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Drake releases 'Views,' connects with fans on Apple's Beats 1 Radio

Rapper Drake released a new album, 'Views,' on April 28. He recently released mixtapes such as the 2015 work 'If You're Reading This It's Too Late' and 'What a Time to Be Alive,' which he worked on with hip-hop artist Future.

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Rapper Drake performs in concert at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia in 2013.

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Canadian hip-hop artist Drake has released a new album, titled "Views."

Drake, who also recently released such work as the mixtape "If You're Reading This It's Too Late" and the mixtape "What A Time to Be Alive" with hip-hop artist Future, released "Views" on Apple Music and iTunes on April 28. 

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Early reviews for the album have brought mostly praise but also criticize the amount of tracks (it has 20 songs), with Troy L. Smith of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writing that the work is Drake's "most focused and cohesive album since 2011's masterful 'Take Care'.... The one noteworthy flaw of 'Views' is its length." 

Meanwhile, Patrick Ryan of USA Today wrote that the album "is equal parts intriguing and lethargic – overstuffed and at times repetitive, but elevated by mesmerizing production and some of Drizzy’s strongest vocals to date" and Neil McCormick of The Telegraph found the album to be "genuinely mesmerizing listening, even if much of the album seems to consist of lazy meanders through Drake's psyche." 

Part of the release plan for "Views" included Drake appearing on Beats 1 Radio, Apple Music's online radio station, for an interview with Zane Lowe. 

The service that became part of Drake's promotion strategy is an online radio station that is always broadcasting and has studios in New York, Los Angeles, and London. 

After launching in 2015, Beats 1 Radio looks to be a success. Following its appearance on the music scene, Glenn Peoples of Billboard noted that while Apple was struggling at the time with the subscription portion of Apple Music, "it's having a far easier time getting them to listen to old-fashioned radio. Beats 1 ... has turned out to be a surprise hit." 

Vulture writer Lauretta Charlton found that "Apple Music's Beats 1 is exactly what we want out of a streaming service.... Beats 1, which broadcasts in over 100 countries, seems intent on creating a monoculture where everyone feels cool for the exact same reason: listening to Beats 1.... Beats 1 Radio is doing something right."

What would make Beats 1 appeal to listeners? Mr. Peoples wrote following the appearance of Beats 1 that "the reaction to Beats 1 suggests people appreciate, or miss, the communal listening experiences offered by traditional radio."