More Life features more than enough songs on this "playlist".Young Money Entertainment / Cash Money Records / Republic Records, 2017
7.5 / 10
Drake is changing the game on his latest release, More Life. Rather than refer to it as an album, he’s calling it a “playlist.” This move is unprecedented. Some artists have called albums mixtapes, but now playlists? That’s innovative. Drake must have put these songs together via the Spotify app in his mind. Okay, I’m ditching the sarcasm now. Drake’s new release that he’s calling a “playlist” seemingly fits this label with standalone songs from other artists. Sampha has a song on More Life. UK Grime musician Skepta does as well. But aside from those two tracks, Drake is all over More Life along with a cavalcade of guests.
More Life is stuffed heavy when it could stand to drop some pounds. But since this is technically a playlist, its 22-song track list is justified. Even the most hardcore Drake fans will probably fatigue after hearing his repeated themes. These include: being the greatest rapper alive, relationships with lovers and friends, and having lots of money. Unfortunately, the album’s themes don’t aspire for the same innovation as the album’s “playlist” designation. Still, in Drake’s capable hands, he’s able to mold these songs to where they’re creative, and some are extremely catchy.
One such catchy song is “Passionfruit”. It immediately stands out as something different with its DJ Moodyman intro. Drake pushes aside his passion for rap to sing over an intoxicating, sexy synth melody. In the song, Drake sings about the difficulty in maintaining a long-distance relationship. It’s the chorus that hooks you, “Passionate from miles away/ Passive with the things you say/ Passin’ up on my old ways/ I can’t blame you, no, no.” Drake trades sensitivity for aggression on “Can’t Have Everything” where he gives warning to anyone calling him out. Drake’s flow is as focused as a laser as he takes subtle shots at Meek Mill and Pusha T. Beef; it’s what’s for dinner.
“Teenage Fever” also stands out on More Life for sampling Jennifer Lopez’s “If You Had My Love”. Now call me behind on the times, but I had no clue until this release that Drake had dated J-Lo. Apparently, the singer/actress was Drake’s teenage crush. But he’s Drake, so he gets to date her and write a song about her. Oh, what a life. Sing me another sad song, Drake, and I’ll try to relate.
Obviously, Drake’s woes can be a little tough to take seriously; though, he does a good job of selling them on More Life’s closing track “Do Not Disturb”. He refers to his lack of privacy, “Scary whenever I close my eyes at night/ Wakin’ up to public statements about my private life.” But that seems like a given. Especially when he follows up by saying, “My life is centered ’round competition and currency.” Perhaps Drake’s most legitimate competition is Kendrick Lamar, who is rumored to have a new album arriving soon. Sure, More Life is good and some songs are great. But if “HUMBLE.” is a good indicator of Kendrick’s new album, More Life will be listened to more less.