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The Battalion

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Criticism: ‘Her Loss’ barely delivers on what it promised and nothing more

Arts+Criticism+writer+Shea+Kissel+writes+about+%26%238220%3BHer+Loss%26%238221%3B+the+new+collaborative+Drake%2F21+Savage+album.
Via Drakerelated/Instagram

Arts Criticism writer Shea Kissel writes about “Her Loss” the new collaborative Drake/21 Savage album.

Rating: 6/10

After a number of highly successful hit songs together, Atlanta rapper 21 Savage and Toronto rapper and singer Drake finally have released a collaborative album. After surfacing as a rumor on Instagram, being announced officially through the “Jimmy Cooks” music video and delayed a week, “Her Loss” was released Friday, Nov. 4. 

This is Drake’s second album of the year, with “Honestly, Nevermind” — his seventh studio album — released in June. 21 Savage, on the other hand, has not released a major project since his 2020 collaborative album “Savage Mode II” with Metro Boomin. 
Although this is the first time the artists have released a full album together, they have a history of frequently collaborating. The song “Knife Talk” from Drake’s 2021 album “Certified Lover Boy” has over 400 million plays on Spotify, and the previously mentioned “Jimmy Cooks” reached the very top of the Billboard 100 on its release. The success of both these songs has undoubtedly influenced the creation of a full-length album.

The constant collaborations between Drake and 21 Savage are no coincidence; both have a similar energy they bring to their rapping. 21 Savage has always been able to emit a dark, menacing presence on the mic, which is something Drake has also been replicating since his 2020 mixtape, “Dark Lane Demo Tapes.” 

“Her Loss” contains 16 songs in total, which run to exactly 60 minutes. The album only contains one feature, Travis Scott, but is assembled from a colorful array of producers. 
Unfortunately, this collaborative album can hardly be considered collaborative. Of the 16 tracks, 4 of them are Drake solos, and the songs that do have 21 Savage on them still sound like Drake songs with a guest feature. 21 definitely has a major presence, but there is an undeniable imbalance between him and Drake. 
There aren’t any songs that stand out as being particularly great, nor are there ones that stand out as being particularly bad. “Her Loss,” like most Drake albums, falls into the middle region of rap music that isn’t poorly made by any metric, but doesn’t leave a lingering impression either. But it’s this trait of complete inoffensiveness that has propelled Drake to become the most popular rapper alive today, so no one should be surprised that he continues to follow his same formula.

However, his previous release “Honestly, Nevermind” had a surprisingly new sound to it, taking inspiration from electronic house music. No matter how mixed the reviews were, it did show Drake stepping out of his boundaries and doing something original. It’s simply disappointing to see him return to his usual ways on “Her Loss.”

Occasionally, the album will try to do something memorable, but besides some very awkward beat switches on “Rich Flex” and “Pussy & Millions,” nothing really escapes the abyss of Drake’s mediocrity. 

That’s not to say “Her Loss” is a bad album. “BackOutsideBoyz” is a headbanger with standout production from rapper Lil Yatchy, and the forgotten collaborator 21 Savage delivers a catchy verse on “Spin Bout U.” 

F1lthy of the “Working on Dying” underground producer collective, who has recently been getting some mainstream attention after his successful work on Playboi Carti’s “Whole Lotta Red” album and Lil Yachty’s “Poland” single, has a credit on “Jumbotron Shit Poppin.” However, his iconic thrashy metal style sounds very watered down on this album.

“Her Loss” is good, but is neither Drake nor 21 Savage giving their best (if there were any MVPs, it would have to be Lil Yachty).

Projected to earn the No. 1 spot on the U.S. albums chart, “Her Loss” is a commercial success. However, critics seem unsatisfied, with Pitchfork calling it “drastically uneven in every way,” and The Rolling Stones saying it was a “misfire.”

Saying it is definitively bad would be too harsh for “Her Loss.” If anything, the album makes for a smooth listen, but just doesn’t leave an impactful impression.

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