A year after Drake’s official debut album “Thank Me Later,” Drake’s follow-up album “Take Care” is a portrait of the inner emotional turmoil (and excitement) the 25-year-old feels about money, women, and of course, success.
The album is a 17- song composition of well-produced hip-hop/rap/R&B, with enough collaborations to satisfy fans used to such things. The surprising factor about the album is probably about how un-surprising it actually is. Not exactly uninspired, but not exactly next level material, either.
Many of the tracks sample popular records from the past millennium. In “Practice,” Drake rhymes over a slightly slowed down musical accompaniment of Juvenile’s “Back That Azz Up.” On his “Cameras”/ “Good Ones Go” interlude, his lyrics flow over Jon B’s “Calling on You.” This is a trick used by many artists of the times, though it’s unsure if the makeover to these songs were absolutely necessary. However, with an album almost 20 songs long, I suppose Drake flexes his artistic license to experiment and pay respect to his mix-tapes of the past by making something old new again.
A few tracks do stand out, though. The title track, “Take Care” ft. Rihanna, is a Billboard 100 shoe-in; a dance track that is surely helped by the addition of Rihanna’s distinct warble. As expected, the first single, “Headlines,” is a catchy bass-filled hit that encourages even the most casual listener to try and rap along. “Make Me Proud” ft. the ever-present Young Money family member, Nicki Minaj, is a good song; in which Drake raps encouragingly to women to seek education and stand their ground. “Underground Kings” is a catchy song, one probably not to be released as a single –though it should- and is an obvious homage to the singer/rapper’s underground roots.
The other songs are easily skippable, as most of them are less of the rapper Drake, and more of a whiny singer wannabe. Drake singing isn’t necessarily a bad thing; he executes fairly decently in “Marvin’s Room,” but on other tracks such as “Doing it Wrong,” it just isn’t effective.
As a whole, Drake’s “Take Care” is proficient sophomore release, with a few hidden gems, but lacks finesse and the consistency to make it a real hit. It is not lacking heart, or talent, or big names, but there’s definitely something missing.
Alanna Smothers is a second-year student majoring in early grades preparation education with a minor in reading. She can be reached at AS620230@wcupa.edu.