If Thank Me Later was Drake experiencing fame for the first time, Take Care is about handling its repercussions. With collaborations with Chantal Kreviazuk, The Weeknd, Jamie Smith of The xx, and even Stevie Wonder, Take Care shows that the Toronto rhymer’s mind state is expanding.
Tracks like “Lord Knows”, “Look What You’ve Done”, and “Over My Dead Body” are 4 AM confessionals mixing depth and intrigue.
“Make Me Proud”, “Headlines”, and “Marvin’s Room” are some of Drake’s most affecting statements to date, and new tracks with Rihanna (“Take Care”), Rick Ross (“Lord Knows”), and Young Money boss Lil Wayne (“The Real Her”) send Take Care into Album of the Year consideration.
People might be disappointed with the album, and might even criticize Drake by saying he always talks about emotional subjects and call him “soft” but this is the Drake that fans everywhere have been waiting to hear; a genuine artist with real feelings and who is not afraid to show them.
You need to understand, conjoining many moods is what Drake does best. He can put arrogance, sadness, tenderness and self-pity into one vast emotional blanket.
“Over My Dead Body” opens the album with a grandiose ode to fame, power and money, complete with the kind of poignant pianos and plaintive backing vocals from Canadian singer Chantal Kreviazuk.
In the upbeat title track “Take Care”, Jamie Smith of the U.K. band “The xx” lays down house-music pianos, ice sheets of guitar and a sample from R&B radical Gil Scott-Heron as Drake and Rihanna do their laid-back, realist appraisal of the love game: “When you’re ready, just say you’re ready,” he reassures. Is it going to work out? Maybe, but like most hopeless romantics, Drake favors the illusion of infinite promise over the reality anyway.
“We live in a generation of not being in love,” he says over Stevie Wonder’s harmonica on “Doing It Wrong.” This verse is as close as Take Care gets to a message for our times.
In “Look What You’ve Done”, Drake hits the piano bar for a little sentimental soul balladry that pours out thanks for the support of his mom, his aunt and even his estranged dad. He looks back at his pre-fame days when he “was just another kid in a drop top Lexus hopin’ that I don’t get arrested.” To top it all off, at the end of the song his grandma comes on to thank him for keeping her living well in old age. Ah, Drake, sometimes it isn’t all about you, and we love you for knowing it.
He saves most of his flashy words, which, at their best, are still textbook crisp examples of craftsmanship, full of cunning double entendres for the track with Young Money C.E.O. Lil Wayne “HYFR” where Drake reminds us all how we need to go through hard times to see the good times, “She asked, what have I learned since getting richer?/I learned working with the negatives could make for better pictures”.
Drake has a connection with his fans because he raps about reallife, unlike many of the other rappers out there who just talk about how much money they have. Drake talks about broken hearts, failed relationships, and feeling unloved all of which can be heard on the track “Marvin’s Room” where Drake creates one of the most epic drunk-dial songs of all time.
In all, Take Care is an album filled with emotion, and meaning. There was a reason why Drake named this album “Take Care”, because even though Drake has all the fame one can possibly obtain, he still takes care with the people around him. Let’s face it, everyone is your friend after you rise to fame, but the question is, where were all these people when you were a lowly actor for a Nickelodeon teen show?
Take Care is one of the best albums of the year and if it’s not a nominee for Album of the Year, something is seriously wrong.