Drake; Steve Earle; Jeff Bridges | The Miami Herald The Miami Herald

February 23, 2015 1:15 PM

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Drake wins the expectation game with "If You're Reading This It's Too Late." The late-night-on-a-Thursday surprise release on Feb. 12 was supposed to be a mixtape, a casually offhand sampling of new material given away for free as a stopgap before unleashing an official album, expected to be called "Views From the 6," later this year. Instead, "If You're Reading This" feels like a fully thought-out, cohesive piece of work, a 17-song display of the 28-year-old Toronto emcee's dexterity on the mic that benefits from the creative space allowed by not being under pressure to produce hit singles.

And while it may have been conceived as a mixtape, Drake is charging real money for it on iTunes - perhaps as a way to fulfill his contractual obligations to Cash Money, the label his mentor Lil Wayne is also at odds with - so let's call it a real album. It certainly works as one in the artistic sen...

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