Drake follows the current trend that other artist are doing: no promo, and then surprising the internet with a full-length project. He just released “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”, a 17 song mixtape/album. (Download link)
After listening to it about twenty times, in the span of 24 hours, it’s time to give it a review.
For starters, the CD is called “If You’re Reading To This It’s Too Late”. Between that long-unneeded title and the cover1, there’s not much there to be impressed with. Both of these—as well as not making it clear whether it’s a mixtape or an album—hurt the value of this project. It lacks clarity and focus. I’d prefer not to mention the name of this mixtape/album again, and I even had to go look at what it was called again before writing this paragraph (I couldn’t remember it). That’s not a way to make something rememberable. Not a big deal when you’re listening, but when building the entire package, it didn’t give off a good first impression.
Now on to the music: nothing about this album was mind-blowing. But there’s also not one weak song on the album either. It’s very solid, with a consistent vibe through all 17 tracks. The production stayed true to what keeps Drake at his best: production with breathing room for venting. His producer 40 likes to keep things to a minimum. Nothing is overdone. That’s something I always enjoy with Drake’s songs, the subtleties are always a breath of fresh air—especially compared to most obnoxious rap beats.
I loved all the hooks and all the verses. I loved all the beats. Even the features were in good places and not overdone. All the different topics he covered were enjoyable, and I found myself relating to each of them, which is usually the case with Drake.
But as much as I enjoyed the album, nothing wowed me. There were no chances taken. He played it safe and didn’t attempt to make any hits (those hits are probably stashed away for the big album coming later this year). In that case, I believe he accomplished what he set out to do with this project: give the world a solid collection of songs, to hold them over, as he finishes ‘Views From The 6’, his next big album.