Drake - "Take Care" Sept 14, 2015 15:40:50 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Sept 14, 2015 15:40:50 GMT -5
Take Care (2011)
After blowing away all expectations and creating a subversive mainstream hit with his debut album Thank Me Later, Drake comes back with his sophomore release Take Care a quiet, melodic, lonely piece, even more brilliant than its predecessor. Following his experimental smash, Take Care is a bonafide R&B album, with Drake expanding upon his talent at diversifying his flows and continuing to emphasize on the internal dualities that make him up as a person - Drake can be a hard-partying, social butterfly when with a crowd but also bears a great deal of hardships, insecurities, and lonely nights.
Take Care emphasizes all of this in an emotionally honest way; consider the album's artwork, which features Drake alone at a table, melancholic and holding a tiny chalice before a long candlestick. He is a king in his own mind, a king greatly troubled by forgone loves in a relationship and family sense. His opening track "Over My Dead Body," employing the kind of nuanced and cloudy production Drake is known for, has Drake confirming one of my earliest suspicions about him, which is that he fell for a stripper many years ago before having his heartbroken and now his heartbreak influences a lot of his music and creative projects (I can wholeheartedly relate - but, just to be safe, I don't "feel" him, for he states that as one of his many pet-peeves).
The early-onset presence of these cloud rap tracks shows that this album is drastically different from Thank Me Later, which opened with the pop rap ballad "Fireworks." Drake follows up with other winners like "Headlines," an incredible song, boasting a nonstop, melodic flow that has Drake careening off a beat slightly too fast for his flow, but in the end, it doesn't matter and adds to the mystique of the track, in addition to "Crew Love," a moody ballad assisted by acclaimed R&B sensation The Weeknd. Moreover, the album's titular cut effectively blurs the line between an uptempo dance song and a softspoken blues song, with Rihanna coming in to show off for a verse, "Marvin's Room" evokes jazzy melodies while questioning Drake's personal vulnerability with women and life, and "Doing it Wrong" continues Drake's R&B descent into modern Jazz, with Stevie Wonder-assisted harmonica for great measure.
The latter half of the album includes songs like "Look What You've Done" is an interrogatory jam, which has Drake largely putting his father on trial for what he's done to him as a person, all while playing with R&B sensations, "Cameras" features the melodic production of Shebib, with Drake catching the beat with the absolutely perfect flow to make it a mesmerizing listen, and finally, there's "HYFR (Hell Yeah, F****** Right)," an anthemic track featuring Lil Wayne, who has helped propel Drake to these incalculable heights as a growing, young artist in the business.
One of the album's fastest paced songs is "Under Ground Kings," a song with so many layers and subtleties, much like the album, that one can easily miss them in favor of Drake's fist-bumping flow. It's amazing this song did make one of the album's many singles, for it's not only radio friendly enough for the Top 40, but it's also deep enough to play in the middle of all the nonsense. The only downside to the album is the presence of innuendos, which, because they're not separated by a track-break, in turn, make tracks go on for minutes longer than they feel they should be (a similar thing happened recently, with Drake attaching an interlude entitled "The Catch Up" to his smash hit "0 to 100," turning a two and a half minute track into one over six minutes in length). It's a perplexing creative choice that sometimes works against Drake's favor, especially on here, with this album about eighty minutes in length.
Take Care asserts something I began to slightly, maybe subconsciously feel with Drake's debut EP So Far Gone and began to feel a bit more with Thank Me Later, and that's how connected I feel to Drake's internal struggles as a growing artist and a person. Drake has effectively blurred the line between the kind of person he really is, a hard-partier and a deep-thinker, despite giving us such insight on his three releases, as of now. He reminds me a great deal of myself, through some of his experiences and his adamant attitude about proving to people that he's as smart as he seems. Take Care is an introspective album, filled with loneliness and disillusionment, but also so richly crafted in sound, scope, and impact that it makes for one of the new decade's strongest R&B albums, or musical releases, for that matter.
Recommended tracks (in order): "Headlines," "Under Ground Kings," "Marvin's Room," "Look What You've Done," "HYFR (Hell Yeah, F****** Right)," and "Take Care."