Album Review: Honestly, Nevermind
by Spencer Yu, Contributor
October’s very own Drake (Aubrey Graham) for me has always been an artist that has a little more style than substance. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, not every piece of art has to be a thought provoking masterpiece especially with music. But there is a certain level of quality I expect when it comes to high profile artists. For me there comes a certain point where regardless of how good the vocal performance is, the production should at least be competent. And for the most part Honestly, Never Mind is a lazy attempt at entering the house or dance music world.
When I heard that Graham was doing a dance electronic album I thought that that was an interesting direction for him to go in. While I was never really a huge fan of Graham’s music in the past I never hated it outright. I thought that some of his previous songs were fun to listen to and were well produced. But the tracks that we are presented with in this album are just so lazily put together with little to no interesting elements to make note of. There are certain bright spots on this album where an interesting element is introduced, one that I found notable was the use of a guitar on the track “ Tie that binds”. But the rest of the track surrounding that is so lazily put together that it is barely worth mentioning.
Some of the other tracks just sound outright bad like the song “Currents” where the use of a squeaky chair/bed sounds just makes the song sound goofy and makes it unpleasant to listen to. It just doesn’t sound like Graham is trying very hard. The argument has been made that because Graham is exploring a new genre of music that he should be excused for some of the missteps throughout this album. But I personally believe that Graham has so many resources and has so many connections that if he really wanted to make a good dance / electronic album he totally could have. From the biggest rapper in the world I expect more.
Almost every single track on this album is devoid of creativity and lazily produced except for the final track on the album where Graham goes: “Honestly, never mind”, and delivers a song that is fun and enjoyable to listen to but is entirely different from the first 13 tracks on the album. The song is titled: “Jimmy Cooks” and is a fairly standard trap rap song that you can come to expect from Graham with a feature from Atlanta based rapper 21 Savage (Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph). If we were to look at this song on its own it’s pretty good, but when you compare it to the rest of the album it is easy to see why this is the most popular song on the album. I just find it strange why Graham would make an entire album of house / dance music only to put a rap song at the end of it. If it truly was Graham’s intention to make an entire album of dance music and then go: “Honestly Never Mind” then switch back to rap, I think it would be a pretty interesting concept. However an interesting concept is not enough to save the other 13 tracks from being largely uninteresting to listen to.
In conclusion, Honestly Never Mind is fairly boring to listen to and aside from “Jimmy Cooks” the album doesn’t really do anything for me personally. Maybe as something to listen to in the background while I run errands or when I’m driving around late at night but even then I can think of countless albums that I would listen to before this one in those situations. The album does not do anything particularly bad, it’s just boring to listen to with some exceptions scattered throughout. While I appreciate Graham exploring new avenues of music I believe that he could have done much better.