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Tweets talk: A review of Twitter’s review of Drake’s new album, Views

In 2000, hip-hop legend Common rapped that “it don’t take a day to recognize sunshine,” the centerpiece lyric from his buttery-smooth love song The Light. That one line swirled in my head last week when Drake released his highly anticipated new album Views on iTunes and Apple Music.

Related: Taste of Bey: How to experience Beyonce’s visual album Lemonade

Twitter, powered by a perpetual stream of succinct thoughts, was home to thousands of people dissecting Drake’s latest release, with reviews ready just hours later. After Views hit Apple Music, Drake’s fourth studio album got plenty of kudos, including being called a legend and a classic, and being compared to Hunger Games characters. But were the tweeps spot-on or spotty?We reviewed the album ourselves to compare popular consensus on Twitter to how Views sounds in our ears.

Download Views on iTunes

Here’s a track-by-track breakdown of the Twitter reviews of Drake’s new album Views.

Keep The Family Close

If Drake wanted to take a crack at penning the theme song for the next James Bond movie, the atmospheric ambiance and haunting strings of Views intro Keep The Family Close would be perfect. A few people on Twitter likened the fully fleshed out orchestration — and Drake crooning about not losing friends — to his musical output from 2011. This definitely sounds like a stronger version of Shot For Me from his 2011 album Take Care. Twitter got it right.

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For a songwriter with a knack for making cliches fresh, lines such as “I would die for it just to show the city what it takes to be alive for it” is disappointing. Most of the Twitter attention the song received was either for the minimalist production of Noah “40” Shebib and Boi-1da or the hilarious “turn the 6 upside down” lyric which is bad no matter how you flip it. Twitter gets this right; this is definitely one of the more forgettable songs on Views.

U Wit Me?

Drake sampled a lyric from DMX’s 2000 single What They Really Want, as well as parts of his 1998 hit How’s It Goin’ Down, and Twitter overlooked a lot of this song’s greatness to harp on inaccurate comparisons. Twitter talk was totally off-base in this case: The song doesn’t borrow enough from either song to overshadow Drake’s steady flow and sharp lyrics.

Feel No Way

When Drake is ready to cash in on his legacy at a Las Vegas residency, Feel No Way will undoubtedly be in every set list for every show. Twitter talk bathed in the 80s prog rock richness of Jordan Ullman  production and came out with a spot-on reaction to Feel No Way: absolute love.

Hype

It took five songs for Views‘ first full rapping display from Drake, but Hype was worth the wait as the Canadian-bred lyricist decimates his “enemies that want to be friends with my other enemies.” Twitter understands the club-rattling potential of this song for the summer and gets it right.

Weston Road Flows

While there was a general consensus of Weston Road Flow being vintage lyricist Drake, it was rarely mentioned as one of the three best songs on the album — which it undeniably is. Twitter got it right, but this song should get as much fanfare as any song on Views.

Redemption

Drake got sued in 2012 for using Erika Lee’s voicemail in his 2011 hit Marvin’s Room and decided to reveal “Erika sued me and opened a business” on Redemption.  At first this song sounded like unabashed whining, but after a few listens, Twitter may be right. Redemption is a smooth banger.

With You (feat./ PartyNextDoor)

With You is a straight shot of summer and Drake’s protege PartyNextDoor glides over the breezy production. Drake’s singing is an afterthought and almost a distraction with its overbearing echoed backing vocals and uninspired harmonies. Twitter was right, Drake’s underwhelming performance was not enough to take away from this Drake song.

Faithful (feat./Pimp C & dvsn)

Drake meanders about being faithful to a woman who “talks like you have the juice and the squeeze” over a wispy beat with a terry-cloth soft bass on the underwhelming song Faithful. Outside of a few surprising lines, this is a throwaway track. Yet many on Twitter seemed hypnotized by the Hallmark card-level of self reflection and OVO Sound singer dvsn’s ending vocal performance, which is quite exquisite. Twitter got this wrong.

Still Here

By the point Still Here appears in the sequencing of the album, the most universally accepted takeaway from Views was beginning to become clear: Views is carried by its production. The 20-year-old producer Daxz’s punchy drums and mesh of warped, alternating sounds and twinkling piano chimes more than steal the show on this track. Twitter got this one right.

Controlla

When Drake says his retirement is already funded on Weston Road Flows, Controlla will be a hit long enough to fund a few post-retirement vacations. Although Twitter is justifiably upset that Jamaican artist Popcaan (who was featured on the original version of the song) was removed from the version that made the album, the consensus is correct, Controlla is a standout.

One Dance (feat./ Wizkid & Kyla)

The tropical one-two punch of Controlla and One Dance gives a lot of credence to the notion that Drake should’ve cut the 20-track opus in half and made Views a dancehall album. One Dance didn’t become Drake’s first #1 song as lead vocalist in U.K. for nothing; Twitter correctly recognized exactly why.

Grammys (Feat./ Future)

Drake and fellow rapper/singer Future released a collaborative album What A Time To Be Alive in September, and Grammys sounds like one of the songs left on the cutting-room floor. Head nod-inducing bounce to the production and an extensive stream of thought verse from Future about “nodding off on a xanax” really grows on you and Twitter correctly recognizes it.

Childs Play

The thinkpieces on Drake’s relationship with The Cheesecake Factory were being written right after Drake started Childs Play with a story of arguing at the famous restaurant. Twitter seems too enamored with the personal details Drake reveals and overlooks the fact this is the fourth time he’s made this exact song so far in Views. No good, Twitter.

Pop Style

There’s mixed feelings on Pop Style after Drake revealed in a recent interview with Zane Lowe that he removed Kanye West and Jay Z from the album version of the song due to bad business. The new, solo second verse Drake replaced Kanye West with not only makes up for the omission, it shows the two hip hop legends shouldn’t have ever been on the song to begin with. Twitter should be more unified in this thinking.

Too Good (feat./ Rihanna)

Put Rihanna and Drake on a sped-up drum pattern that elicits constant hip swaying with tropical vibes and you might as well put it on repeat. Too Good is just as the title advertises, and Twitter was on point with its analysis.

Summers Over (Interlude)

Drake gave his OVO Sound R&B duo Majid Jordan center stage on the somber Summers Over (Interlude) and it is the most surprising moment of the entire album. Besides album intro Keep The Family Close and the album’s title and penultimate track Views, the bare-bones guitar licks and slowed drumming on this interlude make it the only song on the album that sounds like it has live instrumentation. Twitter was understandably transfixed by this mesmerizing sonic display of changing love.

Fire & Desire

The sampling of R&B songstress Brandy’s I Tried is beautiful, and Drake harmonizes his ode to that special woman impressively. But 18 tracks into Views, Fire & Desire does not differentiate itself from the numerous other somber odes to that special woman that litter the album. Twitter got this totally wrong.

Views

Views is a bombastic mesh of blaring sounds mixed with hints of soulful crooning from producer Maneesh, which finds Drake delivering his most confident lyrical performance of the entire album about how “the paranoia could start to turn into arrogance.” Although there are quite a few clunkers — such as “quick to double cross like both of us Christian” — Twitter understands those are few and far between on what is truly the best song on the entire album.

Hotline Bling

Not much to say about Drake’s infectious hit Hotline Bling from last summer, and there’s also not much of a desire to hear it at the end of a 20-track marathon through our feelings. Sequencing is the heart of an album and while Twitter enjoyed Drake’s ode to late night rendezvouses, it was also rightfully fatigued.

Overall, the Twitter peanut gallery is largely spot on in its collective review of Drake’s Views. It’s an album that buries its best qualities — honest lyrics, confident rapping, and relatable subject matter — under a stream of monotonous redundancies. Twitter does not agree on much, but there seemed to be a general consensus that if Views was half as long and twice as focused on dancehall vibe, Drake would have the classic he claims the album to be.