Drake’s playlist could use a little more life
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Drake is back with an all new album less than a year after “Views.” Well, maybe not an album. “More Life” is labeled as “a playlist by October Firm.” This begs the question: why call this 22 track, 81 minute long epic a playlist instead of a full LP? Part of me thinks that Drake is trying to stir up some clever marketing campaign. It is almost as if the “6 God” himself hand crafted a perfect playlist just for me.
This album might as well be called a mixtape, but Drake has chosen “playlist.” This name makes sense as “More Life” can be best described as a collection of B-sides and songs that didn’t make the cut on “Views.”
The “playlist” has no shortage of features sporting an all-star lineup of hip-hop with names such as Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott and Young Thug.
This album starts off on a strong note on “Free Smoke.” The production is stripped down with a banging bass. On this track, he upends conventional self-pity with the lines, “I brought the game to its knees, I made too much these days to ever say, ‘Poor me.’ ” “Gyalchester” is another track where Drake stakes a claim to be one of the best rappers today.
I really enjoy his line on the track, “I know I said top five, but I’m top two and I’m not two.”
These songs have the most bite which is due to the inherent nature of the tracks.
The other half of the “playlist” is soulful. “Passionfruit” has a buttery smooth production which lends itself to Drake’s softer singing voice.
“Madiba Riddim,” “Nothings Into Somethings” and “Since Way Back” sound differently enough to not sound like the same song. However, each of these track’s emotional levels are very similar. It doesn’t feel like you’re listening to the same song, but you get the same feelings listening to each of these tracks.
“More Life” also sports influences from all around the world, from quasi-Carribbean disco on “Blem,” to UK grime on “No Long Talk.”
Drake even tries to don a broken British accent on “No Long Talk” to accompany British rapper Giggs who features on the track. Giggs is also featured on the track “KMT” where he spits a pretty respectable verse.
One song, “Get It Together,” is a pretty groovy dance joint. The problem is that Drake doesn’t even sound like the main featured artist. Another song “4422,” doesn’t even feature Drake; the entirety of the track is sung by British singer-songwriter Sampha.
Back to my opening question: Why call this a playlist? I think what most people look for in a playlist is a collection of songs with the same vibe and emotion. There’s playlists for studying, chilling out, party playlists—any playlist you need to fit your mood.
The nice thing with playlists made by other people is that it doesn’t really matter what songs are on the playlist if they have the same feel. It’s the ultimate background music. You don’t think about it, you just enjoy as you go along with what you were already doing.
Drake did that on this album. It just so happens that this playlist sports all new music. While some of the songs are legitimately good songs, it just feels like this album should just be playing in the background of some chill party. That by itself is not a bad thing. It only becomes a bad thing when your original, new album has that vibe.