After a few push backs, the long-awaited third album from Drake, Nothing Was The Same, is finally here. Drake declared this album to be a “reflective” album, hence why the two album covers show a much younger Drake staring at the man he is now. Even though I am not the biggest Drake fan, I was excited to hear this body of work. But after first listen to it, I was not too pleased. This album, sonically, is nothing like his previous material, which is kind of a good thing if you are the type of listener that encourages variety in sound. However, if you are expecting a Take Care part two, or something greater, you are in for a different ride.
Drake was right, this is a reflective album; but then again his previous albums (Thank Me Later, and Take Care) follow the same reflective, personal theme. The fact that he is so open in his music is one reason why he has such a huge following. He even gets a little too personal on a couple songs. On the song “From Time”, he mentions the names of some old girlfriends including one that worked at Hooters on “Peachtree”. Also on the song “Too Much” he talks about issues that surround his family. I have no problems with Drake being introspective because not a lot of rappers follow the same pattern.
One problem with this album is the fact that majority of it sounds the same. From “Tuscan Leather” to “Pound Cake/Paris Moton Music 2”, every song feels like the same tempo; each song gave me the same feeling, which is something that did not happen with Take Care or TML. Honestly, this is an album you can play on a late night drive; music that is smooth enough to make you think about life. Hey, maybe Drake intended it to be this way. But needless to say, I just found it boring. Don’t get me wrong, 40 did an excellent job as always with the production, minus “305 To My City”. However, there are not any real radio singles on this record besides the two already released (“Started From The Bottom” and “Hold On We’re Going Home”). As oppose to Take Care which had songs like “HYFR”, “Headlines”, and “Make Me Proud” to name a few. He did say “This is nothing for the radio” in the intro, so it makes sense.
My main problem with this album, and the number one reason why I am not a huge Drake supporter, is he…keeps…singing! This guy can not sing, and that is evident by how he struggles to hit notes on all of his “R&B-ish” songs. Good thing is, there are only two songs, three if you include the deluxe edition, that are straight singing (“Own It”,”Hold On We’re Going Home”, “Come Thru”); but all three of them are just dreadful. Unfortunately, he will probably never give us a straight rap album; which is sad because he really is a talented rapper.
I was hoping this album would grow on me like Take Care did, but it just failed to do so. However, there a few songs that I thoroughly enjoyed: “Furthest Thing”, “Started From The Bottom”, “Wu Tang Forever” (this song grew on me), “Connect”, “Too Much”, and “Pound Cake”. My favorite part on the whole album though, was Jay Z’s second verse on “Pound Cake”; that “Beanie Sigel” line even had me in my feelings.
Overall, this was a boring album and Drake should stay away from singing.