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Dreary Drake album a careless effort

After much hand-holding and built-up angst, Canadian heartthrob, Drake, released his sophomore effort, “Take Care,” a drawn-out cry-fest about how life has changed so much ever since he got famous.

This album would be more enjoyable if Drake didn’t rap about basically the same thing on every track.

Not only is he outshined by every featured artist (God bless you, Andre 3000), but his constant bitching is also a little tiring. The production often overwhelms his voice, in tracks such as “Over My Dead Body” and “Crew Love.” He has a penchant for fusing long interludes into most of his songs, causing the listener to forget what artist they’re listening to.

So, tracks like the much over-played “Headlines,” and the semi-love song to Nicki Minaj, “Make Me Proud,” come as a surprise because they deviate from the usual anxiety-riddled numbers. Minaj actually adds some much-needed life to the album for about a minute and then she’s gone again.

Another pleasantly surprising song on the album is “Take Care,” featuring the Barbados beauty, Rihanna. This song has “hit” written all over it, and since Rihanna has 11 No. 1 hits in her short career, listeners can be sure that this will be added to that number. Her silky voice oozes sex all over this number, showing off the unique chemistry between the two musicians.

Drake is at his best when he’s spitting fast and hard, showing off that arrogance he must have picked up from his mentor, Lil Wayne. “Under Ground Kings” is very reminiscent of Drake’s much-beloved mix tape, “So Far Gone.”

Easily the best and kind-of-weird staple of all of Drake’s studio efforts is his use of sampling voice mails and phone calls. It adds realness in a sort of reality TV show way, which makes the album a little more enjoyable. On the track “Marvin’s Room,” he’s expressing to an ex how much her current boyfriend is not worthy of her in a drunken phone call. The repeating, “Are you drunk right now?” from the woman gives the song a heartbreaking quality unique to Drake’s repertoire.

Drake is overdue for an opulent, fun-filled album, solely about enjoying the spoils of his youth and fame. He spends too much time lamenting his past mistakes and worrying about the future. His music would be much better if he just lived in the here-and-now.

Grade: C+

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