|Artist: Drake Title: “Take Care“||Label: YMCM/Universal: 15 Nov 2011|
|Grade: ♥ ♥ ½ X X||Buy: Listen:|
When Aubrey Drake Graham dropped his highly anticipated debut “Thank Me Later” last summer my expectations were exaggerated to the absolute max, only destined to result in a anti climax when the album finally landed, of course leading to a huge disappointment. So, the hopes for the sophomore release “Take Care” that drops today has been kinda luke warm from my end, I rather enjoy a nice surprise than the feeling of the question “was this _it_?” like the last time.
On paper “Take Care” looks more or less just like the debut. Noah “40″ Shebib and Boi-1da pulling most of the weight on the list of producers with the addition of T-Minus and among the featured artists besides the mandatory features from the Young Money-family with Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Birdman, Drake nabs Rihanna, Rick Ross, Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, André 3000 and of course the world’s new favourite Canadian since Drake himself: Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd.
Besides the singles leading up to the release starting with the buzz single ‘Marvins Room‘ and the official ones ‘Headlines‘, and now recently the T-Minus-produced ‘Make Me Proud‘ ft. Nicki Minaj, that have all been really enjoyable “Take Care” has a few more peaks like – ‘HYFR’ ft. Lil Waye;
but mostly tracks that are on the okay-level and couple of really confusing ones. Like the title track ‘Take That’ featuring Rihanna. Rihanna is travelling back to her old “Rated R”-era and bleeds on the 40 and Jamie xx-production and Drake, well Drizzy Driss he steal lines from Lesley Gore’s ‘It’s My Party’ from 1963 and it’s just a big mess.
The Weeknd contributes to both some of the albums absolute highs and lows. On the one hand we have the delicate ‘Crew Love’ where the Weeknd shines with his vocal talent and production skills together with Illangelo and 40:
And on the other hand and he also made the whiny snooze-fest called ‘The Ride’ which is co-produced with Doc McKinney and where Drake attempts to be real deep with fresh lines lake “brand new girl and she still growin’ / brand new titties stitches still showin’ / yeah and she’s just praying that it heals good / I’m about to fucking it and I’m just praying that it feels good“.
To be honest, Drake reminds me a bit too much of my past men, all introvert, scared of conflicts and often victimizing themselves. Is he really this sensitive moody blue guy he want to convey in his introvert lyrics? Why is he trying to be hip hop’s embodiment of Steven Patrick Morrissey? In the upcoming December 2011/January 2012 issue of Complex Magazine that drops the 6th of December Drake poses on the cover as the poster boy of emo rap with the title “Drake – Kinda Blue”.
___The cover story tells more about the Octobers Very Own-movement, installing a luxurious shower that sprays lavender scent and the struggle of not blowing the whole pay-check on lap dances, booze and weed than just Mr. Graham himself. Probably cause Drake is a bit too much of the goodie two shoes type with a cookie cutter personality. Nothing wrong with that but the whole image of Drake is hard for me to fully grasp. It seems like he’s just playing the role of the hurt male instead of actually being one and it feels a bit fake.
I’m not the only one with having trust issues with Drake, not a day goes by without the constant flow of Drake-related vicious gags in my social media feed, often playing with the themes sex and race, here’s a small collage of the most frequent ones of this week:
While I’m on visual things, let’s talk about the cover art of “Take Care”. When we sum up this decade this cover art will be on the list of “Most Terrible Album Covers”, no question about it. Drake looks like this newly rich fake mobster dude/deserted fantasy guy who has Scarface as an idol and the only thing it correlates with on the album is the sorted ‘Doing It Wrong’ featuring Stevie Wonder that sounds like the cheesy music playing in the background in a sleazy pizza joint. I don’t get it.
Perhaps the album is a few tracks too long, the sound is too polished and attuned but that just in line with the market economy. A person who’s gonna do a character in the upcoming Ice Age-movie inst exactly underground nor dirty. Drake will never transcend pain and bleed the same way Moz does, but with that said, “Take Care” is a decent album even if it’s a boo hoo sad story.