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If Kanye opted to go down the road less travelled with Donda, then Drake, hip-hop’s other golden boy, opted to stay on the highway with Certified Lover Boy.
That doesn’t make Certified Lover Boy a bad record, far from it, it just means there’s no risk taking, what you have here is an album from an artist who knows what his audience likes and who is happy to give it to them.
Sure, the album cover may be the most controversial of the year (mainly for what has been labelled the worst album cover art of the century) but anyone who judges an album by the cover has probably spent too much time reading The Guardian rather than rocking out.
Sure, it’s inconsistent at times and “You don’t know love, you don’t love me like my child” comes across as an odd line of defense for his parenting failures on In The Bible but overall?
This is a big record from rap’s biggest performer and there’s more than enough here to keep even the most churlish of fans happy.
And its best, on songs like Champagne Poetry, it shows you just how much talent this star has and why it’s no accident that he’s the golden boy of his scene even if there’s no hint of him growing up here.
For more of our timely, insightful album reviews check out our full collection here.
The first time Nicholas went to a live gig, 31 years ago, it turned out to be an Iron Maiden secret gig and he became hooked on the music scene. He was one of the founding writers for Astro Zombie a heavy metal and new world techno-inspired zine and his interview with Rob Caggiano of Anthrax brought in over 300,000 readers. He’s based out of Southeast Asia now, but his love of music is as strong and diverse as ever.