After a decade-plus long reign in the global pop music scene, Drake has refreshed his sound with an unexpected release of his seventh studio album, “Honestly, Nevermind.” The album is a full-on collection of dance music inspired by Baltimore club, Jersey club and house music. The album is a far cry from his 2021 release, “Certified Lover Boy” which many felt was a rehash of trap hip hop beat ornamentation, and was seen as a rehash of sounds that he had been exploring since the beginning of his career.
Lyrically, the album moves away from his previous declarations of singledom in CLB, and leans into his emotional needs instead of his frustrations. “Honestly, Nevermind” sounds like a romantic ode to his feminine counterpart(s).
Aubrey Drake Graham has always expressed that he wrote music for women, girls and female-identified human beings but this album is focused solely on love outside of the final two tracks “Liability,” and “Jimmy Cooks,” which reveals his only feature on the album from 21 Savage. The opening track “Falling Back” doubles as his lead single which was released with a music video displaying Drake marrying 23 Instragram models in a comical video poking fun at his taste in women and misunderstood level of “playerhood.” It is not the point of whether he is an actual wannabe polygamist as the majority of the songs on the album seem to focus on one woman (at a time at the very least).
“Texts Go Green” and “Overdrive” continues the lyrical pattern of Drake experiencing abandonment, an imbalance of power (he being the one lacking it), and his inability to make a long-lasting connection sets the tone for the entire album which sounds like a coherent story.
The entire album is completely clear and cohesive. This is the first time we see Drake as an easy-to-follow storyteller and musician. Drake is a musician while leaning on acclaimed producers Black Coffee, Carnage (now known under the name Gordo), Klahr and his longtime and closest collaborator 40. Sonically, the album is a pure dance music album that is a completely satisfying album that would function on the dancefloor beautifully.
“I found a new music, that’s bad news for you,” Drake sings on his flowing, beat-driven song “A Keeper.” Drake still fills the album with bite-sized Drake-isms like “Got you a Mercedes Benz, that doesn’t make you driven.” The album is easy and fun to sing along with as the lyrics are simplistic unlike bar-heavy songs from his previous album “CLB” like
“The Remorse” and “7 am on Bridle Path.” He pleasantly mimics the repetitive vocals of the majority of dance music and Baltimore and Jersey club tracks, though he does offer a couple of standard rhyme latent Drake trap/drill style tracks such as the closing track “Jimmy Cooks” featuring 21 Savage and “Sticky” where he is rapping instead of singing.
“Honestly, Nevermind” is destined to be a classic dance album. It translates well in the club and is also a comforting body of work that woos and calls the listener in. Drake’s decision to make a concise concept album has become a reality, and a successful one at that.