Review: Drake – Nothing Was the Same
Published on September 25th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
To be fair, Drake does have another setting; ‘sad face’ breakup mode. That’s sad face as in smile-downturned smiley, sad-looking emoticon, rather than anything complex or thought-provoking like a clown shedding a single, drooping tear.
You see, Nothing Was the Same frequently runs into passages where presumably you’re meant to empathise with Drake, but this just isn’t possible unless you’re either a top footballer or a fellow rap star.
These passages are always framed by his glamorous lifestyle, which he’s sure to remind us of even when he appears to be trying to present it as in some way meaningless (“I still been drinkin’ on the low / Mobbin’ on the low / Fuckin’ on the low / Smokin’ on the low”).
It’s a shame that the lyrical content is so vapid because the production is more often than not strong, especially the grinding beat on the Mike Zombie-produced “Started from the Bottom”.
His technique and flow are alright too, but you suspect at times that he’s trying a little too hard to be Kendrick Lamar…and Kendrick Lamar he most certainly ain’t.
Nothing Was the Same is perhaps best summed up by “Own It” and “305 to My City”, both of which grasp for darkness and edginess but can’t conceal Drake’s lingering eagerness to indulge in whiny modern R&B emoting.
In that respect it’s an effective bridge between the worlds of artistic credibility and commercial box-ticking – more so than the grossly overrated recent Justin Timberlake album, anyway – but it still amounts to much the same as slapping an adult-looking cover around a Harry Potter book.
You know, but with much less magic.
Nothing Was the Same is out now on Cash Money Records.
Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!