Lyrical Analysis: “Falling Back” by Drake

The lyrics can be found here.  Here is the song:

As “Falling Back” ends, Drake repeats the phrase “Falling Back on…” 23 times. What is so intriguing about this is how it provides an experience of over-abundance-and-indulgence, 23-times in-a-row. It is novel to experience anything that many times in succession, but a melody makes the experience immediately-accessible. As a singer/songwriter, if Drake is trying to create empathy for the anxiety of not making the right decision when he has so many options, a practical way to create this empathy is to experience what is heard for the second-half of the song.

This is a metaphoric and ideological repetition, 23 times. Drake also features 23 brides in the music video, so regardless intention, it is almost as if each line represents a different betrayal or relationship. It is easy to hear this, as with each repeated phrase, the song also builds in vulnerability and emotion; the literal words and meaning become abstract — it’s more about the overall sound.

In the metaphor (and literal reality) of having too many potential true loves and not wanting to choose the wrong one, there is a real fear and hurt communicated, particularly with Drake’s use of falsetto. With the first-half of “Falling Back” about self-reflection and introspection, it is easy for the cathartic journey of this song to inspire deep emotional truth: even tears.

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