Drake - Honestly, Nevermind Music Album Reviews

Drake - Honestly, Nevermind Music Album Reviews
A breezy Drake dance album sounds great in concept, but the half-measure house beats and lackluster songwriting keep it from really popping off.

Drake’s songwriting hits a particular sweet spot when he chooses narcissism over self-awareness. It’s led to arguably his most defining trait: the incredibly specific and memorable Drakeisms, which are sometimes delivered with the belief that they’re profound—making them unintentionally funny, too. Think of the melodramatic and self-loathing details that fill up Take Care (“I think I’m addicted to naked pictures/And sittin’ talkin’ ’bout bitches that we almost had”); the batshit diatribe at the end of “Diamonds Dancing”; the mafioso myth making on If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (“I order that Alfredo Pasta/Then eat in the kitchen like I’m in the mafia”). Even on Views, his most self-serious album, his ego is so goosed up that surely he must know how ridiculous he sounds. But maybe not.

In recent years, Drake’s growing desire to be in on the joke has made his writing way less exciting. That’s how we ended up with the failure-to-launch “Toosie Slide” viral dance challenge, the desperation of 2021’s Certified Lover Boy, and now the up-and-down nature of his newest album Honestly, Nevermind. The album threads styles like house and Baltimore and Jersey club into his moody, washed-out foundation. It sounds refreshingly different from any other Drake album, and he brings back his go-to trick of legitimizing trend-hopping by recruiting genre heavyweights into his orbit: South African DJ Black Coffee and chameleonic electronic producer Carnage (under his house alias Gordo) both have major contributions to the production. It’s light and breezy, and the songs flow right into each other like a DJ mix, not unlike 2017’s More Life. All this should work, but it feels a little empty for one glaring reason: Drake’s writing lacks its former zest.

Honestly, Nevermind’s most memorable line isn’t actually on the album. In a weepy Apple Music note that accompanied the release, he wrote, “I can’t remember the last time someone put they phone down, looked me in the eyes and asked my current insight on the times.” It is hilarious—a level of self-obsession and delusion missing on the record. On “Calling My Name,” where a pulsing house beat does all the work, Drake talks about lost love with details that amount to, “You’re my water, my refresher/Take off your clothes, relieve pressure.” When he’s not saying anything worthwhile, you tend to zoom in on his singing, but his voice is too one-note to carry the load. Similarly on the 40-produced “Down Hill,” his lyrics about heartbreak are full of banalities. In the past, his genre-bouncing, even if watered-down, was made singular through his writing. Without that, you’re left with a flattened version of a superior, pre-existing sound.

This is an upbeat, all vibes Drake album that works far better in concept than execution. Black Coffee’s looming presence is the catalyst, as the DJ/producer’s deep house feel gives the album a swing even when Drake’s vocal performances don’t deserve it. “Texts Go Green” is a good time, driven by the throbbing percussion and soothing keys, though Drake’s flat melodies make him feel out of his depth. He’s more comfortable on “Falling Back,” where his cracking falsetto is infectious and the wispy, ambient atmosphere of the beat hooks you like that early summer moment when you first smell a lit grill.

The best songs happen when Drake gets zapped with the defibrillator—specifically “Massive,” where his voice melts into the changing tempos, bright synths, and the stabbing drums. Carnage, who’s credited on “Massive,” is no emissary of the dancefloor; at times his smoothed-out take on the style is wooden, lacking the quirks and sporadic bursts of better club music. But then again, he has a hand in the bouncy highlight “Sticky.” For one of two times on the record, Drake returns to rapping, and he sounds that much more motivated as he speaks in French, talks about ditching the Met Gala because he couldn’t bring D-Block, and raps in full pseudo tough guy mode. Why isn’t he having this much fun all the time?

The truth is it’s hard to build a connection with music that’s this closed off. Drake’s music has become increasingly impersonalized, like he’s slotting into a rotating shift of roles. Up to IYRTITL there was a sense that you could create some sort of sketch of his life in your head, but now the details are too purposefully vague and cloudy. This isn’t some plea for bars about fatherhood over house beats, but the details and imperfections of his lyrics once made him feel like a real person instead of just a moodboard. It’s as if the goal of Honestly, Nevermind is anonymity—inoffensively, sort of fun music that simmers in the background all summer and beyond. That’s the opposite of what the appeal of Drake’s music has been for nearly 15 years, where it was like he wholeheartedly believed the world revolved around his trust issues and breakups. Unfortunately, Drake is the rare pop star who sounds better when he doesn’t think about anyone but himself.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Drake - Honestly, Nevermind Music Album Reviews Drake - Honestly, Nevermind Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on June 29, 2022 Rating: 5


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