REVIEW: After months of anticipation, Drake’s ‘Views’ lands with a thud

drake views

Artist: Drake
Album: Views
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label: OVO Sound, Young Money Entertainment

It feels like Views (formerly Views From The 6) has been a shadow hanging over Drake since he announced it to Billboard all the way back in 2014. Last February he dropped If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and we thought it was great, but where was Views From The 6? Then in September Drake released What A Time To Be Alive with Future, and that was a super fun album as well, but it still wasn’t Views From The 6. In October we received the “Hotline Bling” video, and while we rightfully criticized it for containing a backwards and sexist reaction to a woman moving on from a relationship, we were still really excited for Views From The 6.

After all this time, we were finally gifted with Views last night. So how is this long-awaited project that we’ve been clamoring for? In one word: meh.

I really wanted to like this album. I have loved all of Drake’s albums up until this point, and when we received “Pop Style” and “One Dance” earlier this month, I thought we were in for something great.

I was mistaken.

I have heard this Drake album before. You have, as well. We get a mix of Drake proclaiming his greatness while lamenting and brooding over relationships gone wrong and women who have left. If that sounds like every Drake project since 2011’s Take Care, you’re not mistaken. The problem isn’t that anything on Views is egregiously bad, because it isn’t. The whole album ranges from “good” to “this is fine, I guess,” but the real problem is that this is an inferior version of what we’ve heard from Drake before. Thank Me Later was fresher, Take Care and IYRTITL were more cohesive, and Nothing Was The Same and What A Time To Be Alive were more fun.

Whereas the mellow, flowing production (primarily handled by fellow Toronto native Noah “40” Shebib) would be relaxing and groovy on a more inspired album, here it feels lazy and recycled. Lines like “And it’s all because you chose a side / You’re supposed to put your pride aside and ride for me. Guess it wasn’t time / And of course you went and chose a side that wasn’t mine” fill the album, and sound both immature and obsessive. There’s no variation until the second half of the album, and by that point listening to the album has grown tedious. Of all the things I can say about Views, the worst might be that it’s boring. After listening to the whole thing several times through for this review, I can honestly say I can never see myself sitting down and listening to the whole thing in one sitting again. The album runs about 80 minutes, but it feels like it stretches on for hours.

There are highlights to the album, of course. Once we hit the fantastic “Controlla,” the album picks up a bit. “One Dance” is still great, Future’s verse on “Grammys” is good, and “Too Good” with Rihanna is fun, even if the lyrical content is laughably childish coming from Drake: “I’m way too good to you / you take my love for granted.” Whatever you say, Drake. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to salvage the whole experience.

It’s a shame that Views is such a let-down, as Drake remains one of the most genuinely talented rappers today. There are going to be some fun singles off this album, but stick to listening to those, as the rest of the album is uninspired and dull. Is Future available for What A Time To Be Alive 2 yet?

SCORE: 4/10

Gabe Aikins

Gabe Aikins resides in Michigan and writes with his trusty 18-year-old cat by his side. When not writing, he is more than likely working through his back catalogue of video games or reading a book. Follow him on Twitter to listen to him give opinions on pop culture and yell about sports.
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