The solidly listenable and immediately forgettable Dark Lane Demo Tapes is quintessential Drake—vacillating, as he’s wont to do, from haughty trap elevator angst to nostalgia for shit that just happened 17 minutes ago. It’s the music you listen to when driving to and eating at The Cheesecake Factory, alone, while deciding when you should reply to been-read texts.
Drake’s brand is discardable ubiquity, and Dark Lane Demo Tapes, like Scorpion and Views and More Life preceding it, will be everywhere for the next four to six months—in playlists, at parties, on Twitter bios—and then it will be nowhere, like it never existed. You’d have to return to If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late for the last Drake album that people voluntarily return to.
This is accomplished by creating music that’s aggressively risk-averse, but lathering it with a veneer of soulfulness while performing rumination, a process akin to ripping out hardwood floors to replace them with laminate. It’s snorkeling in a kiddie pool. He is who he is—an unfathomably prolific and lucrative puff of hookah smoke—and wanting him to attempt to make an album that matters instead of IG story soundtracks is like wanting the sun to be chocolate.