Hey, if it works for Plan B…
Alfred Soto: Do you sing badly or rap lamely? Make up your mind.
Al Shipley: Let’s be clear: Drake’s singing is praised because he’s ostensibly a rapper, but it’s not like he’s hot shit by R&B standards. Nobody would listen to a less talented Trey Songz sidekick/soundalike if he just sang, and his third-best-voice-in-a-group skills would get him one lead vocal on a deep cut if he was in, say, 112. The “hey hey hey” riff peppering the verses is bad enough, but when he tries to emote on that luxurious bridge it’s just embarrassing.
John Seroff: I’ve made no secret of my utter disdain for Drake as a rapper; his lack of personality lends much better to anonymous ballad hooks like the never-ending chorus that is “Find Your Love”. On the one hand, it’s ridiculous that there’s not a single substantive moment to be found here; on the other, at least he’s just meanderingly auto-jangling and not mangling the language or my nerves with his punchline bullshit. I can’t bring myself to find this too offensive. Just disposable.
Anthony Easton: Drake on his own is a little too much — I find myself overdosing on his sweetness or his aesthetic, or how normal and unbroken he is (think of the weird fight he is having in Toronto right now, considering how street he is, and what he is pretending at, and it seems to be nothing and everything). His work in other places works as a leavening agent, grounding other artists’ egos and excesses, but all alone… *shrug*
Martin Skidmore: It seems not everyone is tired of him yet. This is almost entirely sung rather than rapped, with careful autotuning making it sound relatively smooth, even sweet in parts, but Drake’s still droning as much as singing it, which sucks out any loveliness it might have had with a better vocal.
Chuck Eddy: I put this song on a Rhapsody mix to play in the background while I was working, right after Ne-Yo’s “Beautiful Monster,” which I really like a lot, and it was not shamed by the company. Which says something. On the other hand, unless I forced myself to pay attention to it, I barely even noticed it was there. It just keeps disolving into thin air. No idea whether that’s what Drake intended, or not.
Jonathan Bogart: Shit, I did not want to say good things about Drake, the easiest punching bag to come along in hip-hop since I don’t know when. (Ja Rule?) He’s consistently been the worst feature of any track I’ve heard him participate in — and he still kind of is. But that glistening cool production, the sort-of aching melody, and the general 80s electro-ballad vibe of the track is enough for me. This needs to soundtrack a driving-around scene starring some chiseled non-actor in sunglasses and a feathered haircut, and it will have found its home.
Mark Sinker: Just like Example, terrific arrangement — craft-layered fragments and implied wider world — as throwaway backdrop for solipsism ordinaire. Drake CAN sing, but the subject (himself) somehow doesn’t seem to urge him into bothering.
Ian Mathers: In a positively shocking turn of events, it seems that the less Drake focuses on bitching about his life, the better his music gets. Less surprisingly, the result is perfectly fine radio fodder, but remains stubbornly un-amazing.
Katherine St Asaph: Kanye’s much better behind the scenes, where his memes don’t get in the way. The credit here is mostly his; even if the hey-hey-hey’s mimic 808s too closely, Kanye is still very good at what he does. All Drake had to do was meander into the studio; a lot has been made of his vocals, but he’s no better or worse than your standard hook singer. Unfortunately, he’s only really distinctive when his smugness shows, and the subtle put-downs and uncomfortable “you better”s kind of sour this for me. Not that his audience will mind.
Renato Pagnani: 808s & Heartbreak comparisons don’t paint the whole picture. Yeah, Drake uses some of Kanye’s moves from that disc (his chameleonic voice sounds almost identical to Yeezy during his “Hey hey heeeeys”) and adopts the same accusatory asshole position -— he doubts you’ll be able to find another dude as good as him, he’s just not another option (he sings the world “option” with glorious disdain) —- but he is also willing to admit his mistakes, something Kanye wasn’t prepared for on 808s. The chasm between their head-spaces is further reflected in ’Ye’s production. On 808s it conveyed a sterile emptiness really well, which made sense because of Kanye’s reality at the time; all the air had been sucked out of his world. “Find Your Love”, which breathes much easier, is also much warmer than anything off of 808s, and, dare I say it, organic. Drake, after all, isn’t the bitter cynic about love that Kanye is (yet), and the production nails that fact. It’s the purple-tinged glow after a thunderstorm during that lurch of time before the sun begins to rise, both ruminative and hopeful. It’s almost as if through his production Kanye is warning Drake not to go down the same path he did, and assuring him that, hey, things will be okay.
Hillary Brown: What this reminds me of most is listening to LPs as a tween, both in its evocation of the beginnings of parsing lyrics for meanings about love (to then apply those words to one’s own situation, more imaginary than not) and in its specifically 80s smoove sounds, so, while it’s not terrifically sophisticated, it’s got nostalgia working for it, and he still has a sweet voice.