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Handle with... Wait... Take Care (Album Review)
Released 15 November 2011
80:13 in length
1.) Over My Dead Body —— 4.25/5
2.) Shot for me —— 4.75/5
3.) Headlines —— 3.5/5
4.) Crew Love —— 4/5
5.) Take Care —— 2.75/5
6.) Marvin’s Room/Buried Alive Interlude —— 4.5/5
7.) Underground Kings —— 3.75/5
8.) We’ll Be Fine —— 4/5
9.) Make Me Proud —— 3.5/5
10.) Lord Knows —— 4.5/5
11.) Cameras/Good Ones Go Interlude —— 4.25/5
12.) Doing It Wrong —— 4.25/5
13.) The Real Her —— 4.5/5
14.) Look What You’ve Done —— 4.5/5
15.) HYFR —— 2.5/5
16.) Practice —— 4.25/5
17.) The Ride —— 4.25/5
Take Care begins with one of the albums true high points. Over My Dead Body. The hook, which features Chantal Kreviazuk, and the production are the real winners here – Drake’s flow is pretty average (for Drake). Lyrical content ranges from him boasting about his fame to addressing his haters. I actually enjoy that he responds to some of the haters, I look at it as if he actually cares.
For the second track, we get Shot for Me, which I found immediately appealing. Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) gets a writing credit here, which may be the root to this song’s success; not to take away from Drake’s performance or the track’s production, which really do the song justice. The very down-tempo feel of the song works extremely well, which ends up being the case for essentially, the rest of the album. I am infatuated with the content that Drake’s got going on here, impolitely dissing his exes and letting them know that he really the man. Hands down, this is my favorite track on the album.
Following is the super monster ultra jam smash hit single, Headlines. Though it really isn’t a bad song, and is a very good single, I don’t think it fits with the rest of the album. It’s up-tempo and as catchy as a motherfucker. On this track, Drake says things like “catch a body” and “I’m just mobbing like that”… Which isn’t what Drake should be saying, not ever. I dig the title, I dig the beat, I dig the catchiness of the whole thing – but I don’t like Drake forcing out a radio single. In my eyes, this is what “Over” was to Thank Me Later.
I have a soft spot for The Weeknd, so instantly this song’s value goes up for me. Crew Love is virtually is a Weeknd track with a Drake feature, given how much each artist appears on the song. This may be the biggest exposure The Weeknd will get, which hopefully won’t tarnish his young mind. The lyrics are gross – which in turn is awesome. “This ain’t a fucking sing-a-long, so girl, what you singing for?” Abel really outshines Drake here, but Drake’s rapping ability is just above average and singing ability is a touch higher than above average, whereas The Weeknd’s singing ability is extremely high – so it’s no surprise that he’s the highlight of the song. The drums in the song are killer, reminiscent of Weeknd’s track “Gone”. My only beef with this song is that it’s short. Clocking in at 3:29, it’s not anywhere close to long enough, especially since the rest of the albums tracks average closer to four minutes.
Onto the title track, Take Care with a hook by Rihanna. The production is pretty bad on this one actually. It’s basically a patchwork of other tracks with some world drums over it. The song’s lowest point comes around the 3:17 mark and keeps going until 3:47. Those precious seconds could have been either cut from this album or given to “Crew Love”. Rihanna’s hook really is laughable. This whole track just reeks of cheesiness and I wouldn’t doubt that it will be a single down the road.
On Marvin’s Room/Buried Alive Interlude, I struggle to determine which part of the song I like more. The actual song, Marvin’s Room is genuinely a very, very, very good song. How it flows and how it’s broken down is something that I wish artists would do more often. But then you get to the interlude which is an incredible verse delivered by Kendrick Lamar – this whole thing is a success. Not a typical “single worthy” track, and by no means this is normal for Drake to release a song like this for the radio. The production is another key element here, which fits directly in with the rest of the album’s slow-moving, down-tempo vibe. Again though, Kendrick Lamar is awesome.
A bit more up-tempo now, Underground Kings comes off “Got rich off a mixtaaaaaape – rich off a mixtaaaaaaape” a little angry when compared to the rest of the album. Drake is again, boasting about his fame as well as a shout out to his Southern inspiration (UGK and Memphis included). Of the few up-tempo songs on the album, this one would definitely be my favorite. “Rich off a mixtaaaaaaaaaaape”.
We’ll be Fine has hints of a Thank Me Later track more so than the rest of this album. Still though, the production is actually kind of cool which is credited to 40 and T-Minus. It’s kind of a party track, riddled with odes to alcohol and lush parties, but something about it makes it better than Drizzy’s previous attempts at making a club song. Oh… I know exactly what it is! Any track that has Birdman’s blessing at the end of it is a perfect ten out of ten. “Kill spray anything in the way.” Hahahaha, goddamnit.
Well shit… Why do I like Make Me Proud. Something about it, I actually enjoy. I know it’s not that good, I know Nicki Minaj sucks, even the verse she spits in this song is garbage; her singing however was a lot less harsh and fit better than the rapping. Maybe it’s the production? T-Minus did a pretty good job. Whatever it is, it certainly isn’t “He asked my sign. I said a Sag. I’m a star. Sherriff badge.” Yuck. Only Drake can pull off saying “I’m so, I’m so, I’m so, I’m so proud of you.”
The biggest production on the entire album is by far, Lord Knows, delivered to us by Just Blaze and includes a very tolerable Rick Ross verse. Drake’s verse is one of the better verses I’ve ever heard him deliver and paired with the heavy-laired beat it sounds even better. In non standard fashion, this song is hookless – but it’s actually a breath of fresh air; seeing as how most Drake hooks are extremely catchy and a lot of times corny, especially on a track with production like this.
If you’ve heard Future’s “Tony Montana” track, then you’ve heard this voice out of Drake before, at least on the “Cameras” portion of Cameras/Good Ones Go Interlude. The beat is very sleazy, which definitely matches up good with Drake’s muddied voice sound, highlights of the way he pronounces “camera” (caamm’ra). Abel of The Weeknd has another writing credit here and it’s pretty apparent with the inclusion of the throwback R&B sample used. When the four minute mark comes on, the beat really shines for me, it just sounds so grimy. The “Good Ones Go” portion at the latter end of the song is slow, has some finger snaps, some croons by The Weeknd himself and the usual faded drum cymbals on Drake tracks.
Doing It Wrong is more like it. Slower, deeper, more depressing – perfect; let’s crawl back into the hole. One of the better singing performances Drake’s ever given us. The production isn’t anything that blows your mind, but what it does is fit right into the album which will have more of a lasting effect and make you want to revisit the album in the future. Stevie Wonder throws down some harmonica at the end of the song. While it doesn’t necessarily scream Drake’s style, it actually kind of does fit with the vibe. Not a bad track by any means.
I’m a big fan of The Real Her. It’s the only Lil Wayne verse that I can put up with, even though he does that goddamn giggle at the end and has a dumbass line like “I Stevie Wonder that bullshit”. Hearing Andre 3000 was awesome; I just wish Drake would have left at just himself and Andre – less Wayne. The slow paced verses set up the bridge, which in turns makes the ever catchy hook very good. The lyrics aren’t ground breaking, but it’s such a good sound.
Look What You’ve Done is a truly beautiful song. Whether the first verse is dedicated to his mother or grandmother – it’s gorgeous. I thought it was for his mother, at the end of the song the speech given is from a female and she says, “I’m here sitting with my son…” The second verse is for his late Uncle, whom he credits as a major influence on his career. We see Drake’s storytelling abilities at their highest level to date and the song couldn’t be more personal. If you’re into the whole “real” thing in hip hop, if this isn’t it, then I don’t know shit. This song should have definitely been the final track on the album. It would have been the perfect send off.
Hell. Yeah. Fuckin’. Right. (HYFR) I guess the beat is cool… I don’t know. Why does it seem like Drake is done with this shit, it’s just Wayne being that ignorant bastard that forces himself into the situation with that “because I said so” mentality? We have a whole album touching on personal topics dealing with relationships, dealing with fame, dedications to his mother and uncle and now we have this garbage. Come on. Maybe we’ll be done with this shit once and for all, once Drake’s three album deal is done and he’s on Roc or GOOD. By the way, this song features Lil Wayne, and it sucks.
Now that we’re done with that shit, Drake shows more dedication to the Cash Money crowd with Practice. The hook matches the infamous Juvenile track “Back That Azz Up”. The second and third verses are rapped with the same structure as verses from said song. Drake inputs his own lyrics on it and even those are pretty good. Claiming that if there’s a ho you’re trying to get with, just say all those other men were just practice, well said Drizzy. All the hoes from the five oh four…
Apparently The Ride is Drake’s favorite track off of this record. How accurate that is, I’m not sure. Regardless, it is the final track and it’s actually pretty good. Maybe because of Abel’s influence or maybe just because the production is still on point 17 tracks in. Drake’s lyrical ability is peaked here and the background “whoa’s” and “ah’s” provided by The Weeknd really do this song justice.
Okay, sonically, this album is fucking perfect. The imagery that the production paints is magnificent. Drake’s song writing ability has clearly improved from Thank Me Later. It’s obvious that he traded the monster singles for storytelling, like he claims. As every review I’ve read says, the beats sound so lush and so big compared to previous Drake releases. I haven’t been so impressed with Drake since his So Far Gone days. Really, my only gripe is Lil Wayne, the Official Song Ruiner of the Decade. His influence at this point just sounds like its being forced. What’s really awesome is Drake’s obvious connection with The Weeknd. It reminds me a little of how Kanye and Kid Cudi really helped each other find a certain sound. From start to finish this album, even with the few downside songs I mentioned, this album captures the same sound. And it’s wonderful, it’s beautiful, it’s very moody. If the final cut of Take Care had taken off “HYFR”, “Headlines”, and “Take Care”, I wouldn’t argue with anyone that said this is album of the year. It isn’t my pick for that title, but it’s extremely enjoyable to listen to. The production per track isn’t extraordinary (with the exception of “Lord Knows”), as a whole it’s dazzling. If you have some nice headphones, you at least have to give this album one full listen. It is very obvious that Drake took care with this project. (Cheeesaaay!)
Final ratings: 68/85 = 80% =
I think you’re being a litle too generous with the review. His album was meh, not good or great. I expected a lot more from him to be honest and I was letdown.
That title isn’t a Nuclear Assault reference, is it?
Dis album 5/5 pleyboi, it wut i call a
all songs on here r hot, specily my verse. Weezy doin his thang, idk y u think he bringin the value down. And my boi Drizzy aint leavin' me, were u get that idea pleyboi?
Great review. Plat 6x has the best reviews. Totally agree with him, especially with his thesis of “Make Me Proud.” Don’t know why I like that song so much…
Anyway, do some research first, Take Care (song) was interesting
I think he shouldve let some of his homies on the album, such as Big Sean, Kid Cudi, Trey Songz, J. Cole, Soulja Boy (they kept saying they had a crazy song in store together)
What do you mean “do some research, first?” I didn’t mislabel anything.
The critical acclaim seems unwarranted to me. Can we honestly say it’s worthy of an 84 metascore? That’s even higher than “Section 80.” I will give it another listen.
This album was wack — Birdman stop making out with your labelmates and making them soft
Great review, from what I’ve read before you are really thoughtful with your reviews. I enjoyed reading that
I listened to it once through. I did not enjoy. I read the stellar reviews. I listened to it a second time. Same result.
Now, I have read a 6X PLAT review! I will listen again and report back my findings