I miss the old Drake. At least that's what fans had to have been thinking after listening to the Toronto artist's newest album, "For All The Dogs," released at 6 a.m. this past Friday.
The first issue with the album is its length. The project has 23 tracks and takes 1 hour and 24 minutes to listen to. Yet many of the tracks on the album seem randomly thrown in, and there is zero cohesion in the project.
Sure, tracks like "8am in Charlotte," "Daylight" and "First Person Shooter" are all classics that I will be listening to throughout the year, but the other 20 songs are, for the most part, forgettable.
Even worse than forgettable, tracks like "IDGAF," "Gently" and "Rich Baby Daddy" are downright horrible. Nobody needed or asked for Drake to rap over a reggaeton beat in a poor Spanish accent in "Gently."
Frankly, the final six tracks after "8am in Charlotte" could all be cut, and the album would be improved significantly.
Drake's lyricism has also taken a sharp decline — in "Members Only," he sings, "Feel like I'm bi 'cause you're one of the guys, girl." Lyrics of that quality can be found throughout the album and will make anyone roll their eyes. And the incessant corny dog's barking throughout the album is enough to distract a listener.
When Drake is not rapping weird lyrics, he is talking obsessively about his exes and other random celebrities. While five years ago, Drake’s call outs were interesting to talk about, now that the rapper is 36 years old with a kid, they just come off as corny.
His most cringe-worthy references are always directed toward Rihanna, who was in a relationship with Drake in 2017 but cut things off in 2018. Yet here comes Drake, five years later, taking random shots at Rihanna, trying to convince everyone he is not still hung up on her.
The more unfortunate issue is that it doesn't seem like Drake cares about his declining quality. "Certified Lover Boy" got similar criticism to "For All The Dogs," but it does not seem like Drake cared or felt compelled enough to improve.
Drake is too big to fail, and it appears this safety blanket has left him without any creative ideas. He recently announced that he's taking a hiatus from music, but I don't think fans should expect anything different when he returns.
My prediction? Drake's next album will feature roughly 20 songs, three will be fantastic, and the rest will be filler with the artist whining about his issues with fame and women and generating more random beef for the internet to dissect.
Perhaps, in the next album, he can feature more Adonis.