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The Wrangler

The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

Did “For All the Dogs” Live Up To Its Expectations?

Drake’s music has had a massive influence on the lives of high schoolers for years. Both his R&B and rap songs have been blasted before football games, hummed along to in the car on the way to school, played in the mosh pit during homecoming, and buzzed in Airpods during passing periods. Drake’s music means different things to different people. For me, his music reminds me that all feelings are valid, and his music encourages me to look on the bright side. Safiya Sloan (10) says that Drake’s music “…is an escape from all the things going on in life.” With all the recognition surrounding Drake, fans eagerly awaited an album even more successful than his past ones. 

Drake after bringing on his first feature, during one of his “It’s All a Blur” shows. (Allyson George )

Drake’s newest album, For All the Dogs, was released through OVO Sound and Republic Records on October 6, 2023. While the album might not be Drake’s #1, the track list is a new yet nostalgic mix of both hype songs and slower ones. 

A widely popular highlight on the album is Virginia Beach which features Frank Ocean’s unreleased 2012 song, Wiseman. The slow musical pace of Virginia Beach feels fresh and new, and the overlapping of Frank Ocean’s voice, Drake’s voice, and instrumentals add a cinematic element to the song. Virginia Beach is a restless, bittersweet love story. It tugs on the audience’s emotions using sounds and instruments more than lyrics. 

For All the Dogs is filled with amazing features that many fans argue outdo Drake in his songs. Some notable features are J. Cole, Lil Yachty, Sza, Sexyy Red, and Bad Bunny. A personal favorite song on the album without a feature is Polar Opposites. Polar Opposites narrates a story about two completely different people in a relationship and the frustrating challenges of crossing the bridge between all of the differences that separate them. It is a sad love story that Drake never gives true closure to and instead ends the song still longing for his polar opposite. Elijah Dean (9) says “Polar Opposites puts you in that right state of mind if you’re going fast in any situation in life. It gives you that feeling to stop and slow down every once in a while.”

Polar Opposites puts you in that right state of mind if you’re going fast in any situation in life. It gives you that feeling to stop and slow down every once in a while

— Elijah Dean

Another big success on the album is the song, 7969 Santa. The address 7969 Santa Monica Blvd. is the location of an ex’s favorite restaurant, called Delilah. Throughout the song, Drake’s willingness to do or give her anything symbolizes how desperately he wants to be enough to make her happy. However, throughout the song, he questions whether he is capable of giving her what she needs. Many teenagers and adults alike are familiar with the complicated emotions that come with love and relationships. This song successfully encapsulates the contradicting feelings of internal longing and doubt. Safiya Sloan says that “7969 is her favorite song because the music and Drake’s voice sound angelic.” 

For All the Dogs is also Drake’s first album in which he has highlighted his son, Adonis Graham. Six-year-old Adonis is not only featured in the song “Daylight” but he also illustrates the album cover, a drawing of a white dog with red eyes. 

Although I didn’t mention each one of the 23 tracks in For All the Dogs, the album is a well-executed and beautiful love letter to both Drake’s new and old fans. The songs lift you when in a dark place, celebrate with you in times of success, and validate the sometimes uncomfortable emotions we feel as humans. Overall, For All the Dogs is a thoughtful illustration of the bittersweet highs and lows throughout life and reminds listeners that they are never alone in their feelings. 

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About the Contributor
Isabelle Gregg
Isabelle Gregg, Photojournalist
Isabelle is a sophomore at Yorba Linda High School. This is her first year in Newspaper and she can’t wait to start writing! On campus, Isabelle stays involved, whether it be through ASB or YLHS’s track team. In her free time, she loves listening to music, reading, going to the beach, and watching new movies. Isabelle’s dream school is UCLA, but she would be happy attending college at almost any university in California! She hopes to work as a therapist/psychologist, or as a business owner in the future. She is so excited to learn and grow in Newspaper and continue making high school memories!

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  • T

    Tatum StewardDec 14, 2023 at 7:54 AM

    This is a great article and I love how you mix your own opinion, and compare it to other people’s thoughts about Drake’s album.

  • B

    BrendaDec 14, 2023 at 7:53 AM

    Great take on this new album!