It's a slow album, but through multiple listens, we're treated to the same complexities, but personal and musical, that have made him such a fascinating figure throughout the past decade.
Views isn’t a perfect album – some judicious pruning of the less impactful tracks would make it more easily digestible, and there are certainly moments when you start to wish Drake would cast his gaze a little further afield than his own navel.
Aubrey has reclaimed his position delivering the ardently despondent music he initially built his reputation on, through patented melancholy, petty pretentiousness and newly adopted riddims.
Drake delivers a strong album that will undoubtedly get played for months and even years to come, but at this point he should be pushing the boundaries in his music.
Given all the resources he has, the album may have been too big to fail, but he’s still maintained enough of his unique talent that it’s unlikely anyone could have done it better.
Drake still remains a master at producing low-key mesmerizing rap, but the Views are slightly less breathtaking here.
Views is a truly glacial, intensely morose album, one that confronts the same basic concerns as previous efforts, while further amplifying their significance.
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who listen for lyrics, and those who listen for beats. If you belong to the latter group, then Views will be one of the best albums released this year. If you’re in the former, well… lines like “I’m a staple in the game, all my papers together” might tarnish golden production work from Noah “40” Shebib, Boi1da, nineteen85, and Maneesh, among others.
Drake's fourth proper album feels claustrophobic and too long and weirdly monotone, but the occasional tweaks in sound lead to a few great moments.
Even more so than 2013’s Nothing Was The Same, an otherwise fantastic effort that hugged its predecessors’ template a little too tightly, Views can’t escape the sense that Drake’s done this before and done it better.
At 20 tracks, Aubrey for the most part provides a rather overweight and lethargic waltz through his musical comfort zone.
Views, like Take Care and Nothing Was the Same before it, is brilliant in places and thoroughly bloated in others. Most interesting is how Drake manages to vacillate so dramatically between being so likeable one minute and so off-puttingly self-involved the next.
To say Views is a victory lap after the successes of his two mixtapes from 2015 is a lie: no victory lap in hip-hop sounds so supine and inert.
For him to be so often contented with merely satisfactory results is somehow much more disappointing than a total failure.
As emotional and specific as Drake is in his lyrics, Views often feels uninspired. He continues to grow as a singer, but his rhymes are stuck in a broody and banal limbo, stubbornly beholden to the boring machismo of American hip-hop drama but also drawn to the eclecticism of the world beyond.
Kanye West’s 2010 magnum opus, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, takes a piercing look at the relationship between humanity and celebrity. Such a duality is clearly what Drake sought to explore on his 4th studio effort, Views, yet he falls short at almost every turn.
There really isn’t a whole lot that can be said about VIEWS that hasn’t already been said about Drake’s three previous albums. For an artist so eager to entertain, so set on proving his superstar status in a fickle industry, he surprisingly doesn’t take any risks in order to do something truly different.
|# 17 -||Billboard|
|# 15 -||BLARE|
|# 15 -||Complex|
|# 40 -||Crack Magazine|
|# 13 -||Digital Spy|
|# 5 -||Dummy|
|# 25 -||Esquire (US)|
|# 35 -||FasterLouder|
|# 42 -||For The Win|
|# 15 -||Hypebeast|
|# 15 -||LA Music Blog|
|# 8 -||Les Inrocks|
|# 17 -||NME|
|# 69 -||Noisey|
|# 5 -||People|
|# 48 -||Q Magazine|
|# 42 -||Rolling Stone|
|# 42 -||Rolling Stone (Australia)|
|# 22 -||The 405|
|# 20 -||The Guardian|
|# 14 -||The Times / The Sunday Times|
|# 12 -||The Wild Honey Pie|
|# 29 -||Time Out London|
|# 44 -||Variance|
|# 10 -||Complex (First Half)|
|# 12 -||Exclaim! (First Half)|
|# 14 -||Exclaim! (Hip Hop)|
|# 17 -||FasterLouder (First Half)|
|NME (First Half)|
|# 24 -||Pigeons & Planes (First Half)|
|Rolling Stone (First Half)|
|# 6 -||Rolling Stone (Rap)|
|The Guardian (First Half)|