I still don’t have a solid opinion on Drake. While he’s had a hand in some wonderful work over the past couple of years, he still throws out the old stinker. "Started From the Bottom" (as I mentioned in my Run the Jewels post), was one of the worst songs I heard all year.
And from the same album, you have “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, which was one of the best songs I heard this year.
In a way, Drake is almost the perfect pop music artist. Sometimes he doesn’t try, and is rubbish. Sometimes he does, and it’s pretty neat. Either way, he makes money. Pop music in a nutshell!
Me, I prefer it when songwriters do make an effort. My musical taste these days is such that I’m not really bothered by songs that don’t leave an impact on me, but if a song does resonate with me, I’m likely to remember it down the line.
(Although, seeing as "Wrecking Ball" was also one of my favourite songs of the year, the songs that resonate with me might have varied mileage with you.)
All of which brings us back to "Hold On, We’re Going Home". In a year where one of the biggest-selling singles was telling women "I know you want it", it was incredibly refreshing to hear a counter-argument in “you’re a good girl, and you know it”. Rather than badgering a lady into having sex, Drake just lets things slowly unwind through a mutual respect. The song is a smoky, end-of-an-evening trip through a night club, much like "PrimeTime" was earlier in this list.
The lyrics leave a lot to the imagination of the listener, which is always a plus for pop songs in this vein. The less information we have, the more we can attribute our own memories and dreams to the story. That’s how you get a song to resonate in the popular consciousness. You allow it to mean different things to different people.
So, naturally, Drake went on to completely ruin that aspect of the song when it came to making the music video, casting himself in a Scarface fantasy in which he rescues a damsel-in-distress wearing nothing but her underwear.
But that’s Drake for me. I have to have him both ways. And so long as I get the good side, I can deal with the bad.