Up until recently, I only really knew three things about Drake. One, he sold and/or streamed a ton of songs in the past decade. Two, he really likes basketball, and three, I have always known him primarily for his song “Hotline Bling”, which has been a favorite of mine since it was released. When I started listening to his 2016 album “Views”, I didn’t know that this would be the record where I was reunited with “Hotline Bling”, but I’m glad it was. In general, I think I enjoyed this record more than the last one we discussed, “Take Care”. It is still primarily low-fi R&B with a hip-hop flavor, and there are some pretty dark songs on here about relationship failures and breakdowns, but I enjoyed this album more than I expected.
The record opens with a solid vibe, on the song “Keep the Family Close”. It starts off with a pretty light and chill feel, but both words and music get much more intense as the song builds. “Feel No Ways” has a phenomenal beat, and looking back, I’m very surprised this catchy tune wasn’t one of the five singles from the record. For obvious reasons, I definitely feel an affinity for “Weston Road Flows”, and it has a fairly hypnotic back-track sample that feeds into Drake’s hip-hop side. “With You” features another Canadian R&B singer, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and I really enjoyed the blend of their vocals and the songwriting on this track.
“Hotline Bling” brings back some funny memories laughing at and enjoying this song at the same time. It even provided the fuel for one of the more bizarre covers by my favorite glam rock band, the Struts. It remains the most memorable standout song of this record, and one of my favorite songs of the last ten years. I’m glad I got another dose of Drake, and I’m sure I will be giving him a few more streams on my playlist, as if he needs any more commercial success.
“I know when that hotline bling, that can only mean one thing…”