Views had Drake in a place he hadn’t been before. No, not atop the CN Tower, but below critical acclaim. Despite being his most successful album by a considerable margin, it was also his most ridiculed. (I would say “polarizing” but it’s hard to find someone who liked the whole thing.) While “Hotline Bling,” “One Dance,” “Controlla,” and “Too Good” ruled radio from the latter part of 2015 through all of 2016, the consensus was Drake had reached such rarified air he lost sight of the smaller details that made Take Care, Nothing Was the Same and If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late essential listens. For his latest project, the playlist (don’t call it an album) More Life, Drake is back in the thick of it, using the past year’s slights to fuel his most inspired project since Nothing Was the Same.
He genre-hops throughout the album’s first half-hour, and that section’s “Passionfruit” features Drake in the mode that fits him best. His vocals find him somewhere between “Find Your Love” and “Furthest Thing,” while the tropical beat fits in line with the aesthetic he’s held onto since “Hotline Bling” erupted a year and a half ago. And apparently it turns Passengers into a good movie, so there’s that, too. Later on, “Lose You” fits into both worlds Drake inhabits – his crooner side married to his lucid raps. Amid sparse piano keys and swirling synths, Drake looks for what he let slip away. “Did I lose you,” he questions his audience, and whether he’s talking about his foray into more explicitly Top 40 fare or the fact that “Lose You” arrives some 45+ minutes into his playlist – with another 30 to go – by the time More Life concludes, we’re all back on the same page.