Drake albums, ranked: Fans voted, and it’s a tie for number-one! But it’s not ‘Certified Lover Boy’

Upon the blockbuster release of Drake‘s “Certified Lover Boy,” we asked our readers to vote for the best of his career so far from among his six studio albums — not counting the numerous EPs and mixtapes he has released over the past decade. See the results and take a trip down memory lane by listening to those albums below.

6. “Certified Lover Boy” (2021) — 5.08%

5. “Scorpion ” (2018) — 7.63%

4. “Views” (2016) — 11.02%

3. “Thank Me Later” (2010) — 11.86%

1. “Nothing Was the Same” (2013) — 32.2%

1. “Take Care” (2011) — 32.2%

Judging from fans’ votes, early Drake was the best Drake, with his first three albums (2010’s “Thank Me Later,” 2011’s “Take Care,” and 2013’s “Nothing Was the Same”) getting a combined 76.26% of the vote, while his three most recent efforts (2016’s “Views,” 2018’s “Scorpion,” and 2021’s “Certified Lover Boy”) scored a combined 23.74%. Perhaps brevity is also the soul of wit since those top three albums include fewer than 20 tracks while his bottom three included 20 or more. Padding your runtime certainly helps rack up more streams to boost your numbers on the charts, though it might also make for more inconsistent quality.

Perhaps surprisingly, our readers’ responses correspond almost perfectly to the assessments of music critics, at least judging from MetaCritic scores. “Nothing Was the Same” is rated as his very best with a 79 score, followed very closely by “Take Care” at 78 and his debut “Thank Me Later” at 75. But it has been diminishing returns ever since: 69 for “Views,” 67 for “Scorpion,” and 61 as of this writing for “Certified Lover Boy.”

The numbers don’t perfectly correspond with his Grammy track record, though. Fans’ number-one album “Take Care” was his only winner for Best Rap Album thus far, but it was two of his later releases, “Views” and “Scorpion,” that earned him his Album of the Year nominations despite their relatively mixed receptions with reviewers. But by then Drake had built tons of cultural capital, and in terms of their commercial performance, they were the number-two albums of their respective years on Billboard’s year-end charts. The Grammys often go for popular behemoths even when they don’t have strong critical support. And Drake has proved nothing if not that he’s a popular behemoth.

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