DRAKE – More Life – OVO/Young Money
DAMNIT. I didn’t want to enjoy this record, because even before hearing it I knew that I would not be permitted to put it into rotation for KDUR– remembering last year in an interview renowned rap artist Vince Staples told me that Drake was one of the primary faces of commercial rap, and I agreed. Commercial viability and frequent rotation on pop stations (Hotline Bling) are red flags for us.
Consider, who else has a record deal with Apple (yes, the mysterious everyday technology company), and is on first name basis with any/all people who own an iPhone because of it? For those facts, I consider Drake to be one of the four horsemen. I’m waiting.
Drake as Dionysus: The Greek God of Wine & Fertility – Creator of Theatre
With globally influenced production, this infamously sensitive MC is painfully genuine, and frustratingly funky in good company. The tropical lo-fi production on More Life give Drake’s words humility, and even the trap song (Gyalchester) is fun. Regarding the trap numbers, I didn’t care for Ice Melts, nor Since Way Back. A variety of talented artists get a chance to shine throughout this project. Though I could do without the features from Quavo of the Migos, or the one from Yeezus Christ himself, nor the song that followed. Let it be known that starting Glow two-minutes and thirty-six seconds into the song is necessary, unless you need worship by Yeezus and his Drizzy Disciple’s auto-tune blessing, prior to the choral affirmations ending the song nicely.
There. I’ve done the obligatory review of Drake’s latest album. I’ll see you whenever the higher-ups at Apple decide to release his next one. In the war between quantity and quality, the latter has won the specific battle of More Life.
I, Cynical Douglas, have listened to More Life so you don’t have to, but here are some Focus Tracks for you to Stream At Will anyway. I’m honestly just going to rank these in the order that I enjoyed them in, least to greatest.
Sacrifices (feat. 2 Chainz & Young Thug)
Get It Together (feat. Black Coffee & Jorja Smith)
4422 (feat. Sampha)
MASTODON – Emperor of Sand – Reprise Records
The Grammy-nominated Mastodon’s seventh studio album finds these men weaving another intricate tale that serves as euphemism and meditation for real-life pain. According to drummer/singer Brann Dailor, the album's story is about “a Sultan in the desert who hands down a death sentence to this guy. He’s running from that. He gets lost, and the sun is zapping all of his energy akin to radiation. So, he’s trying to telepathically communicate with these African and Native American tribes to get rain to pour down and kill it.” These Georgians reflect on mortality and serious illness via the story of a condemned man wandering the desert. Reminiscent of the sentimental Crack the Skye, Mastodon’s mastery makes it difficult to discern when one song ends and another begins. If you’re looking to Stream At Will, I encourage you to do so front to back while reading along with the lyrics you printed out. But, if you’re gonna half-ass it, here are some songs I particularly dug:
1: Sultan’s Curse
2: Show Yourself
5: Roots Remain
6: Word To The Wise
7: Ancient Kingdom
11: Jaguar God