Drake’s latest LP Take Care, one of the most anticipated albums of the year, leaked earlier this week—a week before it’s scheduled November 15th release date.
Top to bottom, this album is an expression of Drake’s evolution over the past 12 months. Instead of using the album to solidify his name across the music spectrum—the goal of his debut LP Thank Me Later—. Take Care is a more confident, composed, and relaxed project that uses a lot of different sounds to utilize Drake’s voice and increased charisma.
Take Care appeals because it’s honest. From the album opener “Over My Dead Body” he claims “I think I killed everybody in the game last year/ man fu*k it I was on though” with bravado. On the tapes finale ,“The Ride” produced by Jaime XX and featuring The Weeknd, Drake shares what he’s experienced on his way up, “You know it’s real when your latest nights are your greatest nights/ the sun is up when you get home it’s just a way of life”. Along with the lessons he’s taken with him, “they say mo’ money mo’ problems my [homie] don’t believe it/ I mean sure theres some bills and taxes I’m still evading, but i blew six million on myself and I feel amazing”.
“Lord Knows” produced by Just Blaze is the album’s most powerful track. Blaze hired a 37-person choir to bring the epic soul inspired song to life and Drake’s flow shines through the production like the sun on a summer afternoon. Other assists come from a talented group of individuals, including Lex Lugar and OVO residents Noah “40” Shebib and Boi-1da.
Other vocal guest appearances include Kendrick Lamar, who lays down arguably the tracks best verse on an interlude at the end of “Marvin’s Room” titled “Buried Alive”. Andre 3000, sneaks onto the end of “The Real Her” to steal the show; to be fair neither Wayne or Drake verses were overly convicting. The Weeknd is featured again on “Crew Love”, but the biggest surprise feature comes from Stevie Wonder, who lends a beautiful saxophone solo to “Doing it Wrong.”
Overall, Drake made a safe album. The songs are good, but if he was hoping to create a classic, or carve his name next to an album like The Love Below, it wasn’t that big of a step. If the album had conitnued in the direction “Dreams Money can Buy” and “Marvins Room” had led us on to believe, it could of been that.
But instead Take Care falls into a number of hip-hop album pitfalls: It comes with your bangers “HYFR”, “We’ll be Fine”; the latter features an unnecessary mood killing Bridman rant where he claps his hands and tells us how much money he’s made off the talent of others. While a Rihanna track with a recycled Jaime XX electro beat from his album with the late Gil-Scott Heron falls into the “club song for the ladies” category. With no real concept besides having your boys back and being bored of 5 star restaurants; it’s a shell of what I expected from Take Care in July.