As part of CMN’s ongoing Music Journalism Program, our music team was asked to pick out a recent album review that they disagreed with. Their task was to explain why they didn’t share the viewpoint of the reviewer.
It’s a beautiful thing to be able to watch an artist change and mature over the years. It’s entirely another to watch as they grow and learn about themselves both as a person and as an artist.
Drake’s Scorpion was released in June of 2018, and it’s a shame that self understanding isn’t always respected by others unless it comes with some kind of correction.
In an AV Music review of the album, Clayton Purdom expresses disappointment at the distinct division on the album, despite the understanding that it was entirely intentional to present the project in that manner.
As an artist, Drake offers two sides of himself. The soft, honest and soulful R&B side that’s best displayed in albums like Take Care and the cut throat, ambitious rap persona behind many of his greatest hits, including tracks like “Worst Behavior.”
What makes Scorpion stand out from Drake’s past projects — along with most of his competitors — is that he was able to present both sides at the same time with perfect balance.
Lyrically, Drake has talked about the personal process of self discovery in the pursuit of self acceptance in songs such as “Furthest Thing.” With his fifth album, he shows us what he can do with that power of comprehension and better yet, he proves that he’s learning how to use it to his advantage.
I don’t see how you can compare such a “tightly composed album” to a playlist in the same sentence, as Purdom does. With such planning and precision, it makes sense why it took a bit of time. Scorpion shows maturity and growth when compared to his past work, and sets him apart from many rappers, by actually sounding like an adult despite the review’s claim that “Scorpion sounds like a boy.”
Before the album was even released it had record breaking hit songs like “Gods Plan.” That masterpiece handed Drake the throne of the most streamed artist of all time on Spotify — well over eight billion streams. With songs sitting in the top ten for 26 weeks at a time, it’s hard to believe that anything about this album will be “fading into the background.”
After countless hits, chart topping albums and his ability to make any song he’s featured on a smash hit, it’s disappointing that Purdom claims that “Drake albums have become increasingly defined by good tracks, moments that work.”
This album specifically shows how polished the rapper is becoming. Just when you think he can’t get any bigger, he pumps out three major hits before the full album is even released. While it may have been a single hit that grabbed attention, the album easily leads you from one track to the next. Each drips with honesty.
No matter which disc you pick up.
If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.