Enjoy an Unpunctual Double Album Review: “Donda” and “Certified Lover Boy”

With Adele and other big artists dropping, these singles are just flying! This review was petitioned by our amazing supporters, whom we also thank so much for your patience! We’re working and have things coming for you all. It was a tumultuous summer for a lot of folks this year; amidst the constant smoke and mirrors of rules and regulations of this ongoing pandemic, two major contending artists decided to close out the summer with their anticipated albums. Kanye West dropped Donda on August 29th, and following the close release, Drake dropped “Certified Lover Boy” on September 3rd. It was a whirlwind of comparing and contrasting throughout the interwebs. Discussions were sparked, Instagram captions were made, and so on. Both artists are notoriously known for their work on and off the wax, including their on and off conflicts. We’re not gonna get into the conflict, let’s assume you already know what’s going on between the two and just get into this brief double album review.

Starting with Kanye West’s “Donda”–

Kanye West onstage at the “Donda by Kanye West” listening event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 22, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Music Group

These past months, especially during the wildest retrograde ever, many people collectively dealt with heavily transitional days, aside from the world just feeling like the last days. During a time where every day feels like there’s something to be mad about, some of the tracks off of DONDA did a great job at centering. Aside from the public embarrassment and nonsense Kanye West has made himself a spectacle of, his convincing further step into his spirituality has been helpful through his music. One thing that can’t be taken away from some of these tracks is that— someone out there is going to feel less of a doomed person. Gospel is always going to be there to soothe the spirit, but it almost feels interesting coming from a secular rapper. You may be facing financial struggles, the next person might be suffering loss, and the next may be dealing with heightened anxiety, hell — look at what’s transpiring outside! It feels nice to know someone is thinking of the wellbeing of their listeners, so it may seem.

Replayable tracks are “24”, “Judas”, “Praise God”, surprisingly, “Hurricane”, “Pure Souls”, “Keep My Spirit Alive”–yes, including Westside Gunn and his shooting Adlibs.

From a spiritual standpoint, they say being vulnerable can help with a shift for positive change. Believe it or not, many folks need that— understanding that there’s a higher power that is guiding us in a direction and not taking these hard days so personally. There’s a small possibility that most tracks from Donda were necessary to keep us moving forward.

Without question, some songs were skipped. In Christian terms, we’re supposed to be forgiven for our sins and move with God from there on, but there’s not much confidence that some of these problematic artists featured on Donda (Dababy, Marilyn Manson, & Chris Brown) are even on that type of time, but yeah… Donda didn’t hit like it was anticipated but it was yet something merited to listen to during these enduring times.

Finishing off with “Certified Lover Boy”–

As for Drake— he dropped his well-acclaimed “Certified Lover Boy” this past August. The album had some moderate highs with songs like “TSU”, “Way 2 Sexy”, “Champagne Poetry”, and a few more. I think we should be being real with this album though… it was a decent album, but it was not buzzworthy as people like to make it seem. Drake gave us more Instagram captions, pre-game anthems, and songs to be in our bags to but— it all sounded just like his past projects. If you care deeply about your favorite artist, in this case, Drake, as a fan, wouldn’t it be necessary to pressure your fav into trying something new? It seems as though Drake has been getting away with using the same formula… a lot. Aside from his Kirby Vacuum-like ways of “trying sounds”.

We could agree that Drake’s overused formula is what causes him to come right in but easily slip right out. CLB was easily comparable to all his past projects and with Drake having around ten years in the game, that’s not really… a good thing. Where’s the growth? Where’s the experimentation? Specifically without just borrowing and culture vulturing. Where’s the risk?

Make sure to follow @MathewNoKnowles on Twitter!

Good tracks off of “Certified Lover Boy”: “Champagne Poetry”, “Love All (featuring Jay-Z)”, “Way 2 Sexy”, “TSU”, “7am On Bridle Path”, Kid Cudi’s parts on “IMY2”. These are songs that get replays on a personal note. The other songs were good but just… good.

The fact that this is all that’s said about CLB, is a bit alarming. In case you’re one of his stans, there is no negativity towards our Dear Drizzy. It’s just that this album was anticipated and we were being held out on… for it to sound eerily similar to a lot of his other work. Some songs were “vibe worthy” but damn Drake, evolve! His diss to Kanye was just underwhelming. “Way 2 Sexy” was a very fun “bad bitch” song for the fellers. Not to mention how it was very uncomfortable hearing him trying to impersonate, what we can strongly pinpoint, B*rna B*y; Tems is adored to bunches, her music is amazing. Why was it was a bit awkward hearing her sing on “Fountains”? She indeed sounded like she was in a hostage situation… Was it to recreate the success of “Essence”? Let’s hope not, that song has a beautifully organic vibe… yeah, we’re probably reaching. We hope our Dear Drizzy would go in a direction that allows him to be open to evolving, rather than imitating what he deems “inspiring”.

Despite the criticism and attention to unspoken details, many people enjoyed these two albums. With outside looking and sounding scarier listening to whatever brings you fun, excitement, relaxation, and more could incite the glimmerances of joy in our gray days until it gets brighter again. Stay safe.

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