Review: Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy”

1,067 days later and this glorious album arrives. He has finally done it: Drake has released an actual full album and not just throw-away singles. Will it be as good as many expect, or will it be “mid” as many people like to throw around for anything popular nowadays? This album comes a little less than a week after Drake’s frenemy Kanye West released “Donda,” which will obviously have an impact on the listen of the album by making listeners attentive to any diss sent Ye’s way in this 22 song album. 

The ringing of “I Love You” from one ear to another on the first song “Champagne Poetry,” shows Drake’s ability to bring life to unknown beats guiding light towards this simple but harmonious beat. Otherwise, Drake raps this song as he typically would: saying nothing deep, instead giving us lifelong Instagram captions. The second song, “Papi’s Home,” is my favorite and in my opinion the best on this album. Drake comes outright at the people who live on his success and failures to make their own livelihood. He essentially says that he is back and giving them something they can finally live on. Drake possibly gives his most questionable bar of all time on the third track “Girls want Girls (Ft. Lil Baby)” with him running out of ways to refer to his heterosexuality, now referring to himself as being a lesbian. Besides that bar, Lil Baby proceeds to not miss and gives an excellent verse on this song, speaking about spoiling women and living lavishly. Drake still provides a great chorus throughout the song singing in his angelic voice about women’s transparent dresses and women’s interest in one another.

Contrary to the title, “In The Bible (Ft. Lil Durk & GIVEON)” Drake has not followed Kanye West in making Gospel music and dedicating his life to the lord. He instead speaks on a woman that presumably does not know how to control herself and goes partying constantly. Lil Durk raps on his practices of Islam and spoiling women while GIVEON sings seeing the good in a woman even though she may seem to others as being tainted, but GIVEON also sings that he isn’t all that good and sounds scared to show her the real him. 

“Love All (Ft. Jay-Z)” is a song you would listen to alone on a Saturday night.  It is a song in which Drake shows how lonely it is at the top, which most people can relate to at all levels of fame and coming out of isolation the feeling of people forgetting about you resonates well with a listener. Jay-Z’s verse in this song is not necessary and if you heard the leaked version of this song, “Lotta 42,” which sounds better as it continues the somber mood and completes the lonely vibe. 

“Fair Trade (Ft.Travis Scott)” will be blasting on a radio station near you for the next few months. This song does not only have the most superstar power; it also is a good song. It will have your favorite Instagram model captioning their photo, “I’ve been losing friends and finding peace” for their next photoshoot on the beach staring at the ocean. Travis Scott gives a great verse with his loud high energy rap style keeping the energy up and keeping his fans hyped for what’s to come with his album Utopia that will release later this year.

The male anthem is finally here with “Way 2 Sexy (Ft. Future & Young Thug).” Now every male has a song to jam to at all times and feel good about themselves. In all seriousness this song is fun to listen to. Drake does a great job trolling his haters with catchy lyrics about being too sexy for women and other “items.” The music video for this song features NBA Star Kawhi Leonard, who is normally seen as a very reserved and quiet person but acts out of character in the music video. “TSU” is another song that will help Drake dominate the airways with its upbeat and melodic lyrics. This song is simply Drake singing about a woman he visits who exotic dances and how comfortable she makes him feel. Drake’s personal life is not well known, but on “N 2 Deep (Ft. Future),” he raps and sings on him being willing to open up for a specific women, then takes a turn in the middle with a beat change with Future and Drake rapping about sex with different women and Drake saying that he would not get into a deep relationship with another woman. 

Drake has most likely been with hundreds of women but apparently there one specific woman he misses and just wants her to come back to him in the track “Pipe Down.” This song is about betrayal and wanting life to go back to normal, despite giving someone your all and it not being enough. Not a single word was said by Drake on “Yebbas Heartbreak” which makes sense because this song is short but cuts deep into the listener’s heart. With the piano’s gloomy sound, this song will have you questioning what you did wrong with your ex or have you crying in a happy relationship. With an album that consists of 14 different features, Drake insists that he has “No Friends In The Industry” and that he has kept the same friend group his whole career. This song’s high energy beat will be a song that everyone will be listening to so they can turn up in clubs and parties for the rest of 2021.

21 Savage is vastly underrated but locks in his place as being a top rapper on “Knife Talk (Ft 21 Savage & Project Pat).” Drake does it again with making another summer hit that has a trap beat that will be on the radio and blasting through teens’ car speakers. It is finally here — the diss track to Ye. In retaliation to Kanye tweeting out Drake’s address, he says to “Give that address to your driver, make it your destination ‘Stead of just a post out of desperation.” On the first listen, this bar would have many people hopping on twitter tagging Kanye in this bar asking him what he is going to do about that. Instead of keeping the high energy flow from the past few songs, Drake, on “Race My Mind,” starts to sing, wanting for someone to come back home and make love to him. This somber song allows for the listener to miss an ex, wanting them to come back, which many could relate to and want to return to better times in their love lives.

Caribbean beats are something Drake has dabbled with in the past, most famously on his album “More Life” with various songs with those flows, but on “Fountains (Ft. Tems),” Drake shows his creativity with a Afro-Fusion beat that he and the Nigerian artist Tems effortlessly flow on. Deep in my soul, I felt the betrayal that Drake felt in “Get Along Better (Ft.Ty Dolla Sign),” which is probably the best song, if not one of them. This song is something mostly anyone can listen to in a dark room, wondering why that one person wasn’t there for them when they needed them the most. Even though I personally dislike Rick Ross’ flow and style, “You Only Live Twice (Ft. Lil Wayne & Rick Ross)” is an okay song. I think if it was to drop in the late 2000s it would be a hit, but it’s just not that good compared to the music we have nowadays. This is probably the most “mid” song; it is not one I would go back and listen to if I clicked on this album.

The most unexpected feature of this album, Kid Cudi, appears on “IMY2,” which was not expected due to Kanye and Kid Cudi having a bond with each other, dropping many songs with one another and even making the album “Kids See Ghosts.” Drake and Cudi mesh together on this song with their differing styles to make an excellent track on needing to spend more time with someone. As far as we know, the song titled “F****** Fans” is about Drake opening up on his relationship with famous artist Rihanna on what he did wrong and the anger she must have felt. Drake ends this album with deep bars on his rise to the top and what it took to be there and how he would keep that. On “The Remorse,” Drake just speaks his mind in a five minute and 51 second escapade on his current life and how he sees himself and how many others view him.

To say that Certified Lovers Boy was “Mid” or just terrible is wrong; it’s just missing a vibe and clarity on what Drake is trying to deliver in this album. There is no clear mood made on this song and it seems as if it was just a bunch of random songs Drake made and threw them together for an album. Drake in Views set this tone of Caribbean vibes and heartbreak. In “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” Drake goes hard in rapping and gives a cold blooded album of straight bars. There is no vibe in CLB and even though the songs aren’t bad it’s missing an identity to make it a perfect 10/10 album.