I’m so glad that I got to listen to Views on April 29th when it became available to the listening public. After hearing big hits like “One Dance” on the radio and “Controlla” which leaked online, I was so excited to hear this hugely anticipated album. I had to listen to it a few times to actually form an opinion because it was not at all what I was expecting. Based on “Controlla” and “One Dance” I was expecting an upbeat mix full of club bangers and summer jams for good times in the 6ix. I was totally wrong and did not expect to hear 19 songs full of intense narration and feels from the 6 God. Because of this shock I wasn’t actually sure if I liked the album right away, I had to listen to it again the next day and see how I felt.
According to a pre-release interview Drake says that the album is based on the change of the seasons in Toronto. The album starts in the cold Canadian Winter, goes through to Spring, Summer, Fall and then Winter again. So for those of you who think that the album seemed a little jumbled, there was a method to Drake’s madness. Once I knew about the seasonal concept for the album I quickly decided that my personal favorite parts were the Spring to Fall portion, which would be somewhere around the middle of the album. Summer is a huge deal in Toronto and is the best time full of parties, festivals, good times with friends and tourists, overall exiting, so Drake really came in strong with that part. My favorite song was definitely “Controlla”; when it leaked I had it on repeat for days. I was a little disappointed to find that Dancehall artist Popcaan wasn’t featured on the album version. I like what Drake came up with on his own, but I think the Popcaan verse gave it something special. I was also surprised to see that Jay Z and Kanye West aren’t on the album either! They were featured on the single version of “Popstyle” but Drake stays poppin’ on his own with the album version.
The album is something to listen to if you are a true Drake fan. I don’t think that this album was made for the radio stations or the clubs; it was definitely made, for the city of Toronto, from the way Drake shouts out local rapper Top 5 in the song “Hype”, with tracks names like “Weston Road Flows”, and the way Toronto slang is thrown throughout each and every song. Drake mostly maintains his signature flow as he takes listeners inside of his head. Instead of hard tracks, the album had a mellow vibe where Drake does a lot of singing. He is definitely at a place where he is comfortable and wants to bring the audience back into his personal story instead of media drama and celebrity beefs. Despite the chill demeanor of this album, there is definitely some hype up tracks for those who were looking for that Drake such as “Grammys” featuring Future and “9” and obviously “Hype”. Views is not an album to take in over a day; this is one where you actually need to take time out and hear what the guy is saying because it’s relatable. On an album with 19 songs (technically 20, but “Hotline Bling” is the bonus track), it’s almost impossible not to find something that you like. Drake has hinted that he has more up his sleeve this Summer Sixteen and it should be very exciting.
Fun Fact: The cover art for the album is actually photo-shopped; according to actual proportions Drake would actually appear much smaller on the CN-Tower, the way this image is edited is obviously super appealing, but he would have to actually have to be 12 feet tall to appear that large!