Drake; the man that doesn’t stop. Providing us with hit after hit whilst showing no signs of stopping anytime soon – but are we seeing a downwards spiral into a realm of regurgitated content? It looks that way…
With his first solo piece since the somewhat successful “playlist” More Life, Drake returns to release his new single; Signs. Despite More Life ultimately falling miles short of Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN., in both sales and popularity, it has not deterred the Canadian and he is already back to business (although hinting towards a relatively short, hiatus for the remainder of the year). The single has been marketed as a promotion for a ‘Drake Vs Louis Vuitton’ collaboration, an interesting marketing campaign by Louis Vuitton to promote their Spring/Summer ’18 collection. Or, perhaps, the release of this song comes as an unexpected, yet auspicious, reaction to such shortcomings in sales. All we know for sure is that Drake, like many times before, released the track on his own OVO Sound Radio on Apple Music at the end of last week.
I know what you’re thinking, and yes, you’re right – in the simplest terms, this song is One Dance. With the same infectious 4/4 drum beat and synth chords layered in – it is, in theory, the exact same song. However, I love One Dance and I do not love this. It’s difficult to pinpoint why One Dance is, and will remain, one of the most popular songs of the 21st century, but it clicked with millions – maybe the simplicity, funk of the rhythm and vocals of UK vocalist, Kyla, just resonate within our ears. Now, I find myself pondering upon what Drake and his team of producers are trying to do here – did they think because One Dance was so successful they could replicate it so soon after much of its popularity died down? Or was this part of the contribution Louis Vuitton implemented in the production of this song, were they in fact the ones who believed they could capitalise on the titanic single? These are ideas I can unfortunately not answer; however, I do know that they have made a mistake.
The slight toning down of pitch and chords lower the overall vibe to this single – creating a weird, hybrid, love child of One Dance and Redemption, which singularly are two of my favourite Drake songs. I can’t quite work out if I’m meant to be up dancing or staring out of a car window on a rainy day with this song. It just doesn’t work. Trying my best to individualise this song into its own category, it’s, at best, an album filler. The lyrics are typical Drake, a modern day, Beverly Hills love story of lust and desire, which I personally have no issue with – as long as it is executed well. The rhythm is basic and isn’t revolutionary (if you hadn’t quite worked that out yet). It’s not even to the standard of what of my colleague, Aaron Jackson, describes as ‘radio fodder’, making it difficult to differentiate from his vast offering of music.
Unfortunately, Drake and his team of producers in collaboration with Louis Vuitton have missed the trick here. Fortunately for us, this seems to be no indication of upcoming work or promotion for himself. I am sure the income from the sponsorship of the fashion label will comfort him in his plethora of criticism from this piece.