Album Review: Honestly Nevermind

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Album Review: Honestly Nevermind

Drake is known for writing songs that have staying power, from "One Dance" and "Hotline Bling" to "God's Plan" and "Nice for What," but even so, the spirit of Honestly, Nevermind is still incredibly contagious.


Drake has also changed the way he builds albums in preparation for the first public demonstration of his new sound. Honestly, Nevermind, the Toronto artist's shortest studio album, clocks in at 52 and a half minutes. Even when all of his mixtapes, compilations, and other side projects are taken into account, however, Honestly Nevermind still ranks as his second-shortest full-length project to date, just behind 2020's Dark Lane Demo Tapes. The slow-burning, bar-heavy beginning that had become a trademark of his discography is also no longer present.


The absence of guest features is another issue. Except for Certified Lover Boy, Drake has typically featured seven guests each studio album, but with Honestly, Nevermind, the Grammy-winning artist is only one track away from pulling off a J. Cole.


In a very Yeezus-like move, Drake ends his seventh studio album by forgoing his unique recording and rewarding devoted followers with the lone straight-up rap track on Honestly, Nevermind: the explosive "Jimmy Cooks," which features 21 Savage. More of Drake's standard album moves, such as placing a major single near the top of the tracklist and ending the album with a bombastic lyrical spree, are also missing from Honestly, Nevermind, which is one of the reasons it feels like the most recent Drake album in a very long time.


But mistakes are inevitable when taking risks, and Drake is to blame for the biggest one. Drizzy's vocals remain a mixed bag throughout Honestly, Nevermind, particularly on "Texts Go Green," "Ties That Bind," and the previously mentioned "Falling Back," even though his melodies and lyrics continue to be admirably solid. Thankfully, none of his performances are as blatant or jarring as "F*****g Fans" from Certified Lover Boy, and because the melodies are so captivating, fans will probably wind themselves singing over Drake nevertheless.


Another thing to consider is that the production truly carries this song, perhaps even more so than beats are doing for today's prominent Hip-Hop performers. This isn't necessarily a compliment or a criticism. With the listener already engaged, Drake is free to experiment as he sees fit, whether that means repeatedly yelling "Your pussy is calling my name/So come on, baby, let's stop playing games" on "Calling My Name" or going full chopped and screwed on "Liability." The production is what makes Honestly, Nevermind so fascinating, despite some patches of incredibly primitive drum patterns.


In spite of the fact that Honestly, Nevermind is not a hip-hop album as some fans had anticipated, Drake's brief journey into dance music is a masterpiece in which he channels the energizing creative spirit of his well-regarded side projects and loosies. His seventh studio album is full of captivating songs that get better and better with each listen. It is without a doubt his most fluid and flawless record since Nothing Was The Same. One thing is certain right now, but only time will tell if this surprising record has the potential to rise to the top of Drake's extensive discography. Honestly, Nevermind is neither of those things, and regardless of whether you love it or hate it, Drake's studio albums have been criticized for sounding uninspired and formulaic for more than half a decade.

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