Album Review: FOR ALL THE DOGS

Review by: Hudson Pitcock

Artist: Drake

Rating: 3/5

Last June, Drake announced he was working on a new album in an advertisement for his close friend and collaborator Kenza Samir’s poetry book Titles Ruin Everything. In the announcement, Drake referenced a quote from his hit song Headlines: “They say they miss the old Drake, girl don’t tempt me,” teasing this new album would revert to his older music styles, exciting seasoned admirers and casual listeners alike.

However, within 24 hours of its release, its audience score on Google was already at a 2.7 out of 5. Although Drake was still able to deliver a solid tracklist of 23 songs, the album consisted of very few well-crafted songs and had many let-downs that felt like nothing more than filler. Despite the hit-or-miss tracklist, this may have been too harsh of a first reaction. If you can ignore the forgettable songs that didn’t quite provide the high quality music usually expected from Drake, like “Members Only,” or “Another Late Night,” Drake delivers polished rhythms with at times corny lyrics on songs like “Virginia Beach” and “BBL Love (Interlude).” that I can see past to still recognize a good-sounding song.

One of Drake’s best qualities is his ability to feature artists in his songs, giving them most of the glory while still managing to maintain his own presence in his own song. Despite this, on the track featuring rapper Yeat, Drake is outperformed by his guest. Singer SZA’s contribution to “Slime You Out’’ was pivotal to bringing the song to life. Beginning with a sad Drake singing glum lyrics atop a slow, mellow flow, SZA carries listeners to the end of the song with her alluring voice.

The inclusion of so many redundant tracks, like “Away From Home” and “Rich Baby Daddy” is what kept this album from getting a better score from me. A couple of these needless songs were “Away From Home,” a forgettable song in which Drake repeats the line “I remember” too many times, or “Rich Baby Daddy,” whose bawdy lyrics simply weren’t for me.

At its core, FOR ALL THE DOGS is a bulky album with multiple good songs that will grow on me and many other fans as time passes.