Review : Drake’s Take Care

Drake is an artist with who I’ve always had a very complicated love/hate relationship, musically speaking of course. When the single Forever was released in late 2009, I thought he was going to be the next big thing (I wasn’t wrong, let’s be honest), holding his own against top players like Eminem, Kanye West and Lil Wayne. And then I heard the auditive disaster that was Best I Ever Had. Still to this day, I consider it to be the worst song to get radio airplay in the last 10 years.

Drake’s second album Take Care, which leaked online earlier today, but will officially be released on November 15th, is not going to help my problem with the former Degrassi star.

While it may have been unclear at the beginning of his young career, Drake has now completely assumed his choice of being both a R&B and Hip-Hop artist. Too bad for the people who enjoy just one of those two types of music, because either way, you’ll have to skip through half of the album. Take Care is virtually 50% of each genres, and had he focused on what he does best, which I consider is rapping, he would have landed the album of the year, hands down.

Drake clearly has some of the greatest hip-hop tracks to be released lately on his sophomore LP. When he starts rhyming over a Just Blaze production on Lord Knows with Rick Ross, you just know right away that this is a song that will be looping several times in your car with the windows rolled down. The grandiose choir singing accompanying the two superstars’ flows made me bounce my head automatically after the first few seconds of the track. Aubrey Graham also takes his rapping skills to high levels on tracks like Underground Kings, We’ll Be Fine and Make Me Proud, a single featuring Nicki Minaj, released earlier in October.

But even if the Young Money star is capable of the best, he’s also able to release more Best-I-Ever-Had-caliber failures, like the single Headlines. The song sounds like a bad mixture of a circus beat combined with an off-sync drum line that looks like it was produced by a drunken 14-year-old teenager in front of an 808. Some R&B songs are also very weak, and do not match at all the level of creativity that protégé The Weeknd released earlier this year. Speaking of The Weeknd, he saves the R&B genre on Take Care, with the song Crew Love, on which he sings, and Drake raps. The beat is something completely out of the classic R&B mold, and The Weeknd’s voice arrangement is epic. The rest of the R&B tracks are flavourless, dull, and totally lack personality. Marvin’s Room could be an exception here, because Drake shows honesty and vulnerability in his lyrics, but you quickly forget that when the following song starts off with “I got rich off a mixtape“…

I was also expecting an incredible song in Doing It Wrong which was listed as featuring the legendary Stevie Wonder. When the track finally hit my speakers, I noticed that the only thing Wonder does is an harmonica solo at the end of the track. If you’re going to have one of America’s greatest musicians of all time featured on your rap album when you’re 25, make it count! At least have him sing a verse or something…

I’m still unsure about what my answer will be when people ask me “Is the new Drake album good ?” Of course it’s good, but if someone else asks me “Is the new Drake album bad ?”, I will unfortunately have to answer yes also. The album has such epic moments, but such weak ones also that it would be very hard to give it a score on a scale of 1 to 10. Maybe I’m not open-minded enough towards R&B yet to understand the style that Drake is aiming for on half of his tracks on Take Care, but to me they sound like sub-par songs that would not have made the final cut on a Trey Songz or The-Dream album. I hope Graham will focus on what he does best in the future, because his rap skills are up there with the best of them. It just feels like he’s trying to do too much, a formula that may or may not work in the long run. But looking at his record sales up to now, I’d understand if he didn’t listen to my advise…

Good album, but it had the potential to be great, and it didn’t achieve that.

Make Me Proud


One response to “Review : Drake’s Take Care

  1. Pingback: | Review : Drake’s Take Care |

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