While Wayne has proven his genius in the past, “Funeral,” which seems random and arbitrary, is lacking. The first song of the album and the title track, “Funeral,” may just be the best of the bunch.
Dropped on Jan. 21, “Funeral” is Wayne’s 13th album, coming two years after 2018’s “Tha Carter V” — one of his biggest albums and arguably best works. Based on the success of its predecessor, Wayne had his work cut out for him.
Wayne brought in big names for “Funeral,” like Big Sean, Lil Baby, Adam Levine, 2 Chainz, Takeoff and deceased rapper XXXTentacion, to name a few. The songs with these artists added power to the album, especially “I Do It” with Big Sean and Lil Baby and “I Don’t Sleep” with Takeoff. However, much of the album falls short of what we expect from a rap legend like Wayne. Many of the songs feel random, as if Wayne is intensely rapping but saying little.
In addition, there isn’t a sense of a theme throughout the album.
In the song “Funeral,” Wayne discusses death and the meaning of life after death. The title and the track that bears its name both suggest that the album might be a meditation on life and death.
On “Bastard (Satan’s Kid),” Wayne reflects on his childhood and the concept of birth, illustrating a potential sense of duality. The rest of the album, however, isn’t consistent with this possible theme, so we’re left confused.
“Funeral” is also missing the addition of more upbeat dance-inspiring songs like “A Milli” and “Uproar,” both of which have become iconic songs. Some of the weaker points of the album would have been redeemed had Wayne included different track styles in order to offer fans a wider variety of music.
The last song on the album, “Wayne’s World,” didn’t give “Funeral” the strong finish that I’d hoped for. Instead of using the last chance to add a theme to the album, “Wayne’s World” is simply another typical rap about Wayne’s success and material wealth.
With every rap album, there’s of course a mix of slower songs and more upbeat songs. “Funeral” seems to be lacking in the latter category, giving fans a lackluster album with a few hits sprinkled throughout.
Overall, “Funeral” isn’t the ‘instant classic’ album we had hoped for from Wayne. While he has had plenty of hits throughout his career, we won’t find them on this album. Out of the 24 songs, only two or three are candidates for hits, and those feature other prominent names instead of showcasing a solo Wayne.