After much anticipation, public online beef with Kanye West, and a controversial album cover reveal later (seriously- what is that cover?), Certified Lover Boy is here for our listening pleasure. Full disclosure; I absolutely love Aubrey Drake Graham. I have been a fan since I was 13 years old and there is a Drake song for every major era of my life. So at first it was hard to put that aside and listen to this album objectively. But, after listening for the last month (I’ve listened all the way through at least 20 times) I have come to the conclusion that; it’s a really good album, but not a great one.
Drake is never going to make a bad album. He and his producer Noah “40” Shebib don’t have it in them to make a BAD album. But, for the last decade, Drake has been the innovator in the rap game. He’s genre bended, experimented with different music styles and sounds from all over the world, and gave us greatness time and time again. This album didn’t meet those standards, it’s a good album and I enjoy it, but he didn’t quite deliver on the expectations we had. CLB is regurgitated beats and flows from his previous works, but to be fair- his previous works are great. We got more of the same when we typically expect amazing and trendsetting newness from Aubrey. That being said, I love the album and listen to something from it every day. So here are my top five songs off of Certified Lover Boy:
5. Fair Trade– This should’ve been the album single. “I’ve been losing friends and finding peace” is a bar that many of us relate to, and will be captioning our instagram photos with. Also, “the dirt that they threw on my name turned to soil and I grew up out it,” is now one of my favorite motivational Drake lyrics. If that doesn’t make you want to wake up and crush the souls of your enemies with your success then I don’t know what will.
4. Champagne Poetry– What a great way to start such a highly anticipated album. The samples and harmonies are such a beautiful welcome to something we’ve been so excited to hear. The switch half way through is seamlessly done, two great songs in one.
3. Pipe Down– I love a good, petty, hurt, Drake song. He is a man scorned in this and he is not holding back. “If it was ride or die, you should’ve been dead right now,” wheeeeew! Who hurt you, Aubrey?! Beautiful production on this song as well. Solid beat, great melody. The best song on the album to scream-sing in your car when you’re driving alone.
2. You Only Live Twice– Rick Ross goes on a Drake song like pineapple goes on pizza (it’s delicious, I don’t care if you disagree.) Drake’s verse is great but then we get Lil Wayne with the best feature on this entire album. Drake and Wayne together create such a beautiful nostalgia for a time before many of us had student loans and unmitigated anxiety to deal with. The sounds of simpler days.
1. Race My Mind– This is the most underrated song on the album and it’s the best one hands down. The HARP??? That harp makes me feel like I’m ascending into the heavens while being serenaded by Drake’s vocals and honestly, if that’s not what happens to me after the sweet kiss of death then I want a refund on this life. This song is special. A singing Drake, pleading with his love to give him more time and affection. A classic Drake ballad. You all owe Race My Mind some respect.
What do you think of this list? What are your favorites? Let us know!