5 takeaways from Drake’s new album “Honestly, Nevermind”

Drake has been on a rampage and this comedown sounds tough.

Just nine months after the release of his sixth album, the chart-topping hit is back with his seventh, Honestly, Nevermind. While its sleazy gothic cover looks like a Foos Gone Wild meme, this surprise-released 14-track album is an unusual experiment for a genre-bending superstar. It’s almost entirely a non-stop club record, with deep house music laced with his trademark malaise.

It’s actually the first dance album from the COVID era Sounds like flu at a warehouse party. It will probably be the most controversial album of his career.

Honestly, Nevermind reunites him with longtime collaborators Noah “40” Shebib, Oliver El-Khatib, engineer Noel Cadastre and South African house innovator Black Coffee.

Some first impressions:

1. These are his tears in the club record.
Yes, every Drake record is about being rich and sad in the VIP area at 4am, but “Honestly, Nevermind” sounds like he’s jiggling on ketamine at Berlin’s Panorama Bar. The Black Coffee influence is strong, all relentless four-on-the-floor and filter-scrubbed synth chords. Everything hovers around 125 BPM apart from the rare, riveting moments of hard techno on “Sticky”, jersey club on “Currents” and the Mr. Fingers/Frankie Knuckles-style Chicago house stabs of “Massive”.

2. So is he into house music?
Drake is pop music’s most famous genre invader – from UK grime to drill to afrobeats and Jamaican dub patois. It’s such a fundamental part of his overall deal that it’s hard to even rap him for it (plus, for a then-rising artist like Wizkid, the uplift was real and huge). But this is the first time he’s dug his roots and boughs into a decades-old genre he’d only glimpsed before.

3. It’s pretty abysmal, even by Drake standards.
The recent disco explosion in pop brought effervescence and bounce to the top 40. So making the album’s first proper track a downtempo deep house tune, where the main hook is minute for minute, is definitely a contrarian decision for Drake minute consists of sad vocoder vocals and lyrics like “time doesn’t heal / time reveals / how do you feel / you feel nothing.” But on “Sticky” there’s a sweet sample of the late Virgil Abloh (another house musician ).

4. Whatever that breakup was, it ruined it.
Drake has always been conspicuously ruthless on his breakup tracks, but whoever “Texts Go Green” is dealing with, he’s stalking them with extra-strong venom. “If I were you, I would hate myself,” he sings. “For some reason I believed in you.”

5. He wrote at least one song following the Young Thug charge.
After a dozen tracks of incoherent romp, Drake finally gets his blood pressure pumping with “Jimmy Cooks,” an old-school Drake rap song with a guest verse from 21 Savage — the only billed cameo on the album’s tracklist. The line “Hoes say I’m suave, but I can’t get RICO’d” lands just as Young Thug and Gunna went to prison on conspiracy charges (Drake also says “Free Big Slime out the Cage” on “Sticky”) . After all that Lexapro-glazed Warehouse music, “Honestly, Nevermind” kicks off with a rage.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2022-06-16/drake-honestly-nevermind-sadboi-rave-album 5 takeaways from Drake’s new album “Honestly, Nevermind”

Sarah Ridley

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