Drake’s new album Honestly, Nevermind just dropped at midnight and it’s already left many of his fans scratching their heads. The album opens up with a sultry saxophone solo coexisting in a reverb-laden ether with subtle textures of luscious pads before diving into a full-on dance groove on “Falling Back.” The track comes with an accompanying music video where Drake marries 23 women — the logical end-point of the Damien Hirst-crafted Certified Lover Boy pregnant women cover that spawned memes from the likes of Lil Nas X just under a year ago. The project's culmination might feel more natural playing in an underground club in Europe than it would in a US stadium tour, and Twitter’s taken note.
For fans expecting another Certified Lover Boy, this album didn’t quite deliver. The album’s tracks sit better alongside the odd Frankensteinian genre experiments in Drake’s grand trophy case of hits, like the mega 2016 dancehall hit “One Dance.” To his diehard rap fans, the full-on embrace of a dance style here is just too much.
The album has a considerably shortened track list compared to recent entries in the Drake canon, clocking in at almost two-thirds the length of his 2021's Certified Lover Boy. Drake’s also thrown out all of the usual tactics in his recipe book to crafting an event album, announcing the album last minute on Thursday night and cutting out almost all of the MCU crossover-style features that make a drop from Drake feel larger than life.
The single guest verse from 21 Savage on the back half of the album is a welcome change of pace for Drake’s more hardcore fans, bringing back Drake’s traditional bass-heavy trap beats. It makes for an album closer that feels like an apology to the fans who got whiplash from the artist slamming on the brakes and turning sharp left into the dance world. For other users, the feature minimalism is a welcome change. Somehow, spending more time with Drake makes the less Drake-inclined like him more.
\u201c'Certified Lover Boy' -> 'Honestly, Nevermind' reminds me of 'Lover' -> 'Folklore' -- the collaborations-heavy, mass-audience-pleasing "traditional" album, followed by the bold, sonic-left-turn surprise album less than a year later. (Guess which ones I personally like more!)\u201d— Jason Lipshutz (@Jason Lipshutz) 1655474195
If Honestly, Nevermind manages to prove one thing in this stripped-back 52-minute and 32-second CliffsNotes version of a Drake album, it’s that Drake can still manage to stir up both confusion and praise all by himself, no features needed. It’s clear that the passionfruit hasn’t gone rotten yet and that Drake still has a few ideas up his sleeve, however polarizing they might be.
Photo via Getty/ Frazer Harrison
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