Drake
Views


3.5
great

Review

by Arcade STAFF
May 1st, 2016 | 1002 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Shameless and delusional self-aggrandizing; unmistakeably a Drake album.

I'm sure Drake knows by now that he's practically untouchable. Consider that he spent the majority of 2015 half-heartedly feuding with a rapper worth half his game whilst pedaling a middling win in the victory lap of What a Time to Be Alive and the just okay smash hit "Hotline Bling". There really wasn't any need for any of it, but it helped to cement Drake as some ineffable wunderkind to whom all criticism is untoward; criticize Aubrey Graham, and it's likely your popularity and potential legacy will be left in tatters. It's a quality he's yanked from Kanye West, whose own contempt for external critical narrative has fostered a reckless attitude that's persisted even into this year's maddeningly contrived The Life of Pablo. Where that album seemed confused in its execution, though, Drake's vision for Views- one of Toronto, success, and the people who've helped pull it all off- is outwardly confident and surefooted in its direction. In that sense, it's closer to the Kanye West of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, ground covered well five years ago on Take Care. But Take Care saw Drake's career from the vantage point of imminent greatness and promise; alternatively, Views is the afterward, where the peak has been reached and the fall looks daunting if not unavoidable.

In taking such a narrative, Views comes off as more of a celebration of Drake's ascent than the cautious ambience of Nothing was the Same or If You're Reading this it's too Late. Where those albums stuck close to vitriolic lyricism and an almost total abandonment of guests, Views sounds eager to bring in the OVO family and make the most of the moment. Its lead singles, the irresistibly hooky "One Dance" and arrogantly anthemic "Pop Style", give a sense of the proceedings, flicking between a lackadaisical poppiness and menacing trapiness. It opens up room for further experimentation, as "Feel No Ways", a potential pop hit, is drained of its radio friendliness and made to embody some absolutely loathsome lines ('I tried with you / there's more to life than sleeping with you'). It's indicative of Views' insularity, particularly evident in how Drake has seen it fit to strip "Pop Style" and "Controlla" of their defining features. In the former, the displacement of The Throne makes a definitive statement that Drake can survive with or without the old guard, even if the song itself leaves much to be desired. In the latter, the removal of an up-and-comer makes it clear that Drake's time is scarce for hanger-ons, even as he rambles on into the 80-minute mark. In that sense, he still hues close to the hubris of the last two years in the sort of aesthetic he tries to cultivate; that is, spare and without much outside influence. When he does open up airtime for guests- as in "Grammys" or career highlight "Faithful"- he allows for a dynamic that emphasizes the vileness of his own stardom. Consider "Too Good", where he demands Rihanna not, 'play the victim when you're with me.' He's somehow emerged with a pettiness even "Marvin's Room" couldn't manage, and considering he's been pedaling this schtick since at least Thank Me Later, that has to be some concession to what Drake can do with himself. Lesser critics have defaulted to citing Views as a boring retread; in truth, it's the closest Drake has ever come to his own identifiable sound, with all the necessary faults that entails.

In that sense, Views isn't anything more than double down on Drake's standard, a distillation of his grossest tendencies matched by 40 and Nineteen85's propensity towards lean and minimal beat-making. And hell, it's not as if Views sets out to be a perfect album (a central fault of The Life of Pablo's messy manifestation as 'album of the lifetime'). Instead, carrying on that influence, it's the sort of album proud of its mistakes if it services the ends to which its creator is desperate to achieve. Truthfully, Drake's got a lot of ground to cover, especially since this feels like the sort of album that Take Care deserved in its immediate aftermath. But in abandoning the tenser environs of the last few years in which he fostered negativity and the aura of bad vibes, Views sounds triumphant; the sound of not caring even as the results themselves don't always justify his confidence. After all, Drake's never been a rapper as much as a brand and an attitude that serves little purpose outside of promoting itself. True to that, Views sounds like shameless and delusional self-aggrandizing; it's unmistakably a Drake album.



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user ratings (573)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
Keyblade (4.5)
Defying expectations....

ZachNyeScienceGuy (2)
Losing focus in a view too broad....

SPRFanOf5H (4)
Reflecting to where he has been, and where he will only keep going....

CtrlAltDestroy (3)
Drake looking at his position in the rap game, laid over some relaxing beats....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Arcade
Staff Reviewer
May 1st 2016


8495 Comments

Album Rating: 2.9

Drake, Views: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/views/id1108737195



"One Dance" (feat. Wizkid and Kyla): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_uYn8AVqeU



"Pop Style" (feat. The Throne): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar0nF1Q8W2k



"Hotline Bling": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxpDa-c-4Mc



feedback appreciated.

Digging: Godflesh - Post Self

Keyblade
May 1st 2016


25177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

great write up as usual, but if i didnt see that score at the top i would have no idea what u think about the album

Digging: Summoning - With Doom We Come

trackbytrackreviews
May 1st 2016


3339 Comments


a lackadaisical poppiness


arcade pls I don't have a dictionary

oltnabrick
May 1st 2016


35835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

unmistakably a Drake album

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
May 1st 2016


8495 Comments

Album Rating: 2.9

that is something i said in the review

GolfBuggy
May 1st 2016


14 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review, a lot better than the hasty review that was featured before.



As much as people make fun of Drake for being a wimp, the songs I like the most on this album are the more 'wimpy' ones. A lot of the bangers/arrogant tracks just fall flat.

GolfBuggy
May 1st 2016


14 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Also, do you feel the removal of the features from Pop Style and Controlla (the Kanye verse on Pop style was really good) and keeping the awful Future feature on Grammys detracted from the album as a whole?

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
May 1st 2016


8495 Comments

Album Rating: 2.9

idk i liked Future on "Grammys", but i feel the only reason i'd listen to "Pop Style" was because it had Kanye and Drake on the same song. but in the context of the album and himself as an artist, it makes sense he removed Jay and Ye.



as for "Controlla", removing Popcaan is just a dick move, especially considering the song loses most of its spark because of it.

GolfBuggy
May 1st 2016


14 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah I can definitely understand the Jay and Kanye feature being removed with the whole Jay-Drake beef.



Gotta agree with you there.

Tunaboy45
May 1st 2016


15644 Comments


Good write up, couldn't care less about the album though.

doomjitsu
May 1st 2016


1240 Comments


yeah listen to new aesop rock instead

doomjitsu
May 1st 2016


1240 Comments


mystery fish is better than this whole album

Keyblade
May 1st 2016


25177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

here come the backpackers

doomjitsu
May 1st 2016


1240 Comments


nah it's objectively better

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
May 1st 2016


8495 Comments

Album Rating: 2.9

strongly doubt it

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2016


2616 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

New Aesop is way better than this lol. But great review as always man, may actually give this another shot.

baperuth
May 1st 2016


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"i tried with you, there's more to life than sleeping with you" is not at all what he said lol. album is great. not another classic from the boy, but it's a great album nonetheless! that is assuming you aren't a miserable asshole who hates himself and anyone who is accomplishing anything

ParanoidAndroid96
May 1st 2016


1390 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

shits painful to listen to, such a trudge

Anthracks
May 1st 2016


6078 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Probably Drake's most consistent, but there aren't many highs.



Future's verse is a highlight, tbh.

Digging: Anima Damnata - Nefarious Seed...

SPRFanOf5H
May 1st 2016


828 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The "hasty" review that was featured before



I put a pretty good effort on that one in all honesty, not gonna say otherwise. Maybe read the actual review before calling it out?



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