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Nothing Was the Same Image
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79

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

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 476 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.
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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
    This isn’t Drake at his most exposed.... Production-wise, however, it’s his most mature, and frankly, most beautiful.
  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: 62 out of 84
  2. Negative: 11 out of 84
  1. Oct 7, 2013
    10
    A truly complex album which gets better upon each listen. I wasn't fully sold on it at first...it didn't grab me like Take Care initially didA truly complex album which gets better upon each listen. I wasn't fully sold on it at first...it didn't grab me like Take Care initially did but I find myself drawn to it more and more now. It has so many layers that each play through opens up new meanings and feelings. Potentially album of the year. Expand
  2. Mar 6, 2019
    10
    For the haters who think Drake is lame, shame on you. Back in 2013 Drake's third Album, Nothing Was the Same is a great album. Drake continuesFor the haters who think Drake is lame, shame on you. Back in 2013 Drake's third Album, Nothing Was the Same is a great album. Drake continues to improve his bars and his flow even better. The Beats are straight up on fire, and the production is dope. I love the songs from the album. There are dope songs on the album that I enjoyed, like "Started from the Bottom," "Wu-Tang Forever," "The Language," and his most popular song 'All Me ft 2 Chainz and Big Sean. And his sad songs like "From Time ft Jhene Aiko," and the last song on the album "Pound Cake / Paris Morton Music 2 ft Jay Z." But my favorite song on the album and my favorite from Drake has got to be "Hold On, We're Going Home ft Majid Jordan" I like the beat on the song, it definitely sounds catchy, and it remains as one of Drake's best songs of his career. Nothing Was the Same is a great album, and like his last album, this album is a must listen. I Highly recommend it. 10/10 Expand
  3. Sep 24, 2013
    10
    One of the best artist in the game!!! This albums beats sound amazing and are so smooth! Love every song in this album! This is a must get itsOne of the best artist in the game!!! This albums beats sound amazing and are so smooth! Love every song in this album! This is a must get its worth it believe me GET IT!!!!!!!!!!! Expand
  4. Sep 24, 2013
    8
    "Nothing Was The Same" is overall a great listen. Drake as a rapper is when he is at his best. Drake as a singer is when he falls flat. I also"Nothing Was The Same" is overall a great listen. Drake as a rapper is when he is at his best. Drake as a singer is when he falls flat. I also found some of the hooks to be lazy, repetitive, and left me thinking, "Is he even trying?". I thought the production saved most of the album. There were some songs on here that if it did not have the great beats on the track they would have fell flat. The production is also a more mature and focused sound with more R&B type beats. My favorite songs on this album are the ones where Drake raps because he's good at it. He has great wordplay, punchlines, lyricism, and have what it takes to be a great rapper. Drake sings, and again, I am not a fan only because I feel there are better, real R&B vocalist he could get who could sing better and examples of this are the songs Jhene Aiko and Sampha are features on. I felt Drake believed that we would accept his singing if he dropped a hot verse at the end of his songs after singing a majority of the track, but it doesn't work like that. If Drake continues to sing then he needs to do more songs like, "Hold On, We're Going Home" which may sound hypocritical, but is one of my favorites songs on the album. I really enjoyed how personal Drake got on this album as well. Drake continues to give us a introspective look inside; Fame, family, friends, women, relationships, haters, money, and his position in music. There are more positives about this album than negatives. Even if some of the negatives are bad, the positives are so good it cancels out the negatives. Drake isn't a rapper or R&B artist. Drake is just a guy who makes good music. Drake is in a lane of his own and he's succeeding at it and delivers every album including on, "Nothing Is The Same". 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 beAs 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 II'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. Jun 1, 2016
    0
    This album is just **** after **** after other crappy **** if someone call these horrible album a good album, maybe needs to discover whatThis album is just **** after **** after other crappy **** if someone call these horrible album a good album, maybe needs to discover what hip-hop is (and also what music is) Expand

See all 84 User Reviews