Drake - Views
by Ali Watson
This album has been in the pipeline for a long time. First announced by Drake in August 2014 as Views From The 6, fans have been waiting, clinging to their Twitter feeds for news ever since. When surprise mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late dropped in early 2015, fans went rightly crazy for it, but it still wasn’t the introspective LP masterpiece that they had been waiting for. It took another year for this to arrive, and now, in the form of Views, it’s here. Drake himself described it as a movement through the seasons in Toronto, and it starts in the harsh winter.
From the start it’s clear that this album isn’t meant to be a flash in the pan. The orchestral opener Keep The Family Close sets the tone. Lines such as “All of my ‘let’s just be friends’ are friends I don’t have anymore” suggest a self-analysis that Drake is becoming known for. The opener also highlights Drake’s vocal prowess, with the whole track being sung, not rapped. Next up though is almost the opposite, a rap response in the form of ‘9’.
The next two songs on the album, U With Me? and Feel No Ways are both produced by Kanye West with more catchy beats and hooks. From here Drake moves on to his more traditional style, with Hype being a typically boastful track followed by a one-verse flow in the form of Weston Road Flows. After this Redemption is a grief stricken thoughtful track on the struggles of his various relationships. With You is PARTYNEXTDOOR’s customary appearance on this project, a bouncy, upbeat improvement on his last feature on a Drake project.
After some more forgettable tracks, Faithful and Still Here, comes Controlla, one of the tracks leaked beforehand. This signals the movement into summer, with a more dancefloor theme coming into play. This is reinforced by the next song One Dance, one of the singles released earlier last month, and also Drake’s first UK number one as lead artist. Future appears on the next track Grammys, but this unfortunately doesn’t hit the heights that he and Drake achieved together with previous collaborations such as Jumpman, mainly because of an extremely repetitive verse from Future (the line ‘They gon think I won a grammy’ is repeated 20 times).
The album’s other single Pop Style comes as the next standout point on the album. When first released it featured The Throne duo Jay-Z and Kanye, but the album version has seen them both dropped in favour of another Drake verse. Straight after is Drake’s latest collaboration with Rihanna Too Good, a very laid back sunglasses-on, barbecue at sunset kind of song. Rihanna and Drake have been successful together many times before, and this song is another perfect match. From here the album calms down through the last couple of songs, before an almost unavoidable return of Hotline Bling, last year’s song of the summer, that evidently Drake just couldn’t leave out
The album is a long, sometimes moody and introspective, sometimes upbeat and anthemic piece of work. In my opinion, a triumph. Most of the world seems to agree, with an apparent 1.2 million copies having been sold just six days after release.