Change of direction and sound is something that is always argued about in the world of music, dividing and/or bringing in new fans. Drake’s ‘More Life’ is an album that is definitely dividing audiences, possibly pushing away his older fans but bring new fans in in the thousands. More Life is a dancehall dominated playlist, influence presumably from the success of 2 of the lead singles (One Dance and Too Good feat. Rihanna) from Drake’s last album Views. The playlist also includes the moody nocturnal vibe that Drake always brings to the table.
The first thing that’ll attract you to More Life, besides the fact Drake is one of the biggest artists around in this modern day, was the features. Seeing names like Giggs and Skepta will bring people in from the other side of the pond, Drake representing his connection to Boy Better Know (Skepta’s record label) and it gives grime more of an opportunity to show its face in the United States. Other features that attracted me was the new voice of soul, Jorja Smith, big auto-tune rappers like Young Thug and Travis Scott and of course the infamous Kanye West.
Still, More Life seems very safe. Lots of singing from Drake himself, pushing his pop-rap style further into the mainstream, and lots of the beats are based off the dancehall style that he was so successful with. Some tracks are easy listening, nice to put on in the background. If I played some of these songs at a party, I wouldn’t piss anyone off. I played some of the tracks to my mum, someone who’s not a fan of anything rap, and she loved it. Not that that’s a bad thing, but considering 2 years ago songs like Energy and Legend being two huge hits from the most recent album of the time If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late shows how Drake, even 2 years down the line, has migrated most of his attention to the songs you could play in mainstream clubs.
Regardless of this, it’s a good playlist. Drake pulls a lot of emotion out on some of these songs, talking further into the struggles of fame on the song Do Not Disturb with lines like ‘Can’t describe what my life is like when she asks about it, scary whenever I close my eyes at night, wakin’ up to public statements about my private life’, describing how his life has got so busy he can’t even talk about what he does anymore and is also scared of public attention. Also showing heartbreak and loss on the song Lose You and the lead single from the playlist being Fake Love about fake friends.
The other thing that interests me about this playlist is that some of the features have their own tracks, a feature that artists like Frank Ocean and Kanye West have done on their own respected albums. Sampha and Skepta throw their own styles into the mix, which is possibly why the album is described as a playlist. In addition to this, the samples used for some of the songs are out of the blue, like some of the soundtrack from the 2006 video game Sonic The Hedgehog used in the song KMT and samples J-Lo’s ‘If You Had My Love’ on Teenage Fever’ which is slamming.
Overall the album has struck a chord with me more than Views did. Besides the dancehall, the album is, for the most part, darker; however some of the songs are forgetful, maybe throwing 22 songs in is stretching it a bit thin. It does feel quite like a B-Side album of songs that didn’t make Views but it’s still pretty solid.
BEST TRACKS: Passionfruit, 4422, Do Not Disturb, Can’t Have Everything, Blem, Fake Love and Lose You.
Bar a few filler tracks, a solid effort filled with great features and cracking production
7/10 – Jake Cordiner (@jjjaketh)
Thankfully making up for the disappointment that was Views, the variety in sound and solid features is sadly brought down by a handful of filler tracks.
CONTACT US 4 REVIEWS
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM