Drake’s ‘More Life’: a Review

more life
Photo: Complex

‘More Life’ is the ultimate proof that Drake won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Released as a playlist and lasting for about 20 minutes ‘More Life’ is a mix of island, dancehall and reggae combined with a bold statement of UK hip hop, grime scene vibes.

This album has a number of noteworthy collaborations, including Nai Palm, Jorja Smith, Skepta, Sampha, Giggs, Black Coffee, Quavo, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, Young Thug, Kanye West, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Snoh Alegra.

Now considering the album contains 22 songs, I have only picked a few favourites to review so here we go:

‘Free Smoke’

Opening with the raw and soulful vocals from very own Aussie girl Nai Palm from Melbourne group Hiatus Kayoti. The vocals themselves are actually sampled from Hiatus’ track ‘Building A Ladder’, who would have thought Aussie music talent would open a Drake album…. #proud

As the song progresses with clangs of high-pitch bells and a piano fused with a heavy bass makes it almost sound like a phone ringtone. Although the instrumental is rather simple this allows for Drake’s fast-paced rap and bold lyrics to stand-out in true Drake style.

‘Passionfruit’

Upon first listening to this track it instantly has that 70’s beachy vibe about it. Honestly, when I first heard Moodymann’s intro I felt as if he sounded of an fast-tracked version of an older Drake in the future, weird I know or is it just me?

Anyway, there is a rather long introduction whilst waiting for the song to build however it is appropriately fitting alongside the lyrics which emphasise a distanced relationship. Drake’s melodic vocals alongside the fruity yet mellow instrumentals creates for a perfect romantic easygoing tune.

‘Jorja Interlude’

Well…. this is one of my favourites! What is it with Drake interludes, I swear to god they are always amazing (think back to ‘CeCe’s Interlude’ on ‘Thank Me Later’).

This song is almost like really lit elevator music that just puts you in this trance to keep listening and never leave. Jorja’s vocals are so angelic and dreamy as she sings “when you see them fall down but you pick ’em up”. Then Drake’s rap verse focusing on rejection and love just connects nicely, yep I’m just gonna keep this one on repeat…

‘Get It Together’ feat. Black Coffee & Jorja Smith

Another heavy percussive track which has this really likeable vibe. Once again the track features the beautiful soulful voice of Jorja Smith and makes you feel as if you are on a holiday by the beachside. Even more noteworthy is the trickling and responsive piano to Jorja’s and Drake’s vocals really showcasing the thought behind the song’s construction.

‘Madiba Riddim’

This is just an ultimate feel good track. With its groovy dancehall vibes how can you not get up and dance to this, seriously! In particular, those claps accompanied with a groovy electric guitar set at just the right volume alongside Drake’s dancehall-inspired vocals make this the ultimate dance track.

‘Blem’

This track follows on rather nicely from ‘Madiba Riddim’ with its snare, subtle synth effects and clicking percussion. The lyrical composition is so catchy, flowing and rhyming so smoothly, “Don’t switch up on me, I got big plans, we need to forward to the islands and get you on fake tans”.

Also for those who are unaware, ‘blem’ is essentially a situation of being high on weed which essentially enables Drake to be fully sincere with the woman he’s singing to, making you question whether this is actually ‘real love’. The track then later concludes and interpolates with Lionel Richie’s ‘All Night Long’.

‘4422’

So happy to see Sampha appear once again on a Drake album since those ‘Nothing Was The Same’ days. Now, if you’ve listened to Sampha’s latest ‘Process’ album you’ll definitely understand what I mean when I say this song has that ‘Sampha-feel’, in other words I love this!

‘Portland’ feat Travis Scott & Quavo

Bring baaack the almighty flute! Seriously, who knew the flute could sound so simple yet so good. Quavo starts off with his verse moving through the track smoothly and transitioning nicely into Travis’ verse.  I don’t know if its just me but I feel the track definitely has that Travis Scott touch with its heavy bass-line which amplifies as Travis enters into his verse which includes classic Hennessy mentions.

‘Teenage Fever’

Definitely feeling some old-school vibes in this song but with a modern touch. Personally, I also feel the song has this kind of karaoke vibe as well that takes you back to your first teenage puppy-love.

Alongside a rather serious but nostalgic synth and bass-line, Drake actually confronts some pretty serious love questions in his lyrics as he sings “if you have my love, and I gave you all my trust, would you comfort me”.

‘Do Not Disturb’

This is the final track of the album and one of my favourites. Opening with the warped yet sweet vocals of Snoh Alegra. Drake has definitely shone the light on some stunning female talent in this album, starting and finishing on epic female vocalists.

L.A. based Swedish musician Snoh Alegra’s vocals featured on this track are sampled from her newly released single ‘Time’ from Alegra’s upcoming Feels project due in April. Alegra told FADER that the song connected with Drake’s ‘More Life’ due to the fact that ‘Time’ was about her not having enough time with her deceased dad fit well with Drake’s album cover focusing on celebrating his dad.

I feel as if this track finishes with some of Drake’s most real and reflective lyrics which he sums up quite nicely in this particular verse, “the last verse is always like surgery, trynna’ let go of anything that will burden me”.

Overall, Drake has definitely turned things up a notch from his ‘Views’ album. Honestly, I wasn’t to sure about the whole exclusive playlist release on Apple Radio but this album definitely has given listeners a taste of some of Drake’s biggest inspirations and I feel has also shown us a different side of Drake we have been anticipating to hear.

Buy Drake’s ‘More Life’ on Itunes here.

 

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