After multiple delays and an incredible amount of hype and teasers, Drake finally released his highly anticipated album/playlist, “More Life,” on Saturday, March 18. After sitting down and going through multiple listens, it’s easy to say this is one of Drake’s best projects.
This is one of his most cohesive albums next to “Nothing Was The Same” and “Take Care.” With the first track, “Free Smoke,” we receive one of the hardest-hitting songs to ever kick off a Drake project and one of the hardest songs on the album. It flows perfectly to the second track, “No Long Talk.”
Throughout the album, it sounds as if songs are just changing pace or beats rather than being entirely new songs, as the transitions are laid out smoothly across the project. In Drake’s transitions from “Jorja Interlude” to “Get it Together” and from “Portland” to “Sacrifices,” the blending and mixing of the songs are top notch.
On this self-proclaimed “playlist,” Drake sounds as if he has perfected his take on the “dancehall” style, first spotted in his 2015 single, “Hotline Bling.” Some examples of this style are songs like “Blem,” “Madiba Riddim” and “Passionfruit,” which have been heavy in rotation since the album’s release and will most likely be impossible to avoid in the summer.
The beat selection has the usual suspects on a Drake project. A handful of tracks like “Jorja Interlude” and “Lose You” are produced by the artist’s longtime friend and producer, 40; his fingerprints are all over this project in typical Drake fashion. OVO’s in-house producer Boi-1da also has production credits on “Free Smoke.” Producers Vinylz, Murda Beatz and Nineteen85 all have production credits on the album, which make it Drake’s most diverse (in terms of beat selection).
On this project, Drake looked to the Grime movement in the U.K. for inspiration and sound. Songs like “KMT” and “No Long Talk,” both featuring U.K. artist Giggs, show this in full force. Although they are some of the harder songs on the album in terms of beats, they aren’t the strongest when looking at the project as a whole. In my opinion, they don’t have the greatest lyrics, and the Giggs features hurt the songs by dragging them out.
“Teenage Fever” delves into Drake’s short-lived stint with Jennifer Lopez. Here we get insight into the relationship while he samples and lays bars down over her classic song, “If You Had My Love.”
We get the braggadocious raps and subliminal shots at Meek Mill hidden within songs like “Portland” and “Gyalchester.” The paranoid Drake who doesn’t know who of his friends he can trust in appears on “Can’t Have Everything.” “Nothings into Somethings” and “Passionfruit” delve into his romantic issues and sound reminiscent of his breakout mixtape, “So Far Gone,” from 2009.
Drake has a lot of gems on the album. My personal favorite, “Do Not Disturb,” produced by Boi-1da, is the highlight. By making this the last track, he closes out the project with a stream of consciousness in typical Drake fashion; all bars with no hook to break up the song. We learn what has happened to Drake since dropping his last album, “Views,” and the thoughts and emotions he has running through his mind.
This album has everything a Drake fan and a music fan would need. It has the introspective songs, the bangers and the radio songs, all flowing, effortlessly, from start to finish. It might not be his greatest album, which if you ask fans is either, “Nothing Was The Same” or “Take Care,” but as a longtime Drake fan, I can say without a doubt this is one of his best albums due to the cohesiveness and overall sound of the project.
Final Rating: ✫✫✫✫✫
Personal Favorite Tracks: Do Not Disturb, Jorja Interlude, Can’t Have Everything, Gyalchester, Passionfruit
Personal Least-Favorite Tracks: KMT, 4422, No Long Talk