Tail Waggin’ Tunes

By Gavin Bowyer and Wyatt Spears

The renowned Canadian rapper, singer, and songwriter Drake has returned to bless us with his eighth studio album: For All the Dogs.  His rise to fame during the span of a 12-year career has been meteoric, with now eight studio album releases and seven mixtapes respectively. Though the more recent projects have been lacking both creativity and production-wise, his 2022 album Honestly, Nevermind is one of the most glaring offenders. It should be especially noted that each creator of this review holds different opinions, but mostly there was a compromise made on every standpoint.  So, despite the release  of For All the Dogs being a slow journey, with it being delayed multiple times, now, it is finally here.

  • 1. “Virginia Beach” 7/10
  • 2. “Amen” (feat. Teezo Touchdown)  9/10
  • 3. “Calling For You” (feat. 21 Savage) 6/10
  • 4. “Fear of Heights” 5/10
  • 5. “Daylight” 7/10
  • 6. “First Person Shooter” (feat. J. Cole) 9/10
  • 7. “IDGAF” (feat. Yeat) 8/10
  • 8. “7969 Santa” 5/10
  • 9. “Slime You Out” (feat. SZA) 5/10
  • 10. “Bahamas Promises” 7/10
  • 11. “Tried Our Best” 4/10
  • 12. “Screw the World” (Interlude) N/A
  • 13. “Members Only” (feat. PartyNextDoor) 4/10
  • 14. “Drew a Picasso” 5/10
  • 15. “What Would Pluto Do” 7/10
  • 16. “All the Parties” (feat. Chief Keef) 3/10
  • 17. “8AM in Charlotte” 6/10
  • 18. “BBL Love” (Interlude) N/A
  • 19. “Gently” (feat. Bad Bunny) 2/10
  • 20. “Rich Baby Daddy” (feat. Sexyy Red & SZA) 6/10
  • 21. “Another Late Night” (feat. Lil Yachty) 7/10
  • 22. “Away from Home” 4/10
  • 23. “Polar Opposites” 5/10

Drake started off his album with the smooth and groovy “Virginia Beach”, which perfectly set the stage for the rest of the songs. Unexpectedly, the very next song, “Amen” featuring Teezo Touchdown, a rather random collab, could make even the greatest Drake haters float with the intricate piano melodies and the gentle assisting verses by Teezo. The ending began the formation of the unique radio-station-esque feel that really elevated the album. Again, in succession, there is “Calling For You” featuring 21 Savage, which was the first near miss. The whack mid-section with the random person talking on top of Drake’s poor previous lyrics brought the song to the brink of being horrible, however, 21 Savage, as he always does, can somewhat save a mid-tier track with his spunky and flowy bars that made the whole song so much better. The pacing of this song in the bigger scheme of the album is strange as it still sounds like an intro track to the album. Dragging the beginning of the album out to almost 3 songs makes the album feel sluggish. With an hour and 30 minutes of music and a whopping 23 songs, it would take forever to talk about every song, so some need to be skipped, and instead, they will just be given a rating. “Fear Of Heights’ ‘ deserves a 5 for being a mediocre, not especially note-worthy song, coming out of the intro. Drake went all out for his next song, “Daylight.” His lyrics were tough but still flowy and displayed Drake’s ability to sing in many different styles. His son, Adonis “LilDrizzy” Graham’s verse, wasn’t particularly well sung, but cute and sounded good for him being a 5-year-old kid; it was better than some other features on the album, and he wasn’t even recognized. As always J. Cole had a wonderful feature on the song“First Person Shooter.” Overall, a great song, and definitely at the top of the album. There isn’t much to say as it was just as good as everyone expected. One of the strongest songs was “IDGAF” featuring Yeat. This song was not a Drake song, it was a Yeat song that featured Drake. Yeat’s iconic monotone flow dominated the beat so well and you almost forget it is a Drake song, but then you are harshly reminded of Drake’s goofy “Money for fun” adlib. The transitions between the verses were atrocious and Drake clearly did not put much effort into his verse. “7969” presents some ‘old Drake’ vibes. For sure a decent song, and the Snoop Dogg radio station ending was fun and interesting. On the other hand, “Slime You Out” was completely trash and should be off the album, both SZA and Drake completely missed this song. As for “Bahamas Promises,” it  presented a distinctive quality with only Drake on the song, for sure one of the better tracks. “Tried Our Best” did not DO its best and flopped for the most part, not the best quality it could have been.. Both interludes did not add much to the meaning or depth of the album, and practically only broke up the album, something that wasn’t necessary but didn’t take away from the album’s value. The second half of songs (succeeding the first interlude) contains multiple tracks that do not deserve shoutout, so here are the worthy ones. The PARTYNEXTDOOR feature did not hold up well, and on top of that, its successor “Drew a Picasso”flopped as well. However, Drake’s solo “What Would Pluto Do” was a banger. Not only did it bring back old Drake, the lyrical beauty and creativity was a great contrast to the many let down predecessors. “8AM in Charlotte” deserves mention as it was better comparatively to the previous songs, and actually was quite pleasing to listen to, yet not supremely memorable and mostly a strong, albeit, filler song. “Gently” featuring Bad Bunny was a horrible decision and addition by Drake,the overall flow presentation was done horribly, and definitely should not have been on the album. Despite varying opinions, the Sexyy Red, SZA, and Drake track “Rich Baby Daddy” actually had a decent flow and fun lyrics. Sexxy Red is receiving newfound recognition, and the collaboration surely supports her creativity and skills; the song gives hope that she can improve upon her current style to hopefully become a future great artist. The last three songs, one even featuring Lil Yachty, were disenchanting and only served to finish the album. Not even Lil Yachty could contribute enough to earn the song any praise, and the others were your average, simply decent Drake songs

“For All the Dogs” disappointingly turned out almost exactly as expected: a boring, repetitive album that lacks creative direction. Throughout the album, it feels as if you have to trudge through Drake’s thoughts on women, his money, or his fame. Nearly the entire album can be categorized into one of these themes. This would be more acceptable if the songs were at least interesting to listen to, but they aren’t. Not only are Drake’s flows underwhelming on many of the tracks, but when he sings, it’s a special phenomenon, as if it is almost a chore to listen to. The autotune and unenthusiastic tone of his voice make it hard to enjoy, often making the track significantly worse. “Slime You Out” is a very prominent example. To justify the 23 tracks and an hour and a half runtime, Drake would have had to deliver something much better. However, Drake was trying something he hasn’t done in a while, and hopefully he can use this album as a basis for the albums to come, improving and modifying his execution. Some would say it was fine, others were underwhelmed, but that’s up to you to decide.