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Even though it’s “Talk That Talk” week, it was never intended to be ALL Rihanna ALL WEEK! I have a bunch of music and film that I need to review so expect that. Drake’s new album review was on deck, and funny enough the reason I haven’t posted a review of his new album “Take Care” was because I couldn’t get past the title track, which features our girl Rihanna. Finally, I got past that song and here is my take on Drake’s #1 album.

Following up his major label debut “Thank Me Later”, Drake had a lot to live up to with his sophomore. “Take Care“, released November 15th, more than lives up to that near Masterpiece in such an effortless way. The best thing about the album is that it had such high expectations but Drake seems to go the same route that made him famous. Instead of being the epic Hip Hop album of the year with big name producers and a slew of guest stars, it really does say true to the underground mixtape spirit of his breakthrough mixtape “So Far Gone”. It feels very Indie and ambient, from it’s stretched out lo-fi sampling and his homage’s to some of his favorite artists and songs. It’s almost like Hipster Hip Hop, with the ending result being something very heartfelt that sounds nothing like anything on Urban radio.

Drake continually looks to do new things apparently, and you can feel a difference in some of his flows, melodies and wordplay. While he talks about some similar things, he does some interesting things with his tone and cadence that is a clear indicator that he’s growing and trying to change. Most of the songs have a very chilled vibe to them utilizing some well placed samples (SWV’s “Anything” sounds so good on “Crew Love”, as does a Jon B. song on the fantastic “Cameras”) and very minimalist production techniques (the now famous “Marvin’s Room” and album opener “Over My Dead Body”).

Lyrically, Drake talks more about settling into stardom. The reaction from family, friends and fans since his debut album and how he’s adjusting to it (as he says on “Crew Love” ‘I kinda like who I’m becoming’), and just his observations from the top spot. No it’s not much of a stretch from “Thank Me Later”, but as he says on single “Headlines” about his boasting before and now ‘I know I exaggerated things, now I got it like that’.

When he’s not waxing philosophical about the industry and the people around him, he’s dead set on winning over the girl that broke his heart. So in a lot of ways conceptually “Take Care” is a continuation of his last album, and a great indication of what’s to come.

The only complaint would be that the album runs a little long, with some of the tracks towards the end sort of feeling like filler (“HYFR” “Doing It Wrong”) but even they are respectable songs that show off some growth. Overall the album is another really great one, he manages to stay true to himself but also stretch himself as an artist to truly become a genuine Hip Hop star. And he warns it’s not over, predicting how his legacy should play out after this sophomore album on final track “The Ride” ‘My juniors and senior will only get meaner, Take Care niggas”

4.5 of 5

Best: Take Care, Lord Knows, Cameras