‘For All The Dogs’ disappoints Drake fans

One of the most highly anticipated albums of the year finally hit streaming platforms last Friday when five-time Grammy Award winner Drake released his eighth studio album, “For All The Dogs” (FATD).

The 22-track album is packed with big-name features such as SZA, J. Cole, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Chief Keef, Bad Bunny, Lil Yachty, Sexyy Red and 21 Savage, the rapper Drake worked with on “Her Loss.” The album also features the first ever appearance from Drake’s son, Adonis Graham, who has a verse on “Daylight,” the fifth track on the album.

FATD opens with “Virginia Beach,” which is on par with what Drake fans have come to expect in opening tracks. The song features Drake as both a singer and a rapper over a traditional beat that compares to “Tuscan Leather,” the opening track of “Nothing Was the Same,” which was released in 2013.

Corny lines have become a staple of Drake’s lyrics, and FATD offers plenty. Some lines that stand out as exceptionally cringy include “Feel like I’m bi cause you’re one of the guys, girl” on “Members Only,” “Formal is the dress code, dawg, so many checks owed / I feel Czechoslovakian” on “8 AM in Charlotte,” “You got my mind in a terrible place / Whipped and chained you like American slaves” on “Slime You Out” and “Post nut clarity I came to my senses” on “Rich Baby Daddy.”

Perhaps the biggest criticism of FATD is that all the songs start to blend together and lack individuality, especially after the full hour-and-25-minute length of the album. This critique is not specific to FATD either, as each of Drake’s previous three albums, “Her Loss,” “Honestly Nevermind” and “Certified Lover Boy,” each suffer from the same issue. If you shuffled around the songs from each of those albums, you’d be hard pressed to find a difference from the original track lists.

Despite the criticism, FATD contains some hits, something that has become normal for any Drake album. Some early favorites include “First Person Shooter,” which features J. Cole, “Slime You Out,” featuring SZA, “8 AM in Charlotte,” “Rich Baby Daddy,” featuring Sexyy Red and SZA, and “Another Late Night” featuring Lil Yachty. However, for a 22-track album, many fans were expecting more.

One of the reasons fans were expecting more from Drake this time was due to him saying “I’m gonna give it to you then,” when referencing the “old Drake” many fans have been crying for in recent years. Drake said this while on tour for his most recent album, “Her Loss,” and while announcing that FATD would release this year. Well, the “old Drake,” which includes classic albums such as “Views” and “Take Care,” is still stuck in 2016.

FATD did leave fans with an easter egg, however, with J. Cole teasing a future album on “First Person Shooter” by rapping “I’m namin’ the album The Fall Off / it’s pretty ironic ‘cause it ain’t no fall off for me.” 

Overall, it’s hard to say a Drake album is bad, but given the expectations he’s set over the past decade, it’s entirely fair to say the album disappointed on many levels. After the album was released, Drake went on Sirius XM radio to say he would be “taking a break” from music after FATD in order to focus on his health. Hopefully when Drake is healthy and comes back to the music world, it’ll be with more originality that will remind his fans of the “old Drake” we all know and love.


3/5 Stars




Featured photo courtesy of @champagnepapi, Instagram