Drake’s Dark Lane Demo Tapes is an album packed full of songs that are good enough, but nothing ground-breaking. The Toronto rapper is under pressure to stay in the spotlight but bringing out an album every year is resulting in more average music with little consistency.
The opening track, “Deep Pockets”, is comfortable terrain for Drake. The sound feels recycled from 2016’s Views and lyrically, he doesn’t seem to say much. “Not You Too ft. Chris Brown” sounds similarly recycled, this time nodding to 2018’s Scorpion. It’s easy, breezy, but nothing particularly original.
There’s nothing wrong with going back to old sounds but for an artist as innovative as Drake, the majority of the tracks on Dark Lane Demo Tapes feel lazy and disappointing. Rather than pumping out album after album, fans would hardly mind waiting for an album on par with 2013’s Nothing Was The Same. That year, this was the record that set the bar for everyone else. In comparison, Dark Lane Demo Tapes is filled with album fillers and is largely uninspired.
There is the odd stand-out track on the new record. “Tootsie Slide” is catchy and will likely be popular at the clubs when they eventually reopen. Still, it sounds a little eager to jump on the TikTok catchy-snippet trend. “Not You Too”, on the other hand, sounds more out of Drake’s comfort zone. This pays off as unlike many of the other tracks on the album, it doesn’t sound like a reimagining of previous songs.
Later on the year, Drake has promised fans that he will be dropping a “more concise” record. Hopefully, this means that a shorter, more polished record will be heading our way in summer. This would enable us to overlook the complacent mashup that is Dark Lane Demo Tapes.