So yeah, there’s a new Drake album, and with 25 tracks more or less divided into rap and R&B, it’s one of his most substantial efforts yet. Scorpion’s format also makes it easier than usual to pick out the gems, the songs that will be remixed ad infinitum and bumped in cars and clubs all summer long.
My pick is the song most unlike the others—and most unlike Drake. Come to think of it, “Summer Games,” produced by longtime collaborators Noah “40” Shebib and No ID, doesn’t sound like someone else. It recalls Drake from another era, when he grabbed the 808s & Heartbreak baton from Kanye West and ran with it faster and harder than Ye ever could.
“Summer Games” is a breakup song that makes you feel good, especially in the still-hot wee hours of a summer night. The hypnotically repetitive synths add some warm, New Wave contrast to a perpetually icy, machine-like beat. It sounds like the anthem to a John Hughes version of Blade Runner.
With Drake stutter-crooning about his heartbreak, “Summer Games” is probably not a track you’re going to hear in a Vegas club, not even as the cool-off closer at a packed outdoor party. But it could happen.