Dedicating his new album to his upbringing and success, Drake takes  a view of the past and shows appreciation for his city and friends in ‘Views’, his fourth studio album. ‘Views’ is a followup to his 2015 mixtape, ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’.

Very much like ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’, ‘Views’ begins on a high note, then free-falls in the second half. The first few tracks, including the unorthodox ‘Keep The Family Close’, are very strong, with Drake delving deep into topics such as his city, previous relationships and his success in the music industry. While the subject matter is typical for Drake, the tone and feeling of the first six tracks are diverse, but keeps a consistent sound. For example, in the second track ‘9’, Drake uses a somber delivery over an atmospheric trap influenced instrumental, while in the next song, ‘U With Me’, he brings up his vocal range and emotion to deliver a compelling anthem over another atmospheric instrumental. The first half of ‘Views’ could be considered Drake’s best work, as he takes influence from himself, and cohesively conveys his message, while keeping a consistent tone.

In the second half of the album, starting with ‘Still Here’, the quality of the album plummets, similarly to ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’. The consistent, atmospheric, reminiscent tone Drake previously established is completely lost, and replaced with a polished, dance hall sound, as seen in singles like ‘One Dance’ and ‘Controlla’. This would be less distasteful if this sound was established from the beginning of the album, however, introducing it halfway through the album “dedicated to reminiscing”, didn’t seem like the right place. Songs  like ‘Grammys’ featuring Future sounds like a ‘What a Time To Be Alive’ leftover, and  manages to sound exactly the same as ‘Still Here’, making this song an example of repetitive filler.

‘Pop Style’, formerly featuring Kanye West, the other single that dropped before the album’s release, was not bad. However, Drake took Yeezy off of the album version of the song, which was disappointing as Kanye was the highlight of the track. Furthermore, ‘Summer’s Over Interlude’ is easily the most confusing and out of place track on ‘Views’. We’re introduced to another completely different sound, that has no presence anywhere else on the album, or even in Drake’s career. Not to mention, Drake isn’t even on it. Why is it here?

If you can make it through those tracks, the album finishes well with the title track, ‘Views’. This track sounds reminiscent to ‘Weston Road Flows’, which was in the first half of the album. Atmospheric production with aggressive delivery by Drake makes a good conclusion to a decent project. Oh, and ‘Hotline Bling’ was a bonus track, in case you haven’t heard that one yet.

To get a student perspective on the album, we asked Oakdale High School students what they thought about the album. “This is the worst Drake album yet by far, I wasn’t feeling it”, says Oakdale High School senior Will Houston.

Another OHS Senior, Will Kent, stated “Views is nice, and definitely better than his last [album]”. Clearly, opinions at Oakdale are mixed.

‘Views’ pulls from all of Drake’s previous albums, and brings some new elements. For example, ‘Take Care’ is heard in ‘U With Me’ with the organ instrumentation, and ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’ is seen in ‘9’, and ‘Redemption’. Of course, Drake also features his older styles which brought him fame, in tracks like ‘Faithful’ and ‘Weston Road Flows’. With this knowledge, it is illogical to expect ‘Views’ to sound linear and consistent, but that doesn’t mean a second half of non-sensical incohesive filler material is acceptable. If you’re a Drake fan, especially a fan of his newer singles including the poppy ‘Hotline Bling’ and playful ‘One Dance’, then you should feel a bit more comfortable with purchasing this album in its entirety, as that sound dominates the second half. If you prefer a more somber, reminiscent, moody Drake as seen in, well, every other Drake project, then the second half of this album is probably not for you, and you may want to preview tracks before buying. The album felt more complete by turning it off after ‘Redemption’.