Drake’s eighth studio album, For All the Dogs, was released Friday, October 6, 2023. It’s 23 songs, an hour and a half long, and a little disappointing. Here’s my song-by-song analysis:
- “Virginia Beach,” features a Frank Ocean sample from his song Wiseman. While this is the closest we’ll get to a new Frank song, as an opener for the album it’s great. An excellent start and one of my favorites.
- The second track, “Amen”, with a feature from Teezo Touchdown, was just okay. I’ve been loving the attention Teezo’s been receiving lately. From Travis Scott on Modern Jam, and his own debut album, but his feature isn’t great here. Drake’s first verse is solid but nothing special.
- “Calling For You”, had a great feature from 21 Savage. Normally these two work well together, and they did perform on this song. But the skit in the middle threw me off, even though it was followed by a great verse from 21, it just felt too long
- “Fear of Heights” had a strong start and followed through well, but I really didn’t like the chorus. This one is a skip from me, there’s not much else to say.
- “Daylight” got a little repetitive towards the end. Drake did a good job but again underperformed. However, the bit at the end sung by Adonis, Drake’s five-year-old, was cute.
- “First Person Shooter” with J. Cole was excellent, as expected. Usually can’t go wrong with a J. Cole feature. Drake didn’t fail to deliver either, his verse on this song is fantastic. Definitely one of the best on the album and a stellar performance from everyone.
- “IDGAF”, with Yeat, is also excellent. From the BNYX-produced beat to the amazing vocals, it’s an all-around great song. Although, I could’ve done without the joined vocals on “money for fun,” they recovered from that quickly and continued with another one of the best songs from the album.
- “7969 Santa” is alright. The beginning is pretty good, the short sample from Chief Keef was a cool addition. However, the weird, minute-long outro of the song by Teezo Touchdown wasn’t my favorite. The Snoop Dogg segment at the end was a good addition though.
- “Slime You Out” with SZA was another great song. I loved Drake’s singing at the start, and SZA carries it through. Her verse is fantastic and borderline gorgeous. And unsurprisingly, Drake does well towards the end of the song. Another great track.
- “Bahamas Promises” has lots more of Drake’s singing, and it was another great song. While still a little bit boring, Drake did well by himself on this one.
- “Tried Our Best” seemed like Drake tried to make Bahamas Promises twice. Lots of singing, but overall also a little repetitive. But still not a bad song, just not the best.
- I liked “Screw The World”. Drake generally does well with interludes and he didn’t disappoint here. The interlude featured a good, simple beat, and a refreshing new sound that I appreciated.
- “Drew A Picasso” was another solid solo song. Still felt a little monotonous, but Drake’s lyrics are much better than the last few songs. I appreciated the slight change, maybe in effort or maybe in writing. Drew a Picasso is pretty solid.
- “Members Only” with PARTYNEXTDOOR was just okay. Again, it felt like Drake didn’t deliver here. PARTYNEXTDOOR’s performance wasn’t terrible, but it was a forgettable feature and definitely not a favorite from the record.
- I liked “What Would Pluto Do”. Another refresher after a few boring tracks and a generally strong song. Even with some questionable lyrics, I felt like Drake worked well with the beat and the beautiful sample.
- “All The Parties” shocked me with the Chief Keef feature, I didn’t expect to see them together. But, unsurprisingly, the song wasn’t great. I didn’t love the Sosa verse and Drake was boring. The outro was fun though.
- “8am in Charlotte” was one of my favorites. I loved hearing the Conductor Williams beat, that was another collaboration I didn’t expect. Drake did a great job working with it too, and it led to one of the strongest performances.
- “BBL Love”, the second interlude, while overly sexual, is alright. However, it felt extremely repetitive and tedious. Again a song that is boring and the same.
- I didn’t love “Gently”, with Bad Bunny. However, it’s worth noting that I don’t really like any of his music. I did like hearing Drake sing in Spanish. But this one is worth a listen, too.
- I really liked “Rich Baby Daddy” with Sexxy Red and SZA. Sexyy Red’s recent popularity is worth noting, and I love the way her overly sexual lyrics are juxtaposed with the heavenly beat and beautiful vocals from SZA. However, Drake’s verse isn’t great. This doesn’t feel like a Drake song, and honestly, that isn’t a bad thing.
- “Another Late Night” with Lil Yachty is another example of a great feature that carries Drake in his own song. Yachty’s verse is great, I’ve been loving his recent singles and features lately, and he didn’t disappoint.
- “Away From Home” brought me back, this song is excellent. Simple beat produced by BNYX, strong vocals and lyrics. I was shocked that I liked this one so much, but it is so simple and I felt like he saved the album at the last second with it.
- The outro track, “Polar Opposites”, surprised me. Heavy bass, Drake singing on his own, but it felt different than the last few. The little piano piece at the end and the quiet sample murmuring throughout the song are excellent additions that didn’t overcomplicate anything. The song ends with another pretty sample that brings the album to an end.
Overall, this is nowhere close to the best album Drake’s ever released, however, there are still several songs that surprised me. Honestly, this isn’t really a shocker. Drake’s last few albums haven’t been amazing. Her Loss, Drake’s 2022 collaboration album with 21 Savage was probably my favorite, the other two were mostly filled with skippable songs. As far as his recent releases go, this one was the best, but taking every album into consideration, it’s not even close. My top three from For All the Dogs were “IDGAF”, “Virginia Beach”, and “8am in Charlotte”.
Photo courtesy of Pitchfork media