April 30, 2016 Vince Valholla

You Can’t Form an Opinion on an Album if you Skipped Songs from It

This article first appeared on Valholla’s Apple News Channel

Late Thursday night on April 28, Drake released his fourth studio album Views (Young Money Entertainment/Cash Money Records) on iTunes and Apple Music. It was quite the event. The day leading up to this night was filled with excitement because Drake was scheduled to premiere the set on his OVO Sound Radio Show along with Zane Lowe. That interview didn’t happen on time and the album ended up becoming available on Apple Music before Zane got to introduce himself.

When listening to an album for the first time, I usually listen to every song. After my first listen I usually take it for a spin a second time, but now I get a bit more critical, paying attention to the lyrics, production & hopefully looking at the credits. On my third listen is where I usually form an official opinion about the album. Depending on how many times I listen to an album, that opinion can morph into something else. This is the same approach I took with Views. Side note: Depending on how good the album is, dictates if it will even get a second or third listen or not.

Just after under an hour of the release of Views, reactions and star ratings started to pour in on Twitter. Mind you, the album has a runtime of 80+ minutes so it was impossible for anyone to truly sit with the album. How can you say whether an album is trash or not if you haven’t listened to it in full? It’s not mandatory to listen to an album from front to back but don’t tell anyone an album sucked without giving them the disclaimer, “Hey this album sucked, but I didn’t (or couldn’t) get through it all”. You see how different that sounds? You’re giving the next person the opportunity to form their own opinion by actually listening to that album. Your shitty half assed review could change someone’s mind about listening to an album that they might end up enjoying.

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As far as Views, after my fourth listen, I can say that the album was Great. Drake and company succeeded in making a cohesive and solid body of work. I consider this to be one of his best albums to date. Where it stacks up against his other albums, I don’t know yet. See how I didn’t force myself to give Views a place in history yet? It just came out! It’s not fair to creators who spend sometimes years creating a body of work for us to make a final judgement on it so quickly.

For those who don’t know, I run an independent music label based out of Miami, Florida and last year we released an album that did well regionally. We’re still pushing the album and we worked on it for a year and a half. So, I know how it feels to be on the creative side of things. We create work for public consumption can only hope people enjoy it. So the next time you express your opinions publicly about an album, ask yourself “Did I really hear this album?”.

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Vince Valholla

Vince Valholla is Chairman/Chief Executive of Valholla Entertainment, Inc. Valholla is a full service Music Label & Management Company based in Miami, FL. Valholla's 2015 release of Kirby Maurier's "Doing The Most" was one of the highest selling independent R&B albums in the South Atlantic Region. His opinion is his own.