Album Review: Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

reviews the surprise release from the increasingly prolific rapper

drake reading this too lateRating: ★★★★☆

There’s absolutely no doubting that 2015 has started out with a bang for Drake and his fans. The Toronto born rapper engineered an unexpected turn of events when he released his surprise album, much to the joy of many. The unannounced mixtape that hit both iTunes and Spotify on February 12th is already creating waves; the tracks that seem to have moved audiences all over are primarily ‘Legend’ and ‘Energy’, though the others aren’t very far behind to say the least.

While one would think after having sold over 5 million albums across the world, Drake can’t get any better at what he does, the artist has gone on to prove us wrong again. To all the other artists out there, “If you’re reading this it’s too late” because Drake has managed to get every single song of his unprecedented album charting on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, making for a stunning total of 21 tracks climbing the charts at the moment.

Image: NRK P3

Image: NRK P3

The album portrays just how far Drake has come as an artist, with its cohesive set of beats and parallel rhymes working in unison. A fine mix between the tunes of a recognisable Drake that was known for being restrained and a now evolved, fierce rapper, this album was made to delight both the casual and die-hard fan.

The lyrics in tracks such as ‘Wednesday Night Interlude’ and ‘Preach’ bring about a more sensitive side of Drake, offering his new album as one of his most reflective pieces of work. With broken verse forms and tensions in the structure of the music, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late is an album that comes from a place of honesty and originality, rather than an area of commercial concern.

Totalling around 70 minutes, the album as a musical entity is a strongly compelling effort. Even though it lacks a formal single, the highlight would have to be ‘Know Yourself’, a track filled with equal parts passion and disdain. Intense as ever, this creation, just like the rest of his brilliant album, is sure to hold the listener’s attention for the duration.

Sombre expressions of the hardships of fame, the mammoth task of maintaining a commercialised image of an artist, and a simultaneous struggle to establish harmony in personal relationships are all on show. Drake has gained the appreciation of audiences far and wide, for this time he has not only impressed, but has  left an impression that will be long remembered as the beginning of a journey towards a more mature artist.