I know it took me a while to write this review. It’s been a little over a week and I have been trying to digest Grateful in the best way possible. Let’s take a look at the album as a whole, before tearing it apart piece by piece, though, because I’m ready to take a huge bite out of Grateful real quick!
Initially, the pre-release hype for the album was there. People loved the “Wild Thoughts” song before it was even out yet, “I’m The One” had already reached 2x platinum, and the first single, “Shinin’,” also did numbers. Before Khaled revealed each artist featured, we already knew Bey, Jay, Justin Bieber, Chance The Rapper, Lil Wayne, Quavo, Rihanna, and Bryson Tiller were all confirmed additions. And of course, with cute little Asahd as executive producer, Grateful was already set up for success. Who wouldn’t be excited to support a little baby’s first album?! Plus, Khaled always seems to deliver, especially when it comes to star presence on his tracks.
To be honest I’ve been wanting to do a song by song breakdown for an album. I wanted to do it for Grateful because I knew I would have lots to say and I do, but for all the wrong reasons.Let me start by saying: The first 5 tracks were solid. The intro was a perfect opener for the album. The first minute has no words, but instead birds, nature, and Lion King vibes. The intro was true to what I expected from the whole album; island, summer feels and bright production. Needless to say, it set the right mood overall for my expectations, but not for the album which was generally all over the place.
Let me start by saying: The first 5 tracks were solid. The intro was a perfect opener for the album. The first minute has no words, but instead birds, nature, and Lion King vibes. The intro was true to what I expected from the whole album; island, summer feels and bright production. Needless to say, it set the right mood overall for my expectations, but not for the album which was generally all over the place.
The next 4 songs were the singles off the album, so I already knew what to expect, but I still gave each song a listen. Mostly because I believe in listening to albums in full upon their release, but also because I like all 4 of those songs, for the most part. Second on the tracklist was “Shinin’,” which had to grow on me when I first heard it. Then I had to access where I am in life, after that, I loved the song. Other than it being a good listen in the car, it’s an overall powerful and positive message. This song gets a 90% in terms of overall song. I don’t know what it was missing, but something wasn’t there for me.
When it comes to #3, “To The Max,” the only question I have is where are the Drake vocals we have been waiting so long for, cause I know for damn sure we weren’t waiting on his few lines on this less than 3-minute track. If you didn’t notice the last minute of the song was instrumentals, making drakes vocals less than a total minute on the entire album. I need Khaled to return these, for something more substantial and I need to know why his song was so hyped up!?!?
Next comes “Wild Thoughts.” In my personal opinion, I like Rihanna’s music just as much as the next person, but not so much that I already like a song I haven’t even heard before. With that being said, “Wild Thoughts” was one of the only songs I will replay, by choice, off of the album. I might even listen once a day so that’s saying something. As far as Bryson’s part goes, I’ve always turned away from his music, but this time around, with the addition of Rihanna, I am pleased with the turnout.
At this point, I want to fly through the review just as much as I wanted to fly through the album after hearing this next song, “I’m The One.”
This star-studded song featured pop star, Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper, and Lil Wayne. Now, first of all, this song matched up well with the first four and for that, I am “Grateful.” Aside from that though, my feelings are on the fence. Although we can appreciate the song for what it is, a 2x platinum hit, it’s hard to recognize Khaled as the producer when he came from such a different past. We are used to hearing songs like “All I Do Is Win” and “I Got The Keys,” so coming full-fledged into the pop realm took a few, if not many of us by surprise.
It’s also what had me confused during the rest of the album. Like, How did we get from here to there? It started off so light and airy and then when we get about halfway through; we’re tossed into some, in my opinion, dark and off track music we never asked for.
Two out of the three next tracks were aight and “It’s Secured” just outright sucked. Not because of Travis Scott, not because of Nas or Khaled. It just wasn’t the right mash up between Travis and Nas and pretty much everything else, to be honest. Individually the beat was good, Travis could have possibly been better, but my issue came when it sounded as if they said “It’s Secured” together in the mic in unison. That got a no from me dawg.
“On Everything” was straight and a close to top favorite was “Nobody” featuring Nicki Minaj and Alicia Keys. One thing I can say is that I feel like most of the beats were made to cater to the artists, so that may be why I got the vibe that the album was all over the place.
As far as the “Interludes” go, I felt like they were top pieces on the album and went well with the initial feel I got from the first songs. It was nice to see Belly as a feature on there as well, he is sort of underrated right now.
“I Love You So Much” was another expected and pleasant song on the album. It’s commendable to see Chance and Khaled so involved in their kids lives and they set an amazing example for the rest of us.
“Major Bag Alert,” “Good Man,” “Billy Ocean,” and “Iced Out My Arm” were good songs, but by the time I got to them I had kind of given up on the overall project.
I also think “That Range Rover Came With Steps” is a bit much for a title, but once I listened this far, I was starting to get petty.
The title is Grateful and had as many songs as Khaled is extra, but if quality, as opposed to quanity, was the main focus, I think Khaled would have had a better album to be “Grateful” for.
Also, make sure to go check out my fellow blogger and friend Anders who is dropping a review on this project at 8 pm on YouTube! He had me join him as we listen to each song and give our opinions on the full project and once it drops, you can watch it below!!!
Thanks for the love and support! Please let me know your thoughts on the album in the comments below!!!!