Views has never just been about Drake releasing new music. In a time when Kendrick Lamar is raising political statements, openly talking about the lifestyle that still exists after N.W.A’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and Kanye West continues to create headlines with his constant changing of material, the Toronto-star needed to create statements and put out a bold record of whatever it is he connects with and really push his talent to the limit.
As expected, Viewsswitches from pop-smothered melodies covered by an R&B haze, to cutting hip-hop waves accompanied by a heavy presence of production, allowing no two songs to sound the same but to be able to carry a sense of continuity. Views carries a softer tone of emotion, relationships and childhood. ‘Keep The Family Close’ appears to be influenced by critically-acclaimed ‘Watch The Throne’ with an orchestral backing and an attempt to move from rapping to subtly singing – something we know Drake can do.
At times, the album can seem repetitive and slightly dull. ‘9’ is only the second track, but things don’t seem exciting enough for a release that was highly anticipated. It lacks character and ambition, but once the song is over, we’re back in to a shower of derogatory lyrics and Drake’s allure which makes several appearances in tracks like ‘Feel No Ways’ and ‘Child’s Play’, where it feels like we’re being serenaded personally by the man himself.
What’s a Drake album without a Rihanna collaboration? Nothing. ‘Too Good’ is an up-beat, South-American influenced single which appears to be one of the more enjoyable pieces on Views and is definitely a contender for the next release for the album campaign. “I’m too good to you. I’m way too good to you” they sing to each other, perhaps admitting that their relationship(s) are worth nothing when they both think they’re better than the other. Other collaborations include PARTYNEXTDOOR and Future, whose extra input have a big affect on this record, creating a completely different kind of vibe and demonstrating that these are the best songs on the release.
A gospel layer wraps around Views, a song that shares its name with the album, and conquers loneliness and a carelessness for playing ‘the game’. It’ may be a diss track but it’s weak and ineffective, it doesn’t portray the character that Drake can be. Perhaps he feels too comfortable and doesn’t need to prove himself anymore, maybe he just wanted a slightly different direction in terms of production. Either way it’s not something that works well, for me.
Views is hopeful. It shows the Toronto-rapper’s ambition at times but becomes background music at points. It all comes down to facing the challenge of becoming slightly lost because of the way in which it varies from chart hits and aggressive hip-hop beats to something that feels like nothing.