Pop Music

Drake's "Fireworks," Thank Me Later's latest leak: Does it live up to its name?

With close to six months of postponed release dates under its belt, two official videos already out in advance of its supposed release on June 15, and almost every one of its tracks leaked all over the internet, Drake's much anticipated first full-length, Thank Me Later, has generated a ton of hype. The latest track to get leaked, "Fireworks," has had the blogs and celebrity rags buzzing anew, because in the second verse, as Drake himself has confirmed, the teen-actor-turned-rapper addresses his brief and much-speculated-upon fling with songstress Rihanna.

For some time, Drake has dodged media inquiries about that relationship, referring to Rihanna as "a good friend" and generally refusing to acknowledge it happened. So now, with the song out for the listening, gossip blogs are treating the song as an answer to their thwarted speculations. But the question nobody seems to be asking is, well, is tune any good?

The short answer is: Not really. Like most of the rest of Thank Me Later, which dabbles in either huge Phil Collins-style drums and synths (think rapping over a Kenny Loggins slow-jam) or ponderous piano ballads, it's pretty mediocre -- although Drake's flow seems to have tightened up since his earlier offerings. "Fireworks," in particular, underwhelms with a chorus rooted in flaccid, reverby piano chords, Alicia Keys vocally noodling on top and a verse that sounds suspiciously like Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls." The drum production, on the other hand, which is dried up to resemble the sound of, you know, fireworks, is kind of clever.

In any case, the influence of Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak is apparent throughout what's available of the album so far, and particularly so on this track. But don't take our word for it -- listen to the song below and judge for yourself.

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte