“Certified Lover Boy” Album Review

Story posted September 8, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Sam Roberts.

On Friday, Sept. 3, international-superstar Drake dropped his sixth studio album “Certified Lover Boy,” one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2021.

Drake delivers some of his best work since 2016’s “Views” as he spits bars about his lovelife and his legacy.

Back in March, Drake dropped a three song EP known as “Scary Hours 2” that featured Lil Baby and Rick Ross and was a showcase of skill and style.

As the intro to “CLB,” “Champagne Poetry,” plays, it’s obvious that “Scary Hours 2” was an accurate teaser to what this album would be.

“Champagne Poetry'' kicks off the album with an intricate sample from Masego’s 2016 track, “Navajo,” with lines about chasing GOAT status and falling in and out of love. As the track seems to come to an end, the beat switches up as Drake starts to rap as the beat picks up.

“Champagne Poetry” works so well as an intro track because it displays Drake’s rap and R&B abilities over a slower beat, and then the beat switches up on the listener and teases how the rest of the album will display beat switch ups.

The intro track also lays out the flow of the album, which is slower R&B-type rap in the beginning and then more fast paced and freestyle rap towards the second half.

The structure of the record makes “CLB” such a pleasing listen because it flows from beginning to end. Many songs have very smooth transitions into each other, and Drake also controls the pacing of the album.

The beginning is more about Drake’s love affairs, then after “Yebba’s Heartbreak,” “CLB”’s interlude, Drake reminds all his fans and haters that he can rap better than almost anyone in the game.

Also, “Yebba’s Heartbreak” is a beautiful interlude with vocals from artist Yebba and is Drake sharing that he has had a lot of romantic partners but that he meant all the love that he felt in them.

The beat switch ups are all well executed throughout the album and either serve to slow it down or speed it up.

“Champagne Poetry,” “Fair Trade,” “TSU,” “N 2 Deep” and “Race my Mind” all have beat switches that enhance the listening experience by providing a very controlled and smooth change of pace.

Another aspect of “CLB” that is incredibly well-executed is that every single feature hits its mark and elevates the song without taking the spotlight away from Drake.

Ross and Lil Wayne slaughter the beat on “You Only Live Twice” and remind fans how beautiful YMCMB records sounded back in the early 2010’s.

Kid Cudi provides his beautiful low pitch melodies on IMY2 that play a strong compliment to Drake’s over-annunciation style of rap.

As per usual, Travis Scott and Drake together on “Fair Trade” is a well-executed use of 808’s and autotune, alongside “In the Bible,” with Lil Durk and Giveon, and “Girls Want Girls,” with Lil Baby.

And of Course, every time Future and Drake are collaborating they produce heat from the speaker system, as they do in the songs “Way 2 Sexy” and “N 2 Deep.”

“CLB” is an incredibly produced album that also has 21 tracks, where none of the tracks miss at all.

The downfall of “CLB”, which is the only downfall of Drake and other artists who have been making hits for 10+ years, is that it sounds like every other one of his albums.

Drake has had the same sound since his first radio hit, “Best I Ever Had,” and he hasn’t made any attempt to sound different and evolve his music.

Drake is one of the only artists that’s been in the game for a long time and gotten away with no evolution.

Artists who have been making music for a while and evolved will always be on an echelon above Drake, like Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, Tyler the Creator, Mac Miller and, of course, Kanye West. It’s not so much a downfall of Drake as an artist, but this is a constant trend with almost all pop stars.

Without a doubt, “Certified Lover Boy” will contend for one of the best albums of the year and has plenty of tracks that are top-of-his-game Drake.

Throughout the first week of “CLB”’s release, data charts are showing that the record is projected to get around 600 million streams by the end of its first week. It’s safe to say that fans of the genre are thoroughly enjoying “Certified Lover Boy.”

“CLB” is a really good album that has a deep track list and very well produced beats. The only thing holding Drake and his album back is its lack of innovation.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewer's Favorite Songs: “Champagne Poetry,” “Papi’s Home,” “N 2 Deep,” and “7am On Bridle Path”

Reviewer's Least Favorite Songs: “In The Bible,” and “F***ing Fans”


Sam Roberts is a fourth-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email sam.robertspsu00@gmail.com.