Drake / 21 Savage - Her Loss Music Album Reviews

Drake / 21 Savage - Her Loss Music Album Reviews
The album-length collaboration between the pop star of the North and the rap star of the South seems like a good match, but it turns into a drastically uneven project in almost every way.

There are tracks on Her Loss, Drake’s new quasi-collaboration album with 21 Savage, that seem like the natural evolutions of those on 2009’s So Far Gone. “Hours in Silence,” to take one, is built around a much livelier Memphis rap song that sounds as if it’s being replayed underwater; Drake half-croons through his web of gossip and self-mythology, where cryptic comments on exes’ finstas and villains ripped from mob movies weigh equally on his mind. Like he once did with Lil Wayne, he cedes a little time to a considerably more magnetic rapper from the South before singing, over and over, that things are “my fault,” the lines begging for the “of course not” counterweight from a former lover which would absolve him, but never comes.

That song’s brief turn from 21 finds the Atlanta rapper affecting something just short of a Drake impression, the danger posed by armed enemies made to sound nearly romantic (“They looking for myyyy faaaaace”). But much to its detriment, Her Loss relegates 21 to a supporting role, neutering the textural and thematic contrast that sold “Jimmy Cooks,” the beloved “Bound 2”-style hedge tacked onto the end of Honestly, Nevermind, Drake’s otherwise dance-focused album from earlier this year. There are moments of considered writing and bursts of Drake at or near his mischievous best, but in its middle, the record becomes inert, making the bits of self-conscious misanthropy scan as strained rather than gleeful, as if the id could be focus-grouped.

At its beginning, Her Loss hints at a looser, more natural interplay. After a brief intro from Atlanta’s Young Nudy—whose roving inner-monologue style would have been a welcome destabilizing force on this album—Drake opens “Rich Flex” with the kind of rapping-to-one-another hook (“21, can you do somethin’ for me?”) that blows past So Far Gone to recall groups from the 1980s and early ‘90s. And throughout, he and 21 are most effective when they either imitate one another, as 21 does on “Hours in Silence” and Drake does on “Major Distribution,” or when they retreat to their opposite stylistic poles: Drake bounding across “BackOutsideBoyz” like the only man to ever be sad in a nightclub, 21 rapping on “More M’s” that “I been in them rooms/I never did no contemplating,” his trademark economy of language unsettling as ever.

It’s the muddy, Drake-dominated middle ground that mostly doesn’t work. As the album’s title seems to promise, Her Loss is littered with bitter, very online barbs for women who have betrayed Drake and 21, wronged them in other, indeterminate ways, or simply drifted into the digital expanse. Both artists, but especially Drake, have staked songs on this going back years; what drags down Her Loss is not so much a moral failing as a creative one, the sense that Drake is turning a big dial labeled MISOGYNY while looking to an imagined audience for approval. This is occasionally colorful (from “On BS”: “I blow a half a million on you hoes, I'm a feminist”), but more often, it’s tiresome, even sort of depressing. Quips about group chats sound as if they’ve been sourced from Twitter, and punchlines like the already infamous one that trades on rumors Megan Thee Stallion was lying about being shot by Tory Lanez cast Drake as desperate to provoke, rather than in his ideal mode: someone tortured by the competing impulses to withhold and to overshare.

This tension between the acutely memorable and the vaguely forgettable is embodied by the production. The submarine Juicy J and DJ Paul flip from “Hours in Silence” is joined by reworks of Ginuwine (“Treacherous Twins”), B.G.O.T.I. (“Spin Bout U”), and the same Isley Brothers song that previously became JAY-Z and Too $hort’s “A Week Ago” (“Privileged Rappers), all of which play on a late-2000s production style—now effective bait for nostalgists— that treated samples as found sounds to be warped into an alien texture. This suits both Drake and 21’s voices: The former’s ecstatic vocals on “Treacherous Twins” alone make Her Loss worth the streaming bandwidth. But the original compositions for the album are less effective, hampered by mixes that make each element of each beat seem oddly isolated; it makes the music sound cheaper than it surely is. (There is a different kind of cheapness at intermittent play: The hammily stupid Daft Punk flip on “Circo Loco” and the O’Jays sample that pops up halfway through “Middle of the Ocean” only to invite unflattering comparisons to AZ and Nas and Dipset.) Still, tucked between the sameness are pockets of strangeness—like the drawn-out instrumental ending to “Jumbotron Shit Poppin,” at once triumphant and melancholy.

Things never quite coalesce. On the intriguingly atonal first half of “Broke Boys”—a beat odder and heavier than anything Drake has rapped over in ages—he sleepwalks through a passage that aims to tout his decades-long commercial dominance but communicates, instead, just how flat his output has become, a project that now privileges year-over-year incrementalism over fits of excitement. “Nothing had changed,” he raps, “I’m just harder to please.” He then notes that Ferrari has begun to produce SUVs, and that he and his friends have already ordered several. “We ain’t got a choice,” he says. You imagine him pointing to a conveyor belt.

Share on Google Plus

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 / 21 Savage - Her Loss Music Album Reviews Drake / 21 Savage - Her Loss Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 15, 2022 Rating: 5


Post a Comment