On his sixth album “Certified Lover Boy” Drake switched to autopilot and hit the wall a few times.
Adonis is an only child – as far as you know. But it could also be that the almost four-year-old still has up to eleven siblings. This mind game suggested his father Aubrey Drake Graham, whose recently released album “Certified Lover Boy” (Ovo / Universal) twelve colorful emojis of pregnant women adorns.
This stupid potency boasting was designed by the British artist Damien Hirst – that doesn’t make it any better.
Lowest schoolboy humor
The cover motif, however, has one advantage: it prepares the listener for the level of content of Drake’s sixth studio album, which in 21 tracks tells of his sexual irresistibility, his fame, his envious people and of course his own greatness.
Quite to be expected, it sounds almost like being on autopilot – and repeatedly shows embarrassing outliers downwards. There is “Way 2 Sexy”, which is based on the 1991 hit “I’m Too Sexy” by the British duo Right Said Fred and has just been named “one of the worst songs of the year” by the “New Musical Express”.
In a pimple-pubescent manner, Drake and Gastrapper Future list the things they feel too sexy for – ultimately the whole world. In the accompanying video, so far the only one for the album, you see Drake surrounded by pretty women in the gym, as fat old guys on the beach or as Rambo and Michael Jackson impersonators. It’s supposed to be funny and exaggerated, but it just looks like a flat bum’s dream.
The song “Girls Want Girls”, in which the 34-year-old Canadian sings the incredibly hammered line “Say that you’re a lesbian, girl me too” and the porn-induced line together with guest rapper Lil Baby, also scores high on the foreign shame scale Male fantasy depicts lesbians who are actually just waiting for one guy. It’s a shame about the song, because in its laconically sung chorus, Drake proves his flair for fine pop moments, which helped his breakthrough over a decade ago.
It also appears again and again on the new album, but you need patience to hold out to about track 16: The Afrobeat-inspired “Fountains”, with which Drake apparently wants to follow up on his hit “One Dance”, has a few piano chords accompanies and gives the Nigerian guest singer Tems a lot of space. Drake limits himself more or less to the request “Come in and stay here”. That results in a harmonious mix, but without being as compelling as the five-year-old model.
On “Fountains”, Drake deviates from the trap sound that characterizes the rest of the album. But soon he’ll be back with the snarling hi-hats, thick bass drums and the washed-out synthesizer surfaces. There are some soulful R’n’B moments, with Drake even adopting a self-critical tone in “Fucking Fans” and regretting his promiscuity.
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What will his son Adonis, whom he mentions a few times, think about all of this? Will he rebel against his father’s toxic masculinity and sideline misogyny? Maybe that would make an exciting rap album.
“Certified Lover Boy” does not belong in this category. Less than a week after his hated colleague Kanye West’s “Donda” was published, Drake cannot deliver a decisive counter-blow. His work seems less sketchy, but it hardly does justice to his own superstar claims.
As with Kanye West, the track and guest lists are long, but it lacks hits, ideas, and inspiration. Although Drake doesn’t have Marilyn Manson with him, the name R. Kelly appears in the composer credits for the song “TSU”. The singer is currently known to be on trial for the sexual exploitation of minors, the allegations against him are horrific. Drake doesn’t seem to mind – it doesn’t make him want his album.