Album Review: Drake – Take Care

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No one has put Toronto on the map quite like Aubrey Graham – the man we know and love as Drake. The release of his So Far Gone mixtape caused a wave of excitement as music lovers craved for original fresh meat to give them a different musical pleasure. There had never been so much pressure on an artist’s debut album like there was with Drake’s Thank Me Later. A year later, October’s Very Own is back with his second offering Take Care. The internet has been going crazy with refixes to some of his tracks such as Headlines and most prominently Marvin’s Room. So what is his new album saying?

Take Care has a mellow opening with Over My Dead Body, which features Canadian artist Chantal_Kreviazuk. Similar to Fireworks it opens the door for the listener to once again step inside Drake’s world. The next track Shot for Me sounds a little like he’s been hanging with the unsigned phenomena that is The Weeknd, which to our avail, appears on the track Crew Love. If you have listened to The Weeknd’s free albums then you’d be familiar with his dark sound and signature melodies which fit very well collaborating with Drake as his music is very much on the emotive and melancholy side of hip hop.

Melodically the feel continues with an appearance from Rihanna on the title track Take Care, which includes a variation of rhythms from dance to dancehall; produced by British producer Jamie XX (The XX). The sample from the late Gil Scott Heron’s I’ll Take Care of You, is down to the remixing of his album I’m New Here to form the collaborative effort We’re New Here. The album takes a nice turn as the real Hip Hop beats come through starting with Underground Kings where he talks about his rise from the underground to the mainstream. This track shows attention to flow as Drake rides nicely over the beat. Take Care would not be complete without his label fam Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, and of course no modern hip hop album is complete without Ricky Rozay to lend a verse. Andre 3000 also features and for legendary status, Stevie Wonder appears on Doing it Wrong playing the harmonica.

It’s hard to pick a list of stand out tracks but as far as commercial appeal goes, Take Care is probably your best bet for a single. Whether you love or hate Drake, there is an undeniable realness about him. He never claimed to be a gangster, never lied about where he’s from. He takes Hip Hop as we once knew it to a completely different level and speaks of his emotions and struggles along the path he’s walking, leaving a trail behind that is great music for the people to kick back to. If you were disappointed in Thank Me Later, the follow up will exceed your expectations. There is more attention to detail musically which strengthens the album. Drake’s growth as an artist is evident here, or maybe it’s the fact that the pressures of that first album was the worst hurdle and he already jumped it without stumbling.

By Natalie Ferrol
Edited by Tanya Royes
@tanyaroyes