Nothing Was the Same Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 239 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third full-length studio release for the Canadian artist features guest appearances from 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Jay-Z, and Majid Jordan.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. 100
    This lush, un-hurried album reveals a surer character, rebuking other rappers who talk smack "just to get a reaction" and even relatives diminished by easy money and proximity to fame.
  2. 90
    Nothing Was the Same wrestles Drake’s successes with his ever-lingering insecurities, and like some of the best music, we can see ourselves in these songs. It’s an exhilarating change of pace for the genre.
  3. Sep 24, 2013
    83
    Nothing Was the Same is ugly, yes, but cathartic.
  4. Sep 19, 2013
    80
    The more melodic his flow, the slicker he sounds, allowing him to get away with some truly corny lines.
  5. Sep 23, 2013
    80
    Nothing Was The Same showcases new skills--trimming the unnecessary songs, and focusing on narrative details the way he does on “From Time”--that will strengthen Drake’s arsenal and help him continue to cement his status as a pop-rap heavyweight for years to come.
  6. Sep 19, 2013
    72
    Drake's pop music con job is just too well executed despite all its obvious flaws to not be enjoyed.
  7. Sep 25, 2013
    20
    His relentless delivery ensures that words spill out in defiance of the breath required to sustain them. But rate does not guarantee quality, and on Nothing Was the Same, his lyrics are worse than ever.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 67
  2. Negative: 9 out of 67
  1. Sep 29, 2013
    10
    For the record, I usually don't buy albums but I had to purchase this one because I respect Drake for his honesty and how he keeps it 100..The album is great! Not too many artists is on his level. I must admit I like majority of the tracks on the album. Believe me! You will be happy you bought it. Expand
  2. Jun 4, 2014
    10
    Read my name! Yeahhhhh. Cuz we started from the bottom now we here, started from the bottom now my whole team here n****. Best album of Drake's by far. Collapse
  3. Sep 24, 2013
    10
    Not only Drakes best album, but one of the best in the genre for years. Every song is masterfully put together, showcasing both the talents of Drake and 40. Thankfully and ironically when you consider the title, a lot is the same in terms of Drizzy's ability to create material as fantastic as this. Another home run. Expand
  4. Sep 24, 2013
    8
    This album is very good. I'm not the biggest Drake fan but songs like "Tuscan Leather" and "Paris Morton Music 2" make me appreciate him more as an artist. This is definitely his BEST album. Expand
  5. Sep 24, 2013
    7
    As a rap album, it disappointed as I expected. This is not a rap album, plain and simple. It's too corny/soft to be one. Rappers can be vulnerable, but Drake takes it to another level where it's hard to take seriously. But when you take it for what it is (pop with a little rap and little r&b), there is a decent album here. Drake doesn't push himself lyrically too much if at all, but production wise this album is very good. If you can ignore Drake's corny lyrics, you can definitely vibe to his songs since the beats are great and his flow is okay. Drake thinking he is a real rapper when he isn't is what holds the album back. But the production really makes this worth a listen. P.S. the song "305 to my city" is one of the worst songs I heard in a while. It is awful. Expand
  6. Dec 16, 2013
    6
    I'm generally new to Drake, but since "Started from the Bottom" & "Hold On, We're Going Home" gave me completely different impressions I figured I'd check this out as a full-length introduction. I definitely like it more than I don't, even if I'll have more to say on the negative side of things. The album starts with 2 great songs that capture the best of both sides of Drake's songwriting. “Tuscan Leather” has a very interesting instrumental, taking one vocal sample & manipulating it into 3 differently-paced & equally well-arranged beats, one for each verse of the chorusless track. Lyrically it's basically brag-rap, but the kind of brag-rap I can get behind, more than anything because it sounds authentic in a way. He takes the time to feel rightfully confident about his success, while never getting overly obnoxious or idiotic about it. Is it complicated or clever all the way through? Not exactly. But I think it does what it set out to do pretty well. Same could be said about closing track “Pound Cake Paris Morton Music 2”, which has a decent verse from Jay-Z & another great vocal sample-driven beat. Meanwhile tracks like “Furthest Thing”, “From Time” & “Too Much” lament the effect these successes have on personal relationships & the conflict presented between loved ones & fame in a really clear & effective way over comparatively much more downbeat & solemn instrumentals driven by atmospheric synths. And while “Hold On, We're Going Home” has a few lovey-dovey cliches & can be a bit repetitive, but I still can't help but love it as a well-written smooth R&B-laced pop song. Either way, it's clear that Drake does have the talent to make songs with moods this different work cohesively together.

    Unfortunately I feel like he can't really carry either of those personalities over the duration of a whole hour-long album, since after a while both tend to get stale. On the braggadocios side of things, for me “Worst Behavior”, “The Language” & “All Me” (feat. the always insufferable 2Chainz & Big Sean) are all major low points, filled with lazy about wealth delivered with a delivery that sound like he's not even trying to have any real flow or cadence. Then there's “Started from the Bottom”. Look, if you've seen any kind of criticism of this song then you've heard the arguments that he grew up an actor on a very popular show & lived in an upper-middle class neighborhood with a very stable home life, which is far from “the bottom”. Also that his ideas of “struggle” are traffic & the occasional argument with your parents. But I read an interview where he said that his real troubles were with getting into the rap game transitioning from TV. Which really makes this song more of a wasted opportunity than anything else. I would've found a song where he details the problems he faced making this transition in the beginning of his music career very interesting if he put enough good thought & imagery in there. Instead he made a short, lazy throwaway single that didn't exactly help convince hip hop fans that he's worth listening to. But on the other side of things you have these monotonous breakup songs that just drag the album down for me & paint Drake as a whiny prick who just won't let go of the past. One more track I'll mention is “305 to My City”, a bizarrely pointless love song to a stripper that's pretty much inconsequential & has a chorus that really grates on me.

    The other problem I have is Drake's vocals. I get that he wants to blur the lines between rapper & singer, and he's definitely capable in both areas on a technical level, but would it kill this guy to emote once in a while?! Around 70% of the time, he's in this flat monotone that's somewhere between the 2 vocal styles that just comes off awkward to me. No matter how emotional his lyrical content might get, I can never feel him expressing it vocally. And it's not like the rapper/singer vocalist hasn't been done well before. It's just that Drake seems to be unable to decide what to do on a given song, and instead settles for a boring medium that does neither vocal style justice & only drags the song down because of it. Heck, the few moments where he dedicates a song or verse to one of these styles, like “Tuscan Leather” or “Hold On, We're Going Home”, are easily 2 of the moments on this album I found most entertaining sound-wise. Overall, I didn't dislike this album as much as I was fearing, but I didn't like it as much as I was hoping. It's a decent outing, if quite a mixed bag. While I'm not a fan of Drake quite yet, I can definitely see potential in his abilities to make an album that's great top to bottom.

    Top 5 tracks: Furthest Thing, Hold On We're Going Home, Tuscan Leather, Too Much, From Time
    Score: 64/100
    (For a longer & more detailed review, look up the Facebook page "That Non-Elitist Music Fan".)
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  7. Jan 15, 2014
    0
    Metacritic....is this a joke?

    Drake now has an album that is supposedly better than the MMLP. What the actual **** is going on. Drake's
    new album not only jumps around from pitifully forced love song to pitifully forced love song, but the instrumentals all sound practically the exact same. He has nothing new to offer, so he fabricates this "started from the bottom" BS, even though the little prick has been rich his whole life. Weak rhymes, decent singing, bland instrumentals.

    It seems critics are pretty close to elementary school kids. They all dress the same, and the second they get a teacher who does something different, even if he/she doesn't teach them anything, they all have mini-orgasms. FU.
    Expand

See all 67 User Reviews