The Dose: Drake’s ‘More Life’ is not worth remembering

The Dose: Drake’s ‘More Life’ is not worth remembering

The Dose: Drake’s ‘More Life’ is not worth remembering
March 21
14:12 2017

I’ll let Lil Wayne do the intro of this review with his random sentence at the end of the song “Blem,” where he says, “Good morning, good afternoon, goodnight. I’m here to talk about ‘More Life.’”

Initially reported to release in November, then December and then January, this long-awaited Drake album – or “playlist” as he calls it – finally came out on March 18. Everybody who cares about music has heard it by now.

Yes, there is a difference between a playlist and an album, and it is extremely obvious to avid music listeners. “Views” was an album with some cohesion and an underlying theme of what it’s like in Toronto throughout the year. “More Life” has no protruding theme, but rather a playlist of songs that Drake has made over his time touring and testing things out with different artists.

Obviously, when you listen to this project for the first time, it feels fairly different than his past works. As someone who spent about seven hours listening to this, I tried to relay it back to some of his old works and mostly couldn’t.

By the way, why on Earth did he need to make this 22 songs and 81 minutes long? He could have easily taken out five or six songs to make it more consumable.

One way this differs from previous Drake projects is that he features British “grime” artists on three of the tracks, Skepta and Giggs. And that’s not including Jorja Smith, an 18-year-old UK singer featured on two more songs. The British influence is prominent in more than the features though. Drake gives his listeners a “grimy” sound in the songs “No Long Talk,” “Gyalchester” and slightly on “KMT.”

To some, this move is acceptable, but for most Americans, Giggs’ verses have been ridiculed on Twitter and I can not really blame them for doing so. His and Skepta’s lyrics are not on point at all and actually take away from what could be decent songs. If Drake was rapping like he did on any of his previous projects, he would have much better verses than the British artists. He still did though, despite obviously not putting much effort into his rhymes.

Also noteworthy are the Caribbean-influenced songs, which isn’t surprising as Drake had three tracks on “Views” with a Caribbean theme to tribute the Caribbean population in Toronto. Drake mixes up the Caribbean and British influences in the first 10 tracks, which is kind of weird, but these Jamaican-themed songs have much more pop and flavor. This is evident in the tracks “Passionfruit,” Madiba Riddim” and “Blem.”

Finally, the most popular tracks are “Portland,” “Sacrifices” and “Ice Melts,” largely because of features from 2 Chainz, Quavo and Young Thug, as well as their production.

The remaining 10 songs are what you expect a Drake album to be like. Songs about women, family, friends and fake friends, along with his ambitions and future.

Personally, this playlist didn’t do it for me. I like Drake and a lot of people love Drake, but to continuously push back the release date just to drop something 11 months after “Views” – and not make it a solid album – is disappointing. The songs get repetitive and uninteresting as a consecutive listen, but as singles, most of the songs are more digestible.

“More Life” feels like, once again, songs that he did not care about, which is why he just made this a playlist. He basically did what Future’s “HNDRXX” was, which was longer choruses, more bridges and much shorter, if any, rap verses.

The British, Jamaican and trap influences on this album are there for one of two reasons: either he really appreciates and enjoys the genres or he’s trying to expand his reach even further as a global pop star. I’m not sure which is true, but this is not the Drake of “Comeback Season” or “So Far Gone.”

There’s nothing wrong with experimenting or releasing B-sides, but we all know Drake is capable of more creativity and rapping ability. Even “Views” was more enjoyable than this.

Featured Image: Drake performing at the Sixteen Summer Tour in Toronto. Wikimedia Commons.

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men’s basketball.

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