Drake's third album released, we round-up the critical opinion.
Three albums in and Drake has firmly found his place within the rap world. Not only does his latest record, Nothing Was The Same, deliver a self-assured sound and confident lyrics but it also marks a turning point for the rapper as he looks back and muses upon his rise to fame.
Drake Delivers A Solid Third Effort.
The album's lead single 'Started From The Bottom' is the most obvious rags-to-riches tune. Suitably anthemic for radio, the rap delivers some incisive lyrics about fame and fortune and has also had a rather funny music video released alongside.
First track, 'Tuscan Leather,' certainly signifies a more aggressive Drake, laced with Whitney Houston samples. "Comin' off the last record, I'm getting' 20 million off the record/Just to off these records, n**ga that's a record/I'm tired of hearin' 'bout who you checkin' for now/Just give it time, we'll see who's still around a decade from now," raps Drake authoritatively.
Track 10, 'The Language,' is another chest-beating piece as Drake spits venom in a classic diss: "I don't know why they been lying but your s**t is not that inspiring/ F**k any n**ga that's talking that s**t to get a reaction/ F**k going platinum, I looked at my wrist and it's already platinum/I am the kid with the motor mouth."
Incisive, Authoritative, Often Vicious: Nothing Was The Same Doesn't Let Up On Its Confident Sound.
Houston's isn't the only guest voice on the album; after OVO Fest Drake showed that he had the ability to rally an impressive team of artists to perform and this aspect is maintained on NWTS. Jay Z, PartyNextDoor, the Wu Tang Clan, DJ Dahi, Hudson Mohawke, Jheno Aiko, Sampha and Boi-1da all feature as samples or as production thanks.
'Too Much' represents a more emotionally-rooted rap, rather than trying to be a diss-track. With the calming voice of Sampha sampled, Drake laments the effect that fame has had upon his connections with his family.
Drake's Third Album Has Earned Critical Praise.
The last track, 'Pound Cake,' is one of the obvious draws on the album. Featuring Jay Z, thedecision to list the song last on the record could be a sign that there are bigger things to come, perhaps. 'Pound Cake' doesn't let up on the conviction as the album draws to a close, nor does it allow guest rapper Jay Z to have the final word. With so many quality rap albums released this summer, Drake isn't about to lose sight of his spotlight and let someone else have the parting shot.
Billboard rates the record highly, as a steadfast effort that doesn't stretch the 26 year-old too far out of his comfort zone, saying Drake's found "a place where he's most comfortable, with insatiability pumping through his veins for the sole purpose of self-improvement."
The Rapper Welcomes A Few Guests On His New Album.
Some listeners may feel like they're having to over-exert themselves to find any hummable content on the album and some may miss the more obvious playfulness of his previous efforts.
Nevertheless, Nothing Was The Same manages to keep its sound fresh and engaging, weaving in some food-for-thought kind of sentiments in the lyrics as it goes. As XXL Mag states, "Like it or not, he's the new voice of a generation with a mission to stay ahead of the curve."