Review Summary: The most hyped album of the year delivers.
3 years ago, a certain person was acting on a Canadian TV Show called Degrassi. Back then, this certain person at times displayed his musical talents through the show and his character was even thinking about going into the rap industry. Who knew that would be a foreshadowing of what to come of Aubrey "Drake" Graham's success. Thank Me Later was a solid debut, but it was lacking coherency, in trying to make a Hip-Hop album, he at times lost the consistency and as a result, lost a lot of quality. Drake is a good singer, and is one of the best to both sing and rap. He isn't the first rapper to also sing, as Andre 3000, who is featured on this album, is probably the most successful, but he is right now the most popular rapper to do so. On this album, its very safe to say that Drake sings as much as he raps, so to judge this album correctly and fairly, you mustn't look at this album as a "hip-hop" record, but as music in general.
The album begins correctly with Over My Dead Body, with the lines "I think i killed everybody in the game last year.....I was on though." That type of confidence is very consistent throughout the entire record. The metaphors on here also give us a taste of what is to come throughout the rest of the record. Overall this song is a standout and sets a great tone of what the album is going to sound like. He doesn't come with more impressive verses until we get to track 10, titled Lord Knows. In 4 words, Drake kills this song. He spits metaphor after metaphor, and addresses his haters with the line of the album "Know I don't make music for n***as who don't get p***y, So those are the ones i count on to diss me or overlook me". Drake takes on a more aggressive flow in HYFR (Hell Yea F**kin Right), as he bodies the track, and Lil Wayne tries to keep up with him. In this three tracks specially, Drake shows all the haters that he can spit just as good, if not better than most of the rappers in the industry right now.
For the majority of this album, Drake turns into a R&B singer, or recruits a R&B singer to sing on the track while he spits love raps. Normally i would have not have been ok with this, as which most mainstream rap releases, the R&B sections are usually the low points of the album. I am very glad i didn't assume this for Take Care. The first R&B song, Shot For Me tells the story of regret that Drake feels for a lost love. It kinda of reminds me of a song from So Far Gone. As does Marvin's Room, the single i'm sure that u've all heard by now. Drake's storytelling ability is shown through this song, as he calls an ex while intoxicated to tell her all his feelings. The song puts his vurnerability at the forefront, and it almost makes you feel sorry for him. It's one of the best single's of 2011, and a definite highlight of the album. Doing It Wrong benefits from the Stevie Wonder's harmonica as it tells the story of a relationship failing to work out. There is no rapping on this song, but you don't really miss it, as the storytelling definitely distracts you from it. Look What You've Done is a tribute to his mother and others who have supported him, it's nothing that we haven't heard before (Kanye West, 2pac), but its pretty good and is very deep, and it also gives us a deeper look into the past life of Drake. Practice is the club-jam, panty dropping Juvenile sampling single that has its own distinct sound to it that shouldn't work, but it does. Overall, even though i like metaphor Drake, i kind of also like lover Drake.
The two tracks that truly standout above the others are the two tracks that feature The Weeknd. Crew Love is graced by an opening by said artist. His vocals are very distorted, but are very powerful, and as Drake comes through halfway before the songs ends for a verse, you can automatically hear their chemistry. That chemistry shines throughout their next song together, The Ride. This is hands down, the most impressive track on the entire album. The Weeknd's voice is used as a beat and Drake rides its aggressively. Drake's talks about his usual topics, but with a confidence that i've never seen him have before. These two tracks definitely stand out as the most musically different, but at the same time most musically achieving songs on the entire album.
"Overdosed on confidence' Drake spits on the lead single Headlines. This album is full of that said "confidence". In a way, Drake combined everything that made him successful into one album. Songs like The Real Her, Shot For Me, and Doing it Wrong sounds like they belong right on So Far Gone. Underground Kings, Lord Knows, and Look What You've Done sounds like tracks off of Comeback Seasons. While Headlines, Make Me Proud, and Take Care sound like Thank Me Later material. Take Care isn't perfect, as it has a few boring points. However, i don't think Drake was going for perfect. Take Care is a success for Drake because its the album he wanted. It combines all the elements that got him to the place he is now and added some new material. Will it become a classic album? Time will be the judge of that. But if you love music in general, i recommend that you give this a chance.