A couple of notes of reaction since Views was released one week ago.
1. This is an R&B album. This is Drake at his crooniest and whiniest. Of the reviews I saw this week, this was one of the most common complaints. How you judge this album really depends on the type of Drake you like; the edgy, If You're Reading this rapper Drake or the please God take me back, where were you when I needed you Drake closer to So Far Gone and Take Care. If you like gangster Drake, I can see your disappointment. If you like singing ass Drake, then you probably enjoyed the album.
2. I enjoy singing ass Drake, so I thoroughly enjoyed the album. I have a friend who works in the music industry who more or less tipped me off to the album being very sing-y in contrast to his releases from last year (Reading This andWATTBA). This did not bother me at all. I am always going to support singing ass people.
3. It is not as good as Take Care or So Far Gone. And it is yet to be determined if it will be a classic, but it certainly is an impressive effort and one that I rank third in his discography (I include mixtapes as well).
4. In many ways, it reminds me of The White Album by the Beatles. The White Album is probably the most divisive album from the Fab 4 with some calling it too long and unfinished and others (like me) hailing it as their best work. It's long, and he certainly could have trimmed some of the fat, but none of the songs on there are bad songs. Maybe they could have been released differently (SoundCloud looseys perhaps) but none of them are bad. I think time will treat this album very well and will grow in esteem as more time elapses.
5. Speaking of growing in esteem, the more I compare it to Take Care, the more I find myself confused by people who say Drake doesn't have a classic. If you get a chance, listen to Take Care again and get all emotional and through those tears, nod your head at the reality of it being a classic. It was his best blend of rapping and singing. He had both 2am, drunk text anthems (Marvins Room, The Real Her, Shot For Me) as well as right before you go out, aggressive, shit talkers (Lord Knows, Underground Kings, Headlines). This was undoubtedly a classic and has held up very well over time.
Overall, I give the album a B+. Not his best, but certainly not his worst. Time will tell if it is a classic and how it will shape this summer (and really the rest of the year),but so far so good.