Thursday, November 17, 2011
I think that we can all agree that while Thank Me Later was very easy to listen to and full of radio hits, it was lacking slightly. Don't get me wrong, Thank Me Later is an extremely solid album and for most artists, would be a crowning acheivement. But Drake is obviously not most artists. Drizzy even said himself that he puts So Far Gone above Thank Me Later. That being said, Drizzy put his heart and soul into making sure Take Care will be what he intended it to be, real, skillful, heartfelt and appealing to everyone. Here is the track by track breakdown:
Crew Love - While this track may be taken as The Weeknd featuring Drake instead of the other way around, I understand why Drake had it this way. It is obvious Drake is taking the budding Toronto artist under his wing. Partially because they are from the same city but also because they make fantastic music together so having The Weeknd with such a heavy workload on this track does not bother me at all. In fact, his voice complements Drake's style very well. The beat is very catchy but with that being said, the song does get a little repetitive but nevertheless, easy listening. Drake raps about his coming up as a star which is interesting because this is now what The Weeknd is doing.
Doing It Wrong / Practice / Shot For Me - I am bunching these tracks together because they fall under the same category. The songs are obviously very slow however have very significant differences. In Doing It Wrong, Drizzy seems to be talking about a lost love once again. This song is more of a ballad and showcases Drakes underrated vocal ability. While I do appreciate his talents, the song is quite boring to listen to. In Practice, Drake seems to be talking more about various girls he encounters on tour, etc. This song showcases his ability to rap and sing within the same few lines. This quality makes Drake unique however this track too is one of the weaker on the album. In Shot For Me, the only other thing I can say is the line at the very end where he offers some sort of prayer or saying. This shows that he cares about much more than what others may think.
Look What You've Done - Many may not like this song because it sounds like Drake is just talking and I can understand that it may be hard to get in to but give it a few listens. I give extremely high praise for this track because lyrically, it amazes me. Every line gives us a glimpse into Drakes past and reveals his true emotions about his family situation. Being able to drop five minutes of verses on meaningful content and making it flow perfectly is astonishing. While this track may not be an easy listen, you can relate to the lyrics in one way or another.
Over My Dead Body - Classic Drizzy on this one. Rapping about girls, his past and how he came up. Nothing new on this one. Once again he drops another "quotable" song. I am not a huge fan of the hook, though. Not much else to say except in the second verse he seems to be calling out another artist.
The Ride - I personally don't like this song much. I think that The Weeknd could have showcased his vocals better and the almost whiny sound in the background detracts from Drakes verses. It's a pretty difficult listen and I don't see any new techniques in it. Maybe that's why it was confused with a bonus track.
Lord Knows - This is one of the tracks on the album where I think Drake shows how much hes matured as an artist. This song almost sounds like something of a Jay Z album because of the combination on the beat and the meaning of his lyrics. The sample in the beat with the church choir gives it a mature feeling and his lyrics in this song aren't from the old, childish sounding Drizzy. Props to growing up on this one. I also believe that Rick Ross is in the process of making a comeback and Drake is helping Rozay get back to the top with features in his songs lately.
Underground Kings - This one is much like Lord Knows with very mature lyrics except this one reminds me almost of his 9 AM in Dallas Freestyle on steroids because its an endless spit of dope lines. Even though this one does have a hook, the rhymes are very similar. I like the way Drake did his own thing on this track, especially on the bridge lines leading up to the hook. All in all a very solid song.
Make Me Proud - It's obvious this is one of the better songs on the album. Who doesn't love Drake and Nikki together on a joint? I think that the hook really makes this song though. Songs always turn out better when artists sing their own hooks and Drake knows this. Drake and Nikki have a great relationship/complement/chemistry, whatever you want to call it. Everytime they make a track, its usually fire. I like Drakes flow in this one; very playful sounding without being childish.
Take Care - This is one of the radio hits on the album. Tracks with Rihanna usually are. Drake played it very smart on this one by offering something that everyone would like. The beat is extremely catchy but if it becomes overplayed like What's My Name did, it could be out of the hot list in a few weeks. When introducing people to Drake, start with this type of track because it is very easy to listen/get into.
Hate Sleeping Alone - I do like this one a lot but I must admit, these types of songs are a dime a dozen and cliche. Once again, a great hook, clever yet meaningful lines and a good beat. A very solid song but nothing special or new. Quotable Drake.
We'll Be Fine - Probably the most underrated song on the album. The simplicty of the song makes it great. The flow is impeccable and the hook is nothing special but that's the beauty of it. Drake doesn't try to get cute on this one which lends to him becoming mature as an artist. He sounds very relaxed on this one which is cool because it;s almost like he does it with so little effort. He doesn't have to "go in" to make a great song. Take notice on this track.
The Real Her - Not much I can say about this one besides the fact that I think Wayne saves it from being an average track. It is too similar to Marvin's Room without the Wayne verse. However, I do think that Andre 3000 instantly makes any song he injects himself into that much worse. Personally, I think he has no flow, childish and meaningless lines and an annoying/boring voice. I do like this song but it could have been much better.
Marvin' Room - We all love this joint. Great vocals with a great little verse later in the song. Emotional track. Classic Drake but only hard Drake fans will appreciate it.
The Motto/Hell Ya Fuckin' Right - I am grouping these two because they are absolute BANGERS. I don't think you could ask for more in a YMCMB collab. Drake and Wayne on the hooks with clever verses in each. In HYFR, Drizzy's verse in the beginning amazes me. Endless spit of lines with no break in flow or breathe. I think this is one of the first times he has showcased this sort of "Busta Rhymes" kind of talent. Both are radio hits and club bangers. YOLO.
Headlines - Last but not least, Headlines. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is the best track on the album. The verses in this are mature, extremely meaningful and somehow get my heart racing when I listen to it. Drake also sings in the middle of a line and switches back to rap. His rhyme scheme on this is incredible as are his metaphors. He really lets everyone know what he is really thinking about on this track. Say what you want about Drake, but if you want to know everything that he does well, listen to this song. It embodies who he is as an artist.
Take Care is by far Drake's best effort. He showcases all of his talents and shows how much he has matured as an artist. I think this album cements him as one of the top dog's in the industry at the moment. He understands that collaboration with other artists (The Weeknd, Stevie Wonder, etc.) helps all parties involved including himself. He said that he wanted the album to have something for everybody and show how he has grown as an artist. He wanted to silence his critics. Mission accomplished. 5 out of 5. Most artists would kill for this kind of talent and emotion in their songs. Well done.