OVO’s newest signee unleashes his highly-anticipated debut album with help from dvsn, 24hrs, and PARTYNEXTDOOR
Say Less finds Roy Woods stepping out from Drake’s shadow with a debut album overflowing with soulful pop ballads, club bangers, and stellar collaborations. Backed by a team of Canadian beatmakers including Dzeko, Murda Beatz and Prezident Jeff, the album pays homage to OVO’s patented Toronto sound with ice-cold production and isolated beats. Clocking in a few minutes shy of an hour, the album does overstay it’s welcome, but there’s still plenty of gold found scattered within the filler.
“Medusa,” kickstarts the album with Woods showcasing his impressive vocal range. It’s a sprawling, ready-for-radio track dedicated to a gold obsessed “boss bitch.” Elsewhere, PARTYNEXTDOOR shows up for the standout “Back It Up.” With PND on the hook, Woods confidently raps about getting lit with his OVO labelmates and a girl who he never calls but she still wants to see him on the regular. It’s a bumping track perfect for late-night smoke rides while cruising through the city.
The only thing holding this album back from classic status is Drake’s overbearing influence. Even though he doesn’t make an official appearance, most of the tracks sound like they could easily squeeze into Views From The 6 without missing a beat. On “Top Left,” Woods cops the chorus from Queen Bey’s “Irreplaceable,” much like how Drake borrowed Jennifer Lopez’s chorus from “If You Had My Love,” for this years “Teenage Fever.” Even though the track stands as one of the album’s highlights, it comes across more like a Drake B-side than his own.
Nonetheless, Say Less is a fearless debut from the 21-year-old Canadian wunderkind. There’s enough singles here to dominate radio for the next several months, and enough potentiality to keep listeners (and critics) intrigued until his second full length effort.