Aubrey Drake Graham (aka Drake), has gained widespread popularity for his contributions as a rapper, singer, and songwriter to the music industry. Drake’s latest album—“For All The Dogs”—navigates themes found within his discography while prompting a discussion about the current trajectory of his sound and lyrical content. Some listeners have found the repetitive and uninspiring nature of certain tracks much less innovative compared to previous projects, suggesting a plateau in Drake’s creative direction. So does the album live up to the hype it generated?
“Virginia Beach” was a promising intro to the album, with an extremely soulful and ethereal sample, saying, “I bet your mother would be proud of you;” but this was quickly ruined by the worst 808 (bass) I’ve ever heard in my entire life. I was hoping for powerful drums to carry me into this project, but instead, I received Harley Arsenault’s poor mixing capabilities quietly farting in my ear. Drake’s lyricism on this track was severely lacking as well, relying so much on auto-tuned singing to get his nothing-burger of a story across. The only thing saving this track was the beautiful sample (the reuse of a sound from another recording). I’m gonna have to give this song a 3/10.
“Amen (feat. Teezo Touchdown)” has some of the most beautiful vocals I’ve heard in a long time, which I expected coming from Teezo Touchdown. Drake, on the other hand, delivered an uninspiring spiel about a girl, his money, and cars. With Touchdown’s opening lyrics, this song had a lot of potential for powerful lyricism; instead, we got the same old generic lyrics that are commonly found in today’s pop music. At least the beat was solid, with good mixing and an ear-catching sample. This song is a solid 5/10.
“Calling For You (feat. 21 Savage)” is terrible. The beat sounds like something I would have made five years ago on GarageBand, and the vocals are bland and unpleasant. Drake is way too auto-tuned, and even unintelligible at some points. The beat switch three-quarters of the way into the song was also unnecessary and threw the whole song off. It’s like they just threw a 21 Savage song at the end to extend the length of the track. This song is garbage, 2/10.
“Fear Of Heights” is the first decent song on the album. Though Drake sounds a bit off throughout the track, the beat is hard-hitting and well-mixed (for once). Though I wish the 808 was beefed up slightly, I would maybe add some slight CamelCrusher distortion on the 808 to add some oomph to the song, 6/10.
“Daylight” had so much potential, but the lyrics are corny and annoying. Nardo Wick would have been a great feature on this song because the beat fits his style. The switch to Drake’s son rapping at the end would have been cute if it was its own song, but they keep switching up the beat towards the end of the track, completely ruining it. 5/10.
“First Person Shooter (feat. J. Cole)” might annoy me the most. The rapping isn’t terrible and I like J. Cole’s part, but the beat is repetitive and annoying. If it had a more developed chord progression within the sample, I would’ve liked it more, but it’s so repetitive that I can’t listen to it. 4/10.
“IDGAF (feat. Yeat)” has a beautiful and ethereal intro, but I can’t with the beat switches that come out of nowhere. I don’t understand how someone could sit there and say “Yeah this is hard.” The problem with the vocals can be explained best by Franklin Hip-Hop Literature Teacher, Kawanna Bolden, saying, “When Drake has a featured artist in his song, he tends to try and imitate them.” On this song, it doesn’t work at all. While I like Yeat, Drake’s impersonation of him makes the song sound terrible. 6/10.
“7969 Santa” can be described in two words: ear piercing. The mix is awful. Drake sounds vile, and the beat is so mediocre. I was bored after the first 20 seconds. I don’t have much to say about this track other than that. 2/10.
“Slime You Out (feat. SZA)” would sound so much better if they put more drums in. The samples they used are mixed horribly, leaving the beat dull and uninteresting. Quadron Records Manager 7sunami puts it best, saying “Five producers on the beat and nobody decided to add any drums for most of the song? It’s five minutes long, please for the love of God add some variation.” SZA’s vocals were angelic and soulful, and for once I wasn’t getting ticked off by the sound of Drake’s voice. 6/10.
“Bahamas Promises” is probably one of the better songs on the album. Though a little bit slow, I enjoyed the instrumental with no complaints, and I really liked Drake’s voice on this. The dogs barking towards the end of the song were kind of out of nowhere, but it didn’t deter me too much. 7/10.
“Tried Our Best” is similar to the previous song, but worse. The instrumental is less ear-catching and much more dull. Drake even sounds like a microwave at some points. 5/10.
“Screw The World (Interlude)” is garbage. The bit-crushed master on the song makes it sound awful, and the rapping is so lackluster that I can’t handle it. Completely unlistenable. 1/10.
“Drew A Picasso” is boring but listenable. I didn’t particularly enjoy the excessive amount of reverb on Drake’s vocals, but the beat was good. I liked the sample and the warm rich pad in the background. 5/10.
“Members Only (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR)” might be in the top five worst songs on this album, which is an impressive feat. Both Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR had overly auto-tuned vocals, with poor mixing on top of that. The only thing saving this song is the beat, but it’s still poorly mixed. If you’re gonna use the CTM 808 (commonly used 808 sample), you have to let it punch through the mix; otherwise, it sounds flaccid. 2/10.
“What Would Pluto Do” is decent. I liked that the beat finally had a clean mix, but the drums were a bit empty. While Drake’s vocals were pretty good, at some points he sounded like a microwave again. I’m going to have to give this one a 6/10.
“All The Parties (feat. Chief Keef)” has a genuinely garbage beat. I’m not joking when I say this sounds like something I would have made on my first day of producing. It has the worst drum choices, and the mixing doesn’t exist. Drake slurring his words with auto-tune on top of it didn’t help at all. 1/10.
“8am in Charlotte” was enjoyable. I really liked Drake’s rapping on this. The mixing is solid, and the beat is above average for this album. My one gripe is that I don’t think this song needed to be four minutes long; if they shortened it to 2:30 it would have been perfect. 7/10.
“BBL Love (Interlude)’s” “They say love’s like a BBL, you won’t know if it’s real until you feel one,” might be the corniest bar of all time. The beat is pretty good, but Drake’s bored vocals combined with the garbage lyrical content made me take a break and rethink why I’m writing this article. Terrible, 2/10.
“Gently (feat. Bad Bunny)” just isn’t for me. It’s a very popular style of music, but I’ve never gotten into it. I found myself uninterested, and I’m not a big fan of Bad Bunny, so that didn’t help the track’s case. 5/10.
“Rich Baby Daddy (feat. Sexyy Red & SZA)” is only listenable because it’s funny. I can never take Sexyy Red seriously on a track, and I find myself laughing every time I hear her. Combined with her awful vocal mix and the mediocre beat, I couldn’t stop laughing throughout this song. 3/10.
“Another Late Night (feat. Lil Yachty)” would sound so much better if the beat’s mix wasn’t God awful. Please, can these producers just put a soft clipping plugin on the master and increase the volume of the 808? Yachty’s vocals were decent, and the same goes for Drake. Gonna give this one a 6/10.
“Away From Home” has the same issue as previous tracks — terrible drums. The 808 sounds good, but they needed to add a clap for the bounce that the track’s lacking. Drake’s vocals sound pretty good, but with the lack of energy in this song I can’t help but get extremely bored. 4/10.
“Polar Opposites” is the final track on the album, so how does Drake close it out? Surprisingly, not terribly. The beat was pretty good, and Spacy and Drake’s acappella sounds really clean. I found myself really vibing with this song. Gonna give it an 8/10.
The album “For All the Dogs” is quite different from his typical style. It doesn’t sound good and is like a weak finger flick compared to his other stuff. It lacks depth, consistency, and just creativity overall. I’m gonna give this a 3/10 as an overall score. I guess it’s not for all the dogs.