Drake – Nothing Was The Same (Album Review)

Drake - Nothing Was The Same (Album Review)

The difference between one “mainstream” artist and one that isn’t necessarily labeled in the same light is usually a formula involving familiarity and sales. Once you can mention an artist to a casual fan of a certain genre (or even another genre) and find a significant level of recognition, it speaks for itself. We know this to be true with Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham… but you know that already.

We’re familiar with Drake‘s success.  It’s inescapable if you’re familiar with the world of Hip-Hop. From his ability to create infectious melodies laced with emotion to building his brand, Drake is a powerhouse. Establishing OVO Fest as one of the most anticipated concert experiences with each presentation, and competing with artists he calls legends. A force to be reckoned with at 26, you have to question who is in competition with Drake at this point in his career. Simply put, if nothing else… there are his own objectives. Drake aspires to be more than just the best in the genre, he desires to be a greater entertainer. To be better than those he idolized and beyond. With that said, at the Grammys (where he checked another goal off of his list), Drake revealed the project’s title and from there, the questions began to make themselves relevant. Is Drake capable of creating the legacy he so desperately wants to build? Or will he finally reach a truly humbling moment in his career? These questions meet evidence in favor of his soaring aspirations with his third album, Nothing Was The Same.

Drake   Nothing Was The Same (Album Review)

The album kicks off with the distorted yet soulful trio known as Tuscan Leather. The track breaks itself down into 3 similar yet easily different tracks, in which Drake takes stabs at each. Breaking down his view from the top, there’s a couple risks taken here that aren’t necessarily utilized often. The various forms of delivery and the beat breaking down combine to create easily one of the noteworthy pieces of the project. Its importance proves to be relevant considering it represents the theme of the entire project: risk versus reward.

Emotional vulnerability is sacrificed here in lieu of experience, delivered through undeniable reality. The concept is one that is dangerous at the very least, being more of a step away from what Drake is privy to, based on his previous work. It’s a step towards the actions of legends he more than likely wants to surpass (e.g. Jay Z), expressing more facts than opinion and it certainly pays off, hitting more often than not. Speaking of Jay Z, his assistance on “Pound Cake” was fitting, Hov bringing his MCHG mentality to Drake’s project for a lively appearance.

Tracks like the controversial “Wu-Tang Forever”, “Worst Behavior” and a couple others sound off in favor of the previous outlook but that doesn’t prevent Drake from utilizing his niche to putting you in your emotions. Aubrey is still pulling at your heartstrings with his go-to producer 40 by his side. We can applaud them this time around however, for the variety. When Drake released “Started from the Bottom” to the masses as his lead single it didn’t sound like anything else at the time, and this project doesn’t sound similar to anything circulating currently, to its benefit. Drake’s previous albums felt like Drake doing music better than most (if not all) who may be considered his competition at the time of release. This feels like Graham being himself better than those who imitate, minus the few dramatic track switches that isn’t an astonishing new concept as of late. Regardless, OVO’s Orchestrator has managed to do it better than most, if not all. It’s refreshing and refrains from feeling awkward.

As good as Drake’s junior album sounds so far, it does have its setbacks. The album syntax has yet to grow from his debut. Drake’s construction of his work sounds eerily similar, to the degree where you can almost anticipate what kind of track will hit next and when. It’s only slightly harder to detect here due to his increase in chancy attempts, whether it be content or delivery.

Drake’s taken the concept of embracing how susceptible he is and found a fair balance. He’s standing taller and prouder on this project than he ever has, and it shows. He’s still working creatively and he’s remaining selective about what he brings into his world, pacing with his talent and access so that he doesn’t exhaust himself. There’s no rush for that either, as he has very clearly proven that he’s capable of delivering something fantastic without much assistance. There’s nothing like Nothing Was The Same right now. Unfortunately, Drake’s lack of competition really means that he’s the best of our generation currently… by default.

Drake   Nothing Was The Same (Album Review)

Is Drake’s Nothing Was The Same album any good? Review score below.

Drake   Nothing Was The Same (Album Review)

OVERALL: 8.5/10

Pros: Creatively strong, Risks taken pay off often, Less emotional than the predecessor, MASE delivery? Approved and Appreciated.

Cons:
Album Arrangement too similar, Lacking serious lyrical exercise

Timeless Tracks: Tuscan Leather, Worst Behavior, Too Much, Connect

Buy: iTunes | Amazon

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  • Mushdagrt

    Fair review…I agree with the majority of what was said, its a dope album…easily in the top 5 released this year…

    • http://www.rapdose.com/ Kyle Fall

      I’d have rated it a 7 at best.

      • Ace Velásquez

        So you rate Grammy winning Take Care a 6 then? This is Drake’s best work period. No way in hell this comes below Take Care in my opinion.

        • http://www.rapdose.com/ Kyle Fall

          it might be his best pop album but it isn’t his best rap album. the song with the most impact was “Hold On We’re Going Home” and is entirely inspired by Keith Sweat

          • Shultz

            Pop album? lmao. This is easily the best album of the year and it is even better than GOOD kid Madd city. Drake is the best rapper out right now. Yeah he has a soft side that’s what bitches love dude is to versatile.

  • Ace Velásquez

    Cons: album arrangement similar? What do you expect its only 1 DJ producer in Noah “40″ and a few by Boi-1nda collabo. They have their own sound. Lacking serious lyrical exercise? Drake already been telling people he is not going to make an all hiphop album because that’s not him. We already know how great his lyrical arsenal is other songs. 9/10. This is Drake’s best piece of body of work!

  • The1HuKnocks

    Late comment, anyway, i agree with that there wasn’t much serious lyrical exercise, i was disappointed with wu tang forever, i like it for what it is but i expected a track that could be remixed with the whole wu tang clan or something, i’d give it 9/10

    • Faisal

      He has a collaboration with the Clan. Waiting for the right moment to release it.I think a period before he releases his Senior Album..All hail the King though!