Nine months after the critically panned ‘Certified Lover Boy’, Drake births a surprise album. In desperate need of a shake-up, ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ sees Champagne Papi dip his little toes into the genre of house music. Tim Ovenden breaches the murky depths to offer his feelings towards the album. From this point forward, Drake stans beware.
All anyone wants and needs from Drake these days are simple, tacky, pop bangers for livening up nightclubs. In that regard, a dance album is the perfect direction for Drizzy on paper, but in execution it feels like a first draft. Saying that, my first listen of ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ was a fairly pleasant one and it certainly worked well as background music. Unfortunately, my second listen – paying full attention during the bittersweet journey home from my final term at university – was honestly nauseating. Perhaps blame travel sickness, but by the halfway mark I was so painfully bored and ill I was praying for it all to be over. Those last six songs were like penance. Thankfully, subsequent listens were never as bad as this.
I love when hip-hop artists sing badly. For example, the rough vocals on Playboi Carti’s ‘Whole Lotta Red’ and Jonatan Leandoer96’s ‘Nectar’ communicate emotion and vulnerability well, while simultaneously scaring people off when played at a function.
Perhaps that’s why I kind of unironically love Falling Back. I can’t argue that Drake’s strained refrains of ‘how do I feel’ and ‘falling back on me’ are good or entirely work, but they’re funny and I like them. Song of the summer right here and I’ll die on this hill. The track begins with a jump-scare, clattering into existence after the short sweet instrumental Intro. For an album that flows gently from one track to next, I have no idea why this first transition is so incredibly bad, but it’s hilarious.
The goodwill and vibe somewhat continue onto the next track Texts Go Green (although the techno drum beat occasionally does my head in). This positivity doesn’t last and the only thing I’ll say about the bed-squeaking beat on Currents is that Lil Ugly Mane did it first – twice: Looking 4 tha Sucking [YouTube] and Bedtime [YouTube]. A Keeper is fine, Sticky is decent, if a bit gross, but it’s not until Massive (a whole eight tracks in) that we actually have a club banger delivering on the album conceit. Yet I’ll admit, it goes hard.
We’re so starved that it’s just nice to finally hear someone trying
After that, it’s a mostly undiscernible blob of chill beats and Drake’s low-effort muttering until the abomination Liability and the final track Jimmy Cooks, starring the album’s only feature 21 Savage. At this point, we’re so starved that it’s just nice to finally hear someone trying. This song returns to the trap stylings of previous albums, proving Drake wasn’t even fully committed to making a dance album; it’s also the most-streamed track here, so his fans clearly aren’t interested in this change of sound either.
All in all, ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ amounts to two or three good tracks, one small instrumental I can add to my ambient playlist, and a whole load of skips. Honestly, don’t bother.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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