. More Life is as confusing as it is beautiful, which is what I enjoy about listening to it. Every time I play the album, it’s almost as if I am hearing each song differently.
The album opens with “Free Smoke” which starts out as a ballad but quickly turns into a hype song that fans would expect from Drake. This song isn’t something unexpected from him, but is still a good song to jam to. The song stands out in comparison to other new hits such as “Passionfruit,” “Madiba Riddim,” “Blem,” and “Gyalchester,” which all have dancehall influences on them. Even in their titles, the songs use words such as “gyal” and “riddim”, popular terms used in the titles of reggae and soca songs. Drake has been slowly incorporating dancehall into his music more, starting with “Controlla” and “One Dance” off the Views album. This trend has been used by other artists such as Justin Bieber and Major Lazer, but Drake’s ability to incorporate it into rap is what makes him stand out.
Although the album is 22 songs, it seems to lack in features for the amount of songs it has. The best features would hands down be “Since Way Back” featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR and Sampha on “4422.” Both are slower jams that match each artist’s true sound. Both show how well Drake knows how to place himself when with another artist. Surprisingly, “Glow” featuring Kanye West is not that great. The song is a 7 minute drag that does not ever really pick up at any point. It is probably the most disappointing on the album because most people would expect more from both Drake and Kanye West as influencers of today’s hip-hop scene. The album ends with a song called “Do Not Disturb.” It reflects the style of the first track, something typical of Drake.
Overall, the album is a bit messy. There is no concise storyline to follow, so it is less of an intense listening experience, which I enjoyed. The only thing I would say I strongly disliked about this album was that it was 22 songs, about 7-8 songs too many. The album as a whole I would give a 7/10 for creativity: had it valued quality over quantity song-wise, it would have fared better in my eyes and his audiences. Still, More Life definitely gave me life.