Drake’s music has become the soundtrack of 2022. His album Honestly, Nevermind was released in June, and now his new surprise collaboration album with 21 Savage, Her Loss, was released in November. A week after being released, the song, “Rich Flex,” has already been made into a meme due to the interesting ways Drake calls to 21 Savage. The internet is tearing him apart in the most light-hearted way, especially on TikTok.
The first couple of songs didn’t do much. Although “Rich Flex” has the most streams on Spotify, it’s a weak intro to the album. The opera-sounding sample gets old pretty quickly, and the lines don’t showcase either Drake or 21 Savage’s full talent. Their interpolation of Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” is also quite corny, and I don’t enjoy listening or singing along to that part especially. The second track on the album, “Major Distribution,” starts off with a sweet, auto-tuned piano ballad that is interrupted by one of the most rigid and annoying beats I’ve ever heard. The 808s barely sound mastered, and Drake and 21 Savage’s lines don’t stand out. “BackOutsideBoyz” has the first intriguing beat on the album. It’s a nostalgic, smooth synth remix but is quickly ruined by a heavily auto-tuned Drake that sounds like he sampled a pubescent voice note from his Degrassi days. “Treacherous Twins” is another frankly bad song; from the dull beat to the chorus, it sounds like Drake just learned a big word and wanted to use it.
While many of the tracks on this album stand by being quite awful, a number of them are really good. For example, Drake’s chorus in “Spin Bout U” has constantly been stuck in my head. The sample is nice to listen to, and 21 Savage’s first verse gets me hyped from the jump. Drake’s verse is also super satisfying in contrast to 21’s raspier voice. Additionally, the deep synths in “Hours in Silence” caught my ear instantly. It gets me feeling super relaxed and warm, like a smooth-sailing journey through space. I find myself coming back to the song frequently, especially while driving late at night. In the coming cold months, this will be one that will make me feel surrounded by warm synths in my car. In these tracks, Drake and 21 Savage exhibit a smooth back-and-forth flow on top of some already polished samples.
Among the handful of good songs, “Circo Loco” samples a familiar “One More Time” by Daft Punk while also providing a fresh beat. Drake and 21’s verses have a quick, hyped flow, but I can only tolerate Drake’s auto-tune because it fits with the sample. However, Drake has already stirred up controversy in this song by supposedly referencing Megan Thee Stallion and calling her out for lying about being shot by Tory Lanez in 2020 (AV Club). As well he calls out other women lying about their botox, which he and his producers deny (Complex). Not so classy. Drake entered the summer with new chill house beats, but now it seems he’s ready to heat things up again. What fun is the music industry without a bit of drama?
“Middle of the Ocean” is also one of my favourites, sonically, with the soulful sample and warm, summer-like chirps. It seamlessly transitions into the beautiful violin of “Cry Together” by The O’Jays. It’s a complete, confident, feel-good song that I’ll be playing at full volume on the first day of spring. The only feature on the album is Travis Scott on “Pussy & Millions.” I can see it eventually becoming a classic track. The flows are great, the transitions are smooth, and the majestic, almost medieval sample mixes well with Travis’ classic bass-heavy verses. 21 Savage’s solo track, “3AM on Glenwood,” is easily the most underrated song on the whole album with it having the least amount of streams on Spotify. It reminds me much of a chill, 2000s Ne-Yo type of beat topped off by some exceptional bars by 21.
Overall, Her Loss was an okay album. It has many horrible tracks balanced out by just as many personally acclaimed ones. Those few are the ones I will probably be listening to for years. Her Loss is definitely worth listening to once all the way through, but you’ll likely pick the best ones to listen to exclusively as the rest of the album remains largely forgettable.