The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Review | Drake’s ‘For All The Dogs’ has its highs and lows

In his eighth studio album, Drake combines several musical elements.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY NETWORK
February 10, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Drake accepts the award for best rap song for ‘God’s Plan’ during the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 10, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Mandatory

“For All The Dogs,” superstar rapper Drake’s eighth studio album, was released on Oct. 6 and prioritizes the quantity of tracks over their quality.

Drake has been active in the music industry since the late 2000s, releasing his first album, “Thank Me Later,” in 2010. Since then, he has become one of the most popular musicians worldwide, amassing millions of record sales and attracting an average of over 80 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Spanning 23 songs, the album blends elements of rap, R&B, and pop, featuring some of the most prominent names in music: SZA, J. Cole, and 21 Savage, to name a few.

With a run time of 84 minutes, “For All The Dogs” was a chore to get through. I had to take breaks while listening.

While the limited strengths are strong, the abundant weaknesses are very weak.

The music production is technically solid. The Canadian rapper incorporated samples, coherent melodies, and varied pacing. This is especially evident on “8 a.m. in Charlotte,” the 17th song and an album highlight.

However, the rest of the album is fairly repetitive. The sampling gets dull, the beat switch-ups become annoying, and the melodies lose their appeal. As someone who craves strong instrumentals, the production of this album bored me.

From a lyrical standpoint, “For All The Dogs” leaves a lot to be desired. Apart from a few flashes of Drake’s typical syntactical prowess in songs like “Amen” featuring Teezo Touchdown and “First Person Shooter” featuring J. Cole, a majority of the lyrics feel mundane, uninspired, and in some ways, offensive.

The lyrics of “What Would Pluto Do,” for example, are shamelessly misogynistic, portraying women as sexual objects: “Girl, I wanna slide in your box like a vote.”

Drake is reaching 40 now, but his lyrics suggest he is trying to appear younger and as if he has nothing more to rap about other than sex, money, and his enemies.

Despite his recent release of a poetry book, “Title Ruins Everything,” this album lacks the deeper, poetic meanings from which it would have benefitted, cited by lyrics like “think I’m Illuminati because I’m rich.”

Following the release of the album, Drake announced he would take a break from music to focus on his health. While this album felt pedestrian, I believe this break will be a good opportunity for him to recover, refocus, and, hopefully, find some inspiration for future projects.

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About the Contributor
Will Bower
Will Bower, Arts Reporter
Will Bower is a freshman student at the University of Iowa. Hailing from the suburbs of Des Moines, Will has a double major in Journalism and History. Before arriving in Iowa City, Will worked on his high school publication and was active in the theatrical arts. At the Daily Iowan, Will works as a news reporter and looks forward to gaining experience in a professional newsroom.