It’s here, Views is finally here. After an announcement of the album back in July 2014 under the previous name Views from the 6, Drake has finally dropped his long awaited album after what felt like a long hiatus. Well, actually it’s not even close to a hiatus… He dropped If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late back in February 2015 seemingly out of the blue, and then he followed it up with his banger filled joint project with Future, What a Time to Be Alive. There’s a lot of hype towards this project, and after his powerhouse smash “Hotline Bling” it seems like Drake could do no wrong. But can he? After the release of two mediocre singles at the beginning of April (“Pop Style” & “One Dance”) it seemed like Views wouldn’t be able to catch the hype train it started.
Fortunately, what Drake ends up with is a solid project that feels safe but never really takes any risks. It’s something completely for the fans but it never feels like Drake has any growth. The album kicks off with a particularly dry intro called “Keep the Family Close” exclaiming that “all of my ‘let’s just be friends’ are friends I don’t have anymore.” But segueing into track two is the ironically named “9” which drives a spotty synth beat over some crisp drum kicks and high hats, and Drake seems to bring his game a little bit more on that one, yet his delivery is very relaxed and the again the lyrical content is nothing special. An unintentional juxtaposition that is prominent on the album is this sort of inconsistent quality the songs possess. There isn’t really a string of consistently good songs that play back to back and many times I found myself wondering why some songs were even on the album. The song “With You (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR) isn’t bad in the slightest but it isn’t a Drake song. It’s a PND song with two lines by Drizzy and placing it in the middle of the tracklist…but there’s no denying that it’s a bumpy, catchy tune.
As much as the album has its flaws Views certainly has some of Drake’s better songs including the beautifully layered beat that accompanies his voice ever so well on the track “Feel No Ways.” Easily a standout track, a snippet of this song appeared on Drake’s personal Vine account in November 2015 and fans have been clamoring for it ever since, definitely worth the five-month wait. “Childs Play” is a particularly funny song about childish women acting up in The Cheesecake Factory around “families that drive camries and go to Disney” over a solid 40 produced beat with additional drums by Metro Boomin (!) “Faithful” and “Controlla” are destined to be potential hits which are rightfully deserved as they are some pretty enjoyable songs that really give Drake a case as to why he is so good at making hits. The hard-hitting soul sample Just Blaze-“Lord Knows”-esque beat on the title track “Views” is torn up as Drake brings his “Underground Kings” era of wordplay back to end the album on a particularly intense note.
But let’s seriously talk about “Summers Over Interlude.” This song completely took me by surprise, I mean I was expecting something along the lines of a “Bria’s Interlude” track but this blew that away. This is singlehandedly some of the best music on the album and it isn’t even a song by the guy whose album it is. Majid Al Maskati of Majid Jordan comes through and gives it his all with a falsetto, beautiful song about summer love fading and not feeling the same, all while a Maneesh produced panty dropper plays in the background that really accentuates the strong areas of Maskati’s voice.
All in all, Views is a safe album for Drake, nothing crazy and nothing incredible, but it’s 100% going to be played everywhere this summer and for the rest of the year. Drake is at a point in his career where he can put out anything and it’ll sell and people will eat it up, he’s sheer hype now. Hopefully, it never gets to his head.
– Kyle Pinaro