“You don’t feel nothing.”
Drake has released so many projects at this point that I’ve lost count. I’ve also lost the ability to get excited about them. “Falling Back” wasn’t trying to sum up my feelings about Drake any more than it was yours, but somehow it did anyway. When he repeatedly croons to a lover that she’s “falling back on me” that’s just how it feels. We know Aubrey Drake Graham. We know exactly what he’s about. We know this sound, we know this style, we know this man. We’re falling back into the exact same place we’ve been before. This is not musical evolution for him or for us. You could drive down this road blindfolded and reach the destination without crashing once.
I’m also over being mad at Drake for crooning more than he raps on an album. The immediate social media reaction when this dropped on Friday was that he was “trolling.” Nah. This is just what Drake wants to do. If it’s trolling to make whatever you want without caring, then maybe you can call it trolling, but I don’t think he’s purposefully doing it to make people angry. The squeaky bed sounds of “Currents” make me angry, but that’s not Mr. Graham’s doing. That’s the production from Black Coffee and Carnage.
“Honestly, Nevermind” is probably best described as neo soul or house music. It’s not rap. It’s a stop watch, not a Roley, and the seconds until it stops are ticking by twice as fast. 40 and Black Coffee’s “Overdrive” is the prototype for this version of Drake. He talks about the heartache of his relationships, the bass pulses seductively, and if you close your eyes you can see people moving to the beat in a dark night club. Keep them closed. You can smell the combination of liquor, sweat, cologne and sex. This is music for people to get their freak on. Drake’s presence is almost irrelevant to the intention of the instrumentation.
Sometimes it gets weird though. “Liability” sounds like he took the entire track and slowed it down 50%, then pitched it down a few octaves. He keeps talking about a woman “playing with my emotions” and “dancing in the club to our song,” but these are the same sentiments he’d offer on a normal song at the normal tempo. The content didn’t change, he just screwed the song without chopping it. Repeat a few of these bars with the sampler of your choice and the chop is done. “Calling me daddy, I taught you things a father couldn’t teach.” Well I don’t know who wants the lesson. If you want the rapping though look for the Tay Keith and friends produced “Jimmy Cooks” featuring 21 Savage.
More often than not though it’s warbling vocals like “Oh baby I’m feeling all sort of things/I never wanna see you ever leave/Baby I’ll take you to my family… change your name… oh baby!!” If you’re an alpha type who doesn’t like men showing emotional vulnerability, then “Tie That Binds” isn’t for you. In fact this album isn’t for you. In fact Drake probably isn’t for you. The older he gets the more tremulous his vocals and emotional state become.
Saying I hate “Honestly, Nevermind” would be entirely incorrect. Saying the album’s title sums up how I feel about it would be entirely correct. Honestly? Never mind. This is not an important album. Drake breaks no new ground here, and retreads the same tales of love and regret so many times that the songs bleed together. If you just want background music for making love, this is your album. If you want to have your imagination captured by fantastic tales or be taken on an emotional roller coaster, don’t bother. There are no highs or lows here. We’re on medium the whole time. Never mind the bollocks. This is music to fire off a few pistol rounds in bed.