Saturday, February 25, 2017
"Prince Alone in the Studio" (which is more like the opposite of both Prince and Drake). Take Care feels deeply insulated, emanating from gentle personal regions. Listen too close and you start to understand better—the themes are often focused on the tribulations of fame, which I'm sure pose difficult and annoying problems but they're also alienating for most of the rest of us. "They know, they know, they know," Drake sings in the chorus of "Headlines," perhaps the biggest hit of a handful spawned by the album. It appears what they know is that Drake is famous now, because "the real is on the rise / Fuck them other guys." Thus, as far as his words go, I prefer the punning tangles he can toss off, as in the album opener "Over My Dead Body," where he goes, "Shout out to Asian girls, let the lights dim some." But it's hard to miss that usually his preoccupation is with celebrity—a natural enough response for anyone who has had their long dream of fame suddenly thrust on them. But also a natural enough reason on our part to skip listening too closely. Many songs here have killer hooks lurking somewhere in and around the bedroom intimations and cloistered hush of the production, and there are lots of happy surprises that came of obviously working so hard at this. But it's long and uneven and the celebrity focus can torpedo the whole thing if I'm in the wrong mood. Mix it up in a shuffle with a few other albums, however, and it steals the show over and over.