It looks like Canadian hip hop artist Drake took the time to review himself. Although his last album Views helped him score one of the biggest hits of his music career with One Dance, it also attracted criticism around the globe for his continued navel-gazing and lack of creativity. This left some people unsure of whether that was an unwillingness or an inability to move away from his earlier successes. The album displayed little emotional maturity and insight, vital elements when involved in such a fickle industry.
But what seemed to have only created a burden can now be seen as what helped produce more energy, more worth, more change; it’s what helped create 80-minutes of More Life. Views can be viewed as a blessing in disguise, everything that More Life is not, a redemption. In October last year, in honour of his 30th birthday Drake released Fake Love and three other songs, all part of a new project he called a “playlist”, not an album. Now More Life has been released, a warm convivial piece of work that looks into his bleak introspection.
The closing track Do Not Disturb admits to this isolated state he put himself in: “I was angry yute when I was writtin’ Views/ Saw a side of myself that I just never knew”. Drake’s Can’t Have Everything ends with an outro from his mother, helping paint the picture of the state he was fostering: “I’m a bit concerned about this negative tone that I’m hearing in your voice these days. I can appreciate where your uncertainty stems from and you have reason to question your anxieties and how disillusioned you feel, as well as feeling skeptical about who you believe you can trust. But that attitude will just hold you back in this life, and you’re going to continue to feel alienated”.
More Life clearly has more life, you can hear it when listening to tracks like Get it Together. A gorgeous combination of the soulful Rhianna-like voice from 19-year-old British vocalist Jorja Smith, a clear demonstration of why she’s earned a spot through-out the album, and African house producer Black Coffee who’s use of polyrhythms and the jazz piano are absolute fire. A favourite among many I’m sure is Passionfruit, entering as a mellow track but perfectly paired with with light and bouncy house beats making it feel incredibly relaxing and easy to listen to. After this track you’ll noticeably see that Drake barely goes DOLO. Added to the strong lineup is Sampha singing 4422, Young Thug claiming two tracks: Sacrifices and Ice Melts, and guests Quavo, Travis Scott, Giggs, Kayne West and PARTYNEXTDOOR, a collective effect of electronic beats and R&B sounds that make a nicely balanced twenty-two tracks.
An album full of life that allows for you to engross and forget about time for a little while, or a long long while, More Life is deserving of acclaim and proof that mums know best.