For those who think that R&B,hip-hop and rap are synonymous with beeped out lyrics and angsty beats,the Canadian rapper Drake might just prove them wrong. After his first hit album Thank me later and successful collaboration with Rihanna for the single What’s my name,Abraham “Drake” Graham is back with his latest album Take Care.
Rap can rarely be defined as soothing or poignant,but in this case,it fits the bill perfectly. Building on the low-tempo,dark sonic aesthetic of his previous album,Take Care is languid,sensuous and a tad querulous in places. If you judge the CD by its cover on which you will see Drake sitting sullenly in a richly decorated room,brooding over golden goblets of (what looks like) alcohol you’ll know what to expect from this album. Expanding on the theme of conflicted feelings towards fame,Drakes lyrics mostly focus on failed romances,self doubt,leading a hollow life,and relationships with friends and family.
Drake’s husky,just-rolled-out-of-bed voice sounds just right for the melancholic compositions,as does his various collaborations. Hes collaborated with Lil Wayne,Rihanna,The Weeknd,Birdman,Nicki Minaj,Rick Ross,Andre 3000 and even Stevie Wonder (harmonica).
The album starts with Over my dead body in which the rapper croons,Shout out to Asian girls/ Let the lights dim sum,and brags about his life. But the piano strains undercut his swash with a tinge of sadness as he raps,I was drinking at the Palms last night/ And ended up losing everything I came with.
Crew love featuring The Weeknd,is a rich R&B number with a lot of finger-snapping,echoing beats and crooning background vocals.
The duet Take care with Rihanna does not disappoint those who have experienced their chemistry in Whats my name. With piano,scraping guitar and gentle beats in the background,the couple reassures each other of their trust. Marvin’s room is the modern “drunk dial” song,where Drake calls up an ex-flame to tell her to forget about that nigga that you love so bad/ I know you still think about the times we had.
Take care seems like it talks to today’s dysfunctional generation,be it through the newer,bluesy rap,or the laid-back,self-deprecating lyrics.