An interesting yet lopsided album collaboration
Spencer Yu, Staff Writer
Traditionally whenever I hear that Drake (Aubrey Graham) is releasing a new album, I typically react with some disinterest. Not because I don’t think he isn’t good but because over the last few years he hasn’t evolved. However, that does not discredit the fact that he has made some very enjoyable music in his time. I particularly enjoy it when he collaborates with Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage (Sheyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph). So when I heard that Drake was putting out a full-length album with Joseph, I was intrigued. Not only because this is the first time that the two have collaborated together on an album, but also because of the quality of the song “Jimmy Cooks” which gave listeners a taste of what was to come with their new album Her Loss.
I’ve always felt that while Graham was always one of the most popular artists of this generation he lacked the maturity, substance and nuance that made other rap artists like J Cole, Denzel Curry and Kendrick Lamar so interesting and entertaining to listen to. However, what he lacks in substance he makes up for in style. His bravado-filled lyrics paired with trap beats are still entertaining to listen to and it really fits that driving around at night time vibe.
My personal favourite performance from Graham on this album is on the track “I Guess It’s F**k Me.” I love the sound of the instrumental and how well Graham plays off of it. Of course, he raps about his success and all the things it comes with, however, I found he dug a little deeper on this track and showed a more genuine side that we don’t see often.
The real star of this show for me is Joseph. He has come a long way since his “Bank Account” days. On this album, he is the most dynamic he has ever been. The track “Hours In Silence” features Joseph singing on a track like I had never heard up until this point. While I think he would never do a full RnB song as Graham has done in the past, I think this new direction for him can really diversify his discography.
I definitely think that this is one of the better Drake albums to have been released in the last few years, however, some of the criticisms I had about Honestly, Nevermind still carry over. My biggest problem with this album is still the fact that it feels bloated. There are tracks on this album that feel really boring when compared to some of the more dynamic tracks. An example of this is comparing a track like “Privileged Rappers” to a track like “Middle Of The Ocean” which is much more interesting to listen to when compared to the more typical trap drums you always hear. I’m not saying trap is bad but for me personally, it just feels repetitive.
Because there are a few tracks scattered throughout the album that are sub-par it makes it really hard to recommend listening to this album front to back. If they had only kept the absolute best and put everything else on a ‘b side’ album I would have an easier time recommending a full listen of Her Loss. However, as it stands, I don’t feel it’s worth it.
In short, I had gotten what I was expecting but I just wish it was more consistent. It’s a bloated but fun album to listen to and it has a more enjoyable tracklist than a lot of Graham’s previous works over the last few years. It’s not in the running for the best rap album this year with so many big releases in 2022 however, Her Loss is an enjoyable rap album to listen to that I think a lot of rap fans will enjoy.