On his second proper full-length, 2011’s most popular rapper sings, “I be yelling out, ‘money over everything/ money on my mind’/ then she want to ask when it got so empty.” Drake is the sad sack don, both excited and dizzy from his ascension to the top. He desperately clings to an idea of self, while acknowledging, “you lose some and win some/ as long as the outcome is income.” The lyrics’ interiority is complemented by the music’s understated elegance. Divorced from Drake’s pronouncements that he “never cheated when we were together,” the skeletal drums and ambient synth of “Take a Shot” are spacious and a bit cold. It’s a neat trick, and Take Care is fully realized in its emotional texture and nuance.
Sam Chennault, Google Play