Drake’s New Dance Album ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ Isn’t the Disaster Everyone Wants It to Be

Turn on all the emoticons for pregnant women drakeHer last album cover could be a hint.

Nine months after last year can pass Certified Lover, Drake released his seventh album on Thursday night with just a few hours’ notice. Notice to Honestly, never mind comes with dirty, metallic cover art that makes you wonder if the iconic grunge recording it shares half-meaning Drake—a chameleon of the famous genre, or thief , depending on how you look at it — pulls in a 2010 Lil Wayne by imitating the punk rock sounds that have permeated mainstream pop ever since (a scary thought, but things more crazy happened).

Instead of, Honestly, never mind is a deep dive into dance and home music with a lot less back-to-back than people are pretending — Drake’s previous cuts like “Take Care,” “One Dance” and “Passionfruit” proved his fondness for poolside jumps. moving person. Here, however, OVO honcho focuses entirely on dance music: a genre that is hugely popular around the world and has had a profound influence on American pop, but one that most Westerners are familiar with. arrives, which makes Drake a favorite with his global audience that’s much more impressive. Ditto selected his collaborators, notably South African DJ and house music creator Black Coffee, who is credited as one of the album’s four executive producers (along with longtime colleagues of the Drake is Noah “40” Shebib and Oliver El-Khatib, and Drizzy himself).

Black Coffee seems to do a lot of the heavy lifting here, take a look Honestly, never mind emphasizes the acoustic elements inspired by that house more than anything else, including Drake. And really, that’s where the division for this album can originate. Not much happens according to the lyrics — Drake is singing, humming, and crying in the club with his usual upset boy mood. Anyone hoping for the kind of wit and hilarious energy of, say, “Way 2 Sexy” will be disappointed, bored, or both. Instead, it’s “summer in Mykonos” music, with songs that breathe and use space in a way Drake has never done before, despite his love of long albums. gluttony (this song cuts the listening time down to a more reasonable 52 minutes). ..we’ll take it!).

Sometimes, Honestly, never mind feels like a Black Coffee record just happening with some of Drake’s vocals. And while there’s certainly a lot more fun going on in dance music right now, approaching it with that mindset means there’s a lot to appreciate here, like the hypnotist rhythms in “Texts” Go Green” and the final 45 seconds of “A Keeper,” with sparse piano music and skillful dance beats lighting up a melancholy soundtrack.

If you can get past the annoying creaking of beds in “The Flow” and the paranoid energy of “Falling Back” (Aubrey Graham really is nothing more than hearing him constantly ask “How am I feeling? “In his fake voice only manage to hit), you’ll be rewarded by the album’s great mid-section, where things really start to stick and glow. “Sticky,” a hilarious twist in which Drake actually raps (!) and speaks in French, is followed by the album’s longest and most enjoyable song, titled “Massive.”

This was followed by “Flight’s Booked” and “Overdrive,” which sound like companion tracks where Drake fights for a “divine bond,” as he describes on the second track, with guitar parts. great outro. Likewise “Tie That Binds” features a Santana-esque guitar solo; in fact, the entire second half of the song has no Drake at all, just instrumentals and backing vocals. It’s sparse in every best way, like “Down Hill,” another standout track that all but mutes the drums and snaps. You’d expect it to explode into something bigger, but it never happens — instead, Drake and Shebib cleverly let backing vocalists Beau Nox and Tresor shine.

Everything stops with the oddly low-pitched vocals of “Liability,” before giving way to the grand finale: “Jimmy Cooks” features 21 Savage, which frankly doesn’t sound like a chore. about this album. Like “Sticky,” it was pure rap, aka what most of the world expected (and wanted, judging by the Twitter reaction) from Drake. You know that part in Lion King where hyenas are begging Scar for food and the ferocious lion reluctantly offers them zebra meat while growling, “I don’t think you really deserve this?” “Jimmy Cooks” feels that way — a consoling award for listeners who have made it far on the album, as well as a sort of reminder: “Hey, remember I’m still a rapper and I’m still can do this.”

However, the final comeback didn’t seem to be enough for those who were expecting a hip-hop album and mocked Twitter jokes comparing the new songs to mall music. . About that, I can only ask, do you all really want more cool and catchy TikTok songs like “Toosie Slide?” While not a perfect album, Honestly, never mind shows us a musical and cultural juggler willing to experiment with his sound and delight his fans. You can call him divisive, but you can’t call him boring.

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