The Student Newspaper of Oxford Academy

The Gamut

The Gamut

The Gamut

Drake’s “For All The Dogs” is just another flop

Rowan Lee

Widely recognized as one of the biggest influences in contemporary music today, Drake released his eighth studio album “For All the Dogs” on Oct. 6. With the last three albums disappointing critics and fans alike, Drake’s newest record promised to bring back the “old Drake” but fell flat with bloated songs, uninspired lyricism, and weak focus. 

Much like his 2021 album, “Certified Lover Boy,” Drake demonstrates his inability to successfully produce longer albums. Marred by repetitive lyrics in songs like “Bahamas Promises” and “What Would Pluto Do,” with the latter being the most egregious for repeating the title over and over again, the lyricism is bland at best. Over its one hour and 24 minute run, at least a quarter of the album’s songs needed to be cut, and the long, boring interludes deflect attention from Drake’s main hits. 

As with any Drake album, “For All the Dogs” lacks cohesion. Switching from serious and melodramatic R&B in “8 am in Charlotte” to goofy, lighthearted rap in “BBL Love (Interlude)” removes any emotional attachment the listener had from the previous track. However, when Drake takes a more serious tone on songs like “Tried Our Best,” his true talents in mixing R&B and pop come together to explore his complicated past relationship, a strength that should have been employed in the rest of the album.

With the weak album direction, some features feel misplaced and underutilized. Drake’s highly anticipated collaboration with Yeat in “IDGAF” disappointed instead with a weird clash of Yeat’s usual punk trap vibe and the R&B-inspired production of the rest of the album. Drake’s style of rapping meshed strangely with the beat, his verse sounding unnecessary to the song. Meanwhile, Lil Yachty’s feature in “Another Late Night” is sabotaged by bland, repetitive lyrics and differences in ambiance compared to the previous songs. Both features feel like normal Yeat and Yachty songs haphazardly placed in the album to generate more publicity. 

The other features, however, help redirect the tone of the album. The long-awaited “Slime You Out” in collaboration with SZA blends two different narratives and meticulously crafted instrumentals, melding together bass, drum, and keyboard to make an otherworldly experience that serves as a highlight for the album. In “First Person Shooter” with J. Cole, although Drake clearly put more effort into this lyricism with this song, J. Cole brought much-needed hype with his fast-paced wordplay and outshines Drake.

As promised, hints of “old Drake” finally begin to resurface with “Drew A Picasso,” thirteen tracks into the album, as he delves deeper into his trust issues and regrets with heartfelt and vulnerable lyrics, in contrast to the majority of the album which only scratches the surface of such themes. Unfortunately, this awareness only lasts for a couple of songs before returning to the painstaking emotional ineptitude that characterizes most of the album. 

Overall, “For All The Dogs” is another disappointing album from Drake, who has failed to innovate yet again. Before the drop, he announced that he would be taking a hiatus just after the album’s release for his health. Releasing multiple, rushed albums this year clearly impacted the quality of “For All the Dogs”, but hopefully this break from music will allow Drake to regain his creative focus and eventually come back stronger.

About the Contributors
Eshmom Haque, Sports Editor
Outspoken writer and Gamut sports editor Eshmom Hacque is ready for his final year on the Gamut’s staff! As an experienced member of track, he is all about fitness, physical activity, and health. Inspiring stories of human physicality, achievement, and leadership are what Eshmom wants to share with the world. He is also involved in political and ethical discussions, unabashedly bestowing his hot takes on current events and critical issues in local and international government. When away from the intensity of athletics and debate, he enjoys listening to his favorite genres of music, K-Pop, R’n’B, and rap, or watching shows like Arrested Development, Suits, and Business Proposal. He is always up for new experiences– especially hair ones, since he’s gone through a perm, side part, middle part, and mullet within his time at the Gamut. Though he was halted by a sports injury for some time, Eshmom is back and ready for action, both on the field and as a sports editor this year!
Rowan Lee, Art/Layout Editor
Aside from finally graduating, Rowan Lee is looking most forward to serving as The Gamut’s Art and Layout Editor for their final year of high school. Their go-to hobbies are drawing and painting: an explanation as to why they immediately applied to join The Gamut staff after learning there were drawing positions available, along with their having illustrated for The Gamut for the past 3 years. Outside of the Gamut, Rowan takes their fascination with Japanese culture to the OA Japanese Club, where they serve as Tech Chair. When they’re not busy taking on their various roles at school, drawing fanart for Jujutsu Kaisen (their favorite anime of all time), or jamming out to their 3-hour long SE SO NEON playlist, Rowan guiltily admits that they spend their free time playing Valorant or watching VTubers (virtual YouTubers). Rowan honestly confesses that their Senioritis has been kicking in since Junior year, but as the diligent worker they are, they vow to push through till the very night they toss their cap into the air at Handel Stadium.