Any links to the original are hardly noticeable in truth. Under SBTRKT’s influence, it has become a glitchy, experimental production that throws together stop-start percussion, a plethora of crisp, piercing melodies and a touch of James’ vocal harmonies, with the latter being the only obvious connection to the original. Given that it doesn’t have the smooth, sultry vibe of Drake either, it can be fairly taken as a piece independent to the original, and in that light it’s a relatively easy listen that I’m sure many chillout electro heads will be really into.
Sidenote: there were 4 Drake releases yesterday, but I’m only posting 3 as the 4th was terrible.
If Jodeci Freestyle appeals slightly more to the guys, this one will most definitely reel his extensive female fanbase back in, with Drake making a rather rare return to his singing style throughout.
The hook features Drake’s once-trademark drifty vocals, and it’s actually quite refreshing to hear them again; his attempts at being seen as a rapper first and foremost have almost hidden this side of his work, despite it being a facet which actually makes his mainstream work slightly more bearable. The verses offer a hybrid rap-singing delivery, and it’s one that works well to add depth to the stripped-back, barely-there production in the first verse, whilst his slightly alteration in flow for the second takes advantage of the increased percussive element. Sampha’s backing vocals make for a nice alternative layer, with their natural melancholy enhancing the more spaced-out elements in the production. Probably not one with a massive shelf-life as it gets a little boring, but a good addition to those chillout playlists.
Good and bad sides to this one, from the masked man with a dislike of vowels. The subtlety of change in the verses is excellent, with a slight tempo shift, more reverb and a couple of other small additions that add gentle originality to Frank’s excellent track without being dominating. However, the same can’t be said for the hook, which features an incredibly grating synth that sounds horribly out of place, both in the context of the remix and of the original. I’m sure the techno heads will love the inclusion, but for me it’s a horrible distraction away from the best part of Frank’s vocal performance on the track, and really doesn’t do that original hook any justice.