Views - Album Review
Disclaimer – this album contains coarse language and mature subject matter, please listen at your own discretion
Release: April 29th, 2016
Better late than never, but never late is better! It’s been a while since this album was released, but as the Drake fan that I am, I needed to review it. VIEWS is Drake’s fourth studio album, dropped after a year that included a dispute with Meek Mill, a mixtape with Future, a successful solo mixtape and Hotline Bling, a radio hit. After having been announced in 2014 as Views from the 6, the album had its title changed to simply VIEWS.
As many have said that Drake is at a point in his career that he will never top, this album was supposed to be the classic album that would put him with the greats. Although there were ghostwriter allegations that have changed some people’s view of Drake, his influence on rap is eternal.
The album starts with Keep the Family Close, an ode to mistrust where Drake sings for five minutes over a grandiose, somewhat orchestral instrumental. With an intro that is different from every other intro Drake has done, it does share one characteristic with its cohorts: it feels very cinematic and is very telling and introspective.
Next is 9, which initially, I was not a fan of. Although I enjoy it more now, the beat and Drake’s flows are too rigid and awkward.
After that, it’s U With Me? This song, which is my favourite on the album, is the Drake we know and love, rapping, singing and interpolating DMX over a melancholy Kanye beat before launching into an explosive end. The instrumental section at the very end of the song is great and the song is a moment in which the atmosphere of the album is immersive.
Following that is Feel No Ways, a surprisingly upbeat song instrumentally, despite Drake’s arguing that his ex girlfriend is “tryna make (him) feel a way, on purpose”. This song is something different for Drake and is catchy.
Hype, a tired, routine banger is what follows, succeeded by Weston Road Flows, a soulful track about Drake’s successes. Redemption, a syrupy R&B track is the subsequent song, with the worst on the album, With You (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR) after that. This is a love song with a melody that I just can’t seem to like for a hook, followed by Faithful in which although I like its beat and chorus, Drake’s verses bore me.
Still Here, perhaps the best pump up on the album, features Drake smoothly singing over a jumpy instrumental.
Controlla is what follows. This song features a hook that can get stuck in your head, and a light synth melody with heavy, bassy drums. This is one of Drake’s dancehall songs, and it is by far the best done.
One Dance, a single, is what follows. This is another dancehall song with a simple beat. Drake gets the help from Wizkid and Kyla, two international singers. This track was the biggest song of Drake’s career and has a great rhythm.
Grammys, featuring Future, is the following song. This one, featuring different beats for the two rappers in the song, is a rap off and a great pump up. It has a sound like that of What A Time To Be Alive, as noted by many other listeners. However, this is where Drake and Future are most comfortable when collaborating, and the song is a good addition.
Childs Play is the song following. This is a song about a broken relationship. A version of Pop Style without Kanye West follows. I really think it would have been better to keep the Kanye verse, but that’s just my opinion. However, the song is still awesome. The huge hit, Too Good (feat. Rihanna) comes right after that with its light dancehall beat.
Coming after the Summers Over Interlude is Fire & Desire, another 1990s R&B homage. Then, there is Views, the album closer. This song, over a soulful beat, features Drake at his best, with punch line filled lyricism and an excellent outro featuring expansive synths making for an awesome ending to the album.
Hotline Bling, a bonus track, is next. We all know this song. Bringing back memories of summer, this song is still amazing.
VIEWS is a nice album altogether, which displays the range of Drake’s music. If it cut a few of its less memorable songs and maybe had some more guests on it, it could be the magnum opus Drake had been promising. With that in mind, VIEWS is in no way a bad album. It has plenty of great moments. With More Life, Drake’s follow up project, arriving in December we can look to what Drake does next.
Favourite Songs (In order of appearance): Keep the Family Close, U With Me?, Feel No Ways, Still Here, Controlla, Grammys (feat. Future), Pop Style, Views, Hotline Bling
Least Favourite Song: With You (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR)