I have tried to not like Drake.
For the longest time I tried to run from the immense enjoyment I got from listening to him. From “Find Your Love” to “HYFR” and the majority of Marvin’s Room and Nothing Was The Same. So when VIEWS dropped I would have to stay behind the thin veil that hides my Drake fandom. No, now more I find VIEWS to be a thoroughly engrossing listen that has a clear emotional through line and some great tracks.
“Keep The Family Close” starts the album with some of the best production of Drake’s entire career. Orchestra and drums come together in a wonderful meld of atmosphere and dynamism. While a characteristically drake story plays out on top with a girl who can’t be trusted around Drake and Company. Then it builds straight into “9” a hard hitting song, about being committed to die for something you believe in. The best thing about this album is how every song builds into each other and compliments those before and after. “U With Me” is my personal favorite track, the beat is fantastic - especially the drums - with production from 40 and Kanye west. Look for the small touches, like the piano riffs and strings the breakdown and build up throughout are superb. Drake is at his best mix of singing and rapping on this song, but the raw emotion found throughout is a surprising thing to see from him. He has always made emotional music, but he seems genuine in these emotions questioning whether those around him are with him until the end. “Feel No Ways” is an okay song it feels emotionally congruent with the rest album. “Hype” is a killer track, the beat is sick. Drake goes all out speaking on how his money takes care of his family and how some people are going to have to die out.
“Weston Road Flows” is a great biographical track that takes us back to the time when Drake first started making music. “Redemption” is another favorite. I love the atmosphere and slower tempo. A track dedicated to someone who has left Drake alone and now wants another shot. The switch up to rapping at the end, is perfect in tone.
“Sydney gave up on me when I went missin'
Syn had a baby and treated me different
Erika sued me and opened a business
Wonder if they wish it could've been different
Wonder what they'd do put in my position
I wonder, when my shit drop, do they listen?
Wonder if they're second guessin' their decisions”
“With You” is another favorite. The beat is much warmer than stuff before and sounds similar to “Controlla” or “Too Good”. “Faithful” is the only song I outright dislike on this album. “Still Here” much like “9” or “Hype” is another hard hitting cut that goes off in. Then we are introduced to the lighter side of this album with “Controlla” a fun Caribbean tinted, like much of the latter half, track. The hook is immensely catchy and will probably be a huge hit. One Dance is a song that has already been played to death, but is another fun track. That deservedly got Drake his first No. 1. Then the weird outliers on this album begin “Grammys” “Pop Style” and “Child’s Play”. While they make sense emotionally for Drake, they are sonically somewhat out of place sandwiched between the three Caribbean tracks. “Grammys” is clearly something that was made during the “What A TIme To Be Alive” sessions. “Child’s Play” while harboring some strange messages, is a wonderfully produced cut. WIth a whole choir there just to sing whoahs. Pop Stlye originally came out with Kanye West and Jay Z features they have disappeared from this album version. While it sounds great, it seems underdone. Then “Too Good” another magical track from Drake and RIhanna begins. Seriously the should do a joint album. Every song would be a No. 1 contender without a doubt. Rihanna sounds great here and adds something that was missing throughout the album.
“Summers Over Interlude” is an intriguing song to me because I want to know if it was just a sample or if it was a whole song created for this album. If it was an original song I would love to hear a full version. “Fire & Desire” is much in the vein of “Redemption” but not as good. “Views” seems to be tapping that “Lord Knows” vein, which I have no problem with. The story about Drake’s mom and his dropping out of college is wonderful. The album ends fading out with a conversation in the back.
I find this album to be thoroughly engrossing with more than enough material. An understandable emotional through line and generally interesting story telling. I keep coming back to this album and I think I will for a while longer.
by Addison Garry (@addisonagarry)