By Aaron Hartley–
Listeners know what to expect from Drake at this point. If you put on a Drake album, you’re going to get some catchy pop rap, R&B and dancehall hits, likely about himself, his girl problems and his feelings. This has always been the way it is, but the formula is simply beginning to wear thin.
“More Life” is the latest project from Drake, deemed a “playlist,” but not bearing any discernable difference between a conventional album or mixtape other than semantics.
With 22 songs adding up to an hour and twenty minutes, “More Life” can be an exhausting full listen. And simply put, many of these tracks sound so similar, there is little here to make a straight-through listen worthwhile or interesting.
That’s not to say there aren’t a few gems on this record. “Passionfruit” is a catchy dancehall track that doesn’t deviate far from traditional Drake, but highlights the sound that he’s good at. Unfortunately, many of the songs in the rest of the album, especially in the second half, begin to meld together. Occasionally the features standout even more so than Drake on his own album.
Sampha, who released his debut earlier this year, has his own song “4422” which is lovely and may be the best song on the album. Young Thug brings his signature quirkiness with his feature on “Ice Melts” adding a bit of light to the second half of “More Life,” but not enough.
“More Life” is not a bad record. It’s more of what we’ve come to expect from Drake, which has worked well in the past, but is beginning to become predictable. His last record, “Views,” made some attempts to mix up Drake’s formula, but fell short. “More Life” feels like it picks up right where “Views” left off and suffers for it.
Drake is a good rapper and has released some excellent projects (see “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”), but “More Life” just does not feel like it does enough creatively. There is a handful of good material there, but it’s just surrounded bloat and throwaway tracks. Whatever Drake does next, I’m hoping he takes us all by surprise instead of offering what we’ve come to expect.