Before I start I will say I am no fan of Drake as a person, but have always enjoyed his music. When this album was released I was not expecting anything revolutionary or mind blowing due to the nature of Drake’s previous releases. I was not expecting Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly,” or Kanye West’s “Yeezus” or even another version of Drake’s “More Life” but I still was disappointed. I am not saying this is a horrible album, but it is just lame even for Drake. “CLB” comes off as Drake's most unimaginative and mediocre album to date. As a side note, I will not be mentioning Kanye West’s “Donda” since this is about “CLB” even though it has become common knowledge that these albums are competing against one another.
My issue with “CLB" is that this album is no different from the past few albums we have gotten from Drake. Since “Views” dropped in 2016 Drake has used the same template to gather as many streams as possible. Besides a few exceptions, every album since then starts the same. A slow rap beat typically starts us off, and then Drake goes to his lyrical or his “tough" side. Then we get a couple songs that will get on the radio between the intro and the interlude. In this case it is “Girls Want Girls” featuring Lil Baby and “Way 2 Sexy” featuring Future & Young Thug. Then for the interlude we have a random artist, usually an R&B or Canadian based artist take the spotlight. Afterwards we get a song that switches the flow of the album, usually an Afropop/Reggae style song like “One Dance” ft Wizkid but this time we got “Fountains” ft Tems. Finally, we get a really good R&B song and another radio song. In between all of this are messy songs that are forgotten unless you are a die hard Drake fan. Don’t forget, with every Drake album comes a few great or cringe-worthy Instagram captions. Here are a few that had me putting my head in my hands.
“Yeah, say that you a lesbian, girl me too” - “Girls Like Girls”
“I was known for snappin’ when I chat before the app”- No Friends in The Industry"
“Could at least keep it a buck like Antetokounmpo” - “7am on Bridle Path”
What I am saying is that this album is a Drake album but does not seem any different from most of his discography. Each album is "good" but they are all copy and pasted which makes them seem more mediocre than it should. Then, to add to that issue, he floods us with almost 20 songs each album and then most people know only three to five tracks will matter later on. Drake, to me, has really found his comfort zone but has gotten too comfortable. This makes sense since he’s one of the most well known artists of this generation. This repeated sound has kept him relevant for more than a decade, but this could also be his demise.
Now this album had some aspects that I did enjoy about it. For one, us men finally have a hot boy anthem in “Way 2 Sexy” which I have heard blasting from people’s cars, dorms or at events. I also always enjoy that one R&B artist Drake promotes on his album. This time on “CLB” it was Yebba, and before he had Giveon, Sampha and many others. These interludes or features are always one of the best parts of his albums. Though on “CLB" I am unsure how to feel about them. For one I loved Project Pat and 21 Savage on “Knife Talk” plus Lil Wayne, Travis Scott, Lil Durk and Tems features also stood out. Drake missed out on some other artist he could’ve collaborated with. For example we could have gotten artist J.Cole, Brent Faiyaz, Jhene Aiko, or other artist who he has already made hits with.
My favorite songs on “CLB” are “Way 2 Sexy”, “Fountains” , “Knife Talk”, and “No Friends In The Industry”. There were no songs that I disliked on this album, as it was filled with ones that just did not stand out. I am also still trying to process how I feel about Drake’s questionable and corny lyrics on “Girls Want Girls." As I said previously, the majority of the songs I can do without and was just disappointed that Drake is settling which is why I give this album a five out of ten. Hopefully he comes back next time with an album as good as “More Life” or “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”