Drake’s new album hits Billboard charts

By Corey Frizzera
December 6, 2011

Drake's new anticipated album "Take Care" was released on Nov. 15.

A new style of hip-hop has emerged from one of the top, and most popular, artists in the industry right now.  On Nov. 15, 2011, 25-year-old Canadian artist Drake released his highly anticipated second studio album titled Take Care.

Very similar to his first album, “Thank Me Later,” which was released last summer, Drake continued his slow tempo, despondent and emotional style and flow on Take Care.

The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 631,000 copies in the United States in just its first week.  Back in his hometown, it also debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart in the first week, selling 48,000 copies.  Despite the album being leaked by an unknown source a week earlier, his fans obviously stayed loyal and went out and bought the album.

Shortly after the leak on Nov. 6, Drake tweeted, “I am not sure if the album leaked. But if it did thank god it doesn’t happen a month early anymore.”  Minutes later, realizing that the album did leak, he sent one more tweet reading, “Listen, enjoy it, buy it if you like it…and take care until next time.”

Take Care is a mixture of several genres.  It includes hip-hop, R&B, pop and electronica.  It is full of many moods, low temporary sounds, including a wide range of styles and beats throughout the album.  The album has a very mellow and soft tone to it that really shows Drake’s singing but in several songs he switches his flow up and combines singing and rapping into one.  To me, this proves to Drake’s critics just how versatile and how musically talented he really is. Take Care is very different from most hip-hop and rap albums that are released in this era and it comes with a unique sound that is only capable of being performed by Drake.

The album consists of 18 songs and a deluxe edition that includes two bonus songs, “The Motto” feat. Lil Wayne and “Hate Sleeping Alone.”  Three official singles from Take Care have been released thus far.  They include “Headlines,” “Make Me Proud” and “The Motto.”  Many well-respected musicians appear on the album, which include The Weeknd, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Birdman, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Andre 3000 and YMCMB president, Lil Wayne.

Take Care received general acclaim from music critics.  “All Music” gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, “Rolling Stone” also gave it 4 out of 5 stars, “Slant Magazine” gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars,  “Los Angeles Times” gave it 3 out of 4 stars and the “The New York Times” ranked the album as “favorable.”  Most critics were very supportive of the album.  Slant Magazine’s Matthew Cole called the album “remarkably consistent” and mentioned that he heard an “immeasurably improved flow” by Drake.  “Rolling Stone” writer Jon Dolan was also supportive of the album and commented on it stating that “Drake stretches out over languid, austerely plush tracks that blur hip-hop, R&B and downtempo dance music.”  While most critics were impressed, some critics were highly dissapointed.  “Entertainment Weekly’s” album reviewer Kyle Anderson downed the album by saying that it was “one overlong woozy monologue” and also thought that the album was a “total downer,” giving the album a very shaky C+ overall rating.

Overall, Drake’s new album has been a success and it has received national attention very quickly.  Many of my peers have mixed emotions about the album and some feel like Drake sings too much and that it’s just too “soft” of an album.  Others think that it sounds just right and this type of slow and emotional singing makes Drake’s music a masterpiece.  Why don’t you take a listen for yourself?  Let us know what you think about Take Care.

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Corey Frizzera

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