Nothing Was The Same
Young Money Records/Warner
On the gorgeous Connect, Degrassi’s most famous alumnus quotes an old flame as saying ‘You can be whoever you want, even yourself’. It’s a key line, because this seems to be something Drake struggles with. When he sings (beautifully, as it happens) about his various contradictions and romantic wrongdoings on Furthest Thing it’s not clear if he’s confessing or bragging. Regardless, one wonders how many times he can return to that subject and expect us to care.
Drake’s never been a thug, but he bristles at any implication he’s soft, hence the belligerence of Tuscan Leather and Started From The Bottom. But naming a song Wu Tang Forever which contains (save for a sample of It’s Yourz) hardly a mention of the hip hop royalty and instead delivers another moody come on does nothing for his cred.
Drake’s emphasis on biography over storytelling can be narrowing. If he keeps producing records this good (and it is really good; soulful and hooky and pleasing from top to bottom), few heads could find much to complain about. But they might wonder why a man of his talent and insight never attempted anything grander.
_ CHARLIE LEWIS