So Drake dropped an album. To those who don’t always keep on top of Drake, like myself, it seemed to come out of nowhere but I’m sure those of you who are bigger fans probably saw it coming. Did it have something to do with the release of Donda and Drake’s long-standing ‘feud’ with Kanye? I don’t know.
Certified Lover Boy dropped on the 3rd of September, and honestly, I jumped on Spotify to listen to it and it was like my entire Friend Activity bar was also listening to CLB. I’ve already seen polls comparing Drake and Yes albums, seeing which one is more popular, trying to draw a line in the sand between who’s Team Drake and who’s Team Kanye.
I’ll be honest. This time round I’m staunchly Team Drake. One of my friends said said it pretty bang on over Instagram; “CLB is just so much easier to consume“. Now that’s not to say it’s a lazy album or it’s ‘basic’. The way I see it, with so much going on all the time in the world and all of our lives in a bit of turmoil, I didn’t really have the energy to pretend to be a genius and try and decipher all of Kanye’s tracks and piece it all together. If that makes me a lazy listener, that’s on me, but listening to Certified Lover Boy was infinitely easier and more enjoyable than listening to Donda so that’s my opinion on that.
But let’s get into CLB hey?
I mean, it kicks off with a Masego sample, straight away with Track 1, Champagne Poetry, a monster 6 minute track. It’s pretty hypnotic to listen to if you ask me and I didn’t even catch how long it actually was because of how easy it was to listen to.
Girls Want Girls with Lil Baby is the first song to introduce a feature artist on the album, the first of many, and if we’re being real, the feature artists really come in clutch throughout the album. Lil Durk, Giveon, JAY-Z, Travis Scott, Future, Young Thug, Yebba, 21 Savage, Project Pat, Tems, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Kid Cudi all dance around this project and all of them seem to find a track that welcomes them perfectly if you ask me.
Love All which features JAY-Z is a track I was super excited to listen to when I saw the track list. It’s super laid-back and true to a really smooth RnB heritage. Then you’ve got JAY-Z’s feature verse. There’s just something about his tone and his voice when he’s on a track, I love it. His delivery and everything about his verse got me so excited to listen to every word he said. Great track.
Fair Trade sounds exactly like what you’d expect when you’re combining Drake and Travis Scott and the switch up in TSU sent me for a real one. Unexpected but incredibly appreciated. So many different moods in one song.
Pipe Down made me feel super nostalgic, like 2016 Drake in 2021 form if that makes sense. Super sensual and ethereal in some of the sounds that he’s got on there. Then came Yebba’s Heartbreak. The way my jaw dropped when I saw the title of the song on his Instagram.
It’s a super simple song lyrics wise, arrangement wise, Drake doesn’t even feature on it, but it makes for a beautiful interlude type of song, nestled in the middle of the album. Obviously Yebba delivers everything and more.
No Friends In The Industry is just begging for a Kendrick Lamar feature if you ask me but Drake carries it well enough, for now, and 7am On The Bridle Path was a good track for a really focused listen. Had me really intently wanting to hear what he said and understanding each line.
Fountains featuring Tems scratched my ever present dancehall itch with a really muted jam that carried the track. Tems’ verses are so satisfying to listen to and her voice contrasts the lower frequencies to really tie the song together.
I’m always a fan of any Ty Dolla $ign feature, and I don’t know if Drake was trying to keep up with Ty’s impressive pipes but I really appreciated his vocals on Get Along Better. Both of them deliver really solid vocal performances and because there’s not a lot going on instrumentation wise to detract from the vocals they really carry the track.
IMY2 featuring Kid Cudi is probably my low point on the album though it’s not horrible. Just feels a bit predictable, what we’ve come to expect from Drake. Cudi’s verse is fun I guess, very Kid Cudi, but the rest of the track doesn’t really do much dynamically.
I like Certified Lover Boy. A lot. I don’t know if it’s partially fuelled by timing, the release of Donda and how much I don’t like that latest release but I’ve listened to CLB more than a few times since it’s come out. It’s a genuinely enjoyable album to listen to in my opinion.
People I could imagine on this album?
Snoh Aalegra, Anderson .Paak, GoldLink, Kendrick like mentioned before, maybe an actual Masego feature, Kehlani or Syd would have sounded beautiful if they were given a verse on Race My Mind but for an album that had a little more than a week of promoted hype, this album has kept me very well fed.
Have you heard Certified Lover Boy? Do you care? Would love to hear your opinions on this record because I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than I anticipated.