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Drake’s ‘For All the Dogs’: All 23 Songs Ranked

today10/06/2023

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Another day, another Drake album. After nearly 10 months of teasing, delays, and an album campaign characterized by his first poetry book and a 21 Savage-assisted tour equally focused on music and bras, Drake has finally unveiled For All the Dogs.

Arriving on the heels of three consecutive Billboard 200-topping projects that were all received rather tepidly — 2021’s Certifed Lover Boy and 2022’s Honestly, Nevermind and Her LossFor All the Dogs promised a return to “the old Drake.” Now, the “old Drake” — whether that’s referring to some nebulous collective recollection of his Take Care glory days or a direct return to the ethos and sonic aesthetics of his earlier records — has been a term that has hounded the “Jimmy Cooks” rapper for years. Between forays into dance music and collaborative projects, a vocal segment of Drake’s fans have been clamoring for the moody, introspective R&B-informed stream-of-consciousness raps about relationship dynamics that dominated the tracklists of his first few studio efforts.

Standing at a whopping 23 tracks with one hour and 25-minute runtime, For All the Dogs spends what feels like an eternity trying to recapture the ember of “the old Drake” — but the efforts are futile, because so much of the album leans on an exact recreation of the “old Drake” approach to those topics, rather than returning to focusing on those storied subjects with a matured and evolve outlook.

Nevertheless, For All the Dogs boasts a star-studded roster of collaborators and surprise guests, including SZA (twice), J. Cole, Chief Keef, Sexyy Red, Snoop Dogg, Sade, Teezo Touchdown, Bad Bunny, Yeat, 21 Savage, Lil Yachty and PARTYNEXTDOOR — a wide-ranging list that reasserts Drake’s ability to select artistic partners who will expand his already vast audience and push him into trending sounds and styles that might be a bit removed from his usual wheelhouse. From soulful piano-laden Griselda-nodding soundscapes to party-ready mixtures of Miami bass and ’80s synths, For All the Dogs covers a lot of ground while remaining relatively sonically cohesive. The album certainly overstays its welcome and takes too long to truly find its pocket, but For All the Dogs works best when Drake makes it clear that he’s not taking himself too seriously, as he does on the genuinely hilarious “BBL Love (Interlude)” — but that’s not always the case, which makes the record feel tedious at best.

With a tracklist this bloated, sorting through For All the Dogs is no easy task, so here is a preliminary ranking of every song on Drake’s new record.

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