Drake’s songwriting strikes a particularly sweet spot when he chooses narcissism instead of self-awareness. This has led to probably its most important feature: incredibly specific and unforgettable Drakeisms, which are sometimes delivered with the belief that they are deep – which makes them unintentionally funny. Think about the melodramatic and self-deprecating details that are being filled Worry (“I think I’m addicted to nude pictures / And I sit and talk about the bitches we almost had”); batshit diatribe at the end of “Diamonds Dancing”; the mafia myth continues If you are reading this, it is too late (“I order Alfredo pasta / Then I eat in the kitchen like I’m in the mafia”). Even on Views, his most serious album, his ego is so tense that he must know how funny it sounds. But maybe not.
In recent years, Drake’s growing desire to get involved in jokes has made his writing less exciting. So we ended up with the failed launch of the viral dance challenge “Toosie Slide”, desperate 2021. Certified Lover Boiand now the up-and-down nature of his latest album Honestly, it doesn’t matter. The album draws styles like house and club from Baltimore and Jersey into its moody, washed-out base. Sounds refreshingly different from any other Drake album, and he returns his trick to legitimize the leap of trends by recruiting heavyweights of the genre into his orbit: South African DJ Black Coffee and chameleon electronic producer Carnage (under his home pseudonym Gordo) have a big contribution to production. It is light and airy, and the songs flow into each other like a DJ mix, unlike in 2017. More life. All of this is supposed to work, but it seems a bit empty for one obvious reason: Drake’s writing lacks the former vigor.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter‘s most striking sentence is not actually found on the album. In a tearful Apple Music note that accompanied the release, he wrote: “I can’t remember the last time someone hung up, looked me in the eye and asked for my current insight into time. It’s hilarious – the level of self-obsession and deception is missing from the record. In the show “Calling My Name”, where the pulsating house beat does all the work, Drake talks about lost love with details that come down to: “You are my water, my refreshment / Take off your clothes, relieve the pressure”. When he doesn’t say anything worthwhile, you tend to zoom in on his singing, but his voice is too monotonous to withstand the burden. Similar to the 40 produced “Down Hill”, his texts about a broken heart are full of banality. In the past, his genre rejection, even diluted, was unique through his writing. Without it, you are left with a flattened version of superior, already existing sound.
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