The singing and melodies are massaged with a care unheard in the prior Drake discography; this album flows as improbably as The Life of Pablo, with more assured lyrics and smoother sequencing, to offset the lack of a certifiable genius at the helm.
On More Life, you can literally pick out your favorite type of Drake and have a handful of those songs within ear’s reach, which not a lot of contemporary rappers have the ability to do.
22 songs is a challenge — too many tracks can easily jump the rails, leading to an uneven and tiring project. But, as the first three songs bear out, More Life doesn’t lose too much momentum even as it stumbles along its path.
More Life is a serious commitment, if not a test of one’s patience. But Drake does at least have a better grasp on how to maintain momentum this time.
Despite its playlist tag, it is unmistakably a Drake album—it even has a Blueprint highball closer like each of its predecessors—and as an album, it is probably Drake’s worst. But as a collection of totally atomized songs and ideas, it’s up there with anything he’s released. Maybe that makes it a playlist after all.
More Life offers little solace for those who never bought what the Canadian rapper was selling but for his fans that gave his songs billions of streams last year, they’ll hear no issue.
While VIEWS served as an ominous soundscape to a never-ending winter and reflected a booming hunger in the city, his newest release, More Life, presents the fruits of that labour in a sunnier, more celebratory arrangement.
He allows the various sounds, guest features and flavours of the production, which he and his crew adopted from all over the world, to steal the show.
Drake has convincingly positioned himself as an architect for a borderless age of pop music.
With plenty of guests dropping by to chip in a verse or a rap, over 80 minutes’ worth of grooves and beats sculpted by a veritable army of producers. Pleasingly, two of the best are British, Sampha capping “4422” with an emotive outburst, and Skepta getting an entire “Skepta Interlude”.
More Life is his finest longform collection in years, cheerfully indulgent at 22 tracks and 82 minutes, a masterful tour of all the grooves in his head.
More Life ... is less of a return to form and more of an expression of Drake’s hunger for widespread acclaim beyond the borders of rap, and is indicative of where the arc of his career and legacy is trending towards.
The playlist is less an embodiment of the “experience,” Drake-playing-Drake via others, and more a headspace in which these voices, genres, and styles are given breathing room.
Drake's course correction to VIEWS bursts with energy—more South African house, more grime, more Kanye. It's a long player made for luxuriating and a total immersion into Drake's world-pop lifestyle.
It could be likely that Drake is saving his best bars for a more official project. Not that it matters, as there are enough great moments over the project’s 22 tracks to get fans excited; with the more melodic numbers in particular standing out.
Essentially any criticism one can level at More Life is irrelevant. It does exactly what it was intended to do, so on his own terms, it's a resounding success.
More Life does a terrific job creating a mood with its dancehall-flecked, atmospheric production, and it certainly points to a fascinating fork in the road moment for the world’s biggest rapper.
Drake’s idea of “more life” is “more everything”. My idea of More Life is less music, and the best thing about this playlist will be the one I eventually build for myself.
Regardless of your opinion of Drake’s music, you have an opinion on Aubrey Drake Graham, and because of this, More Life both succeeds and suffers. In Drake’s never-ending expansion into all areas, he waltzes into many a genre with ease, but at a cost of diluting his credibility and talents.
The turnaround from Views is remarkable, and the occasional standout does indicate that Drake’s been listening to some of the basic criticisms. It all stacks up as an agreeable (not wonderful, definitely not boring) assortment of thumpers, enough to pass the time until Drake finds a new culture to pillage.