“Views” is the fourth studio album by Drake. Three popular singles from the album: “Hotline Bling,” “One Dance” and “Pop Style,” helped build anticipation for “Views.”
Anticipation for the album was building exponentially over two years since it was first announced. The rapper delivered the new project almost immediately after the release of his 2015 mixtape “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” and a collaboration mixtape with Future “What a Time to Be Alive.”
The album highlights everything we have come to love about Drake but in excess. “Views” renders itself too long, especially when some tracks sound like previously heard material, in terms of both instrumentation and subject matter.
The rapper goes for a unique start with “Keep the Family Close,” an elaboration that finds him delivering rhythmic spoken word over fluctuating drums and horns. His obvious trust issues are showing with lines like, “How do you not check on me when things go wrong, Guess I should’ve tried to keep my family closer.”
According to Drake, “Views” follows the sonic trajectory of Toronto’s seasons: a hot summer sandwiched by harsh winters, an interesting angle that he gets set on. The album’s first eight tracks are primarily hollowed out with looming beats. The middle of the album, where “Views” is truly at its best, finds Drake employing his recently acclaimed Caribbean feel.
Drake’s Caribbean vibe in “Controlla,” “One Dance,” “Too Good” with Rihanna and “With You” with PartyNextDoor are sure to be on summer playlists around the globe. Look for this reggae style to catch like wildfire across mainstream rap over the next few months. “Hype,” “Pop Style” and Future-assisted “Grammys” serve as the album’s token turn up tracks.
Casual listeners may be hit with mixed emotions as “Views” comes to an end. The album does exactly what it’s supposed to do, but perhaps not what it should have done in exceeding expectations. Drake delivers a strong album that will undoubtedly get played for months and even years to come, but at this point he should be pushing the boundaries in his music. While he breaks some new ground for himself with the dancehall vibes, the album seemed underwhelming. The Oarsman gives “Views” a 7 out of 10.