Drake - Thank Me Later

Drake
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With only a year in the public's eye yielded by a blazing hip-hop single ("Best I Ever Had"), Drake still has a lot to prove after becoming the coolest, brightest new kid on the block. Drake's highly-anticipated debut, Thank Me Later, comes off the heels of his well-received EP, a bold and intelligent mixtape bearing Kanye West prototypes while dealing with young love and bachelor cadence.

On his official album release, Drake heavily implores the smooth sexiness of R&B's bedroom magicians with Isley Bros. smoldering ("Unforgettable"), Sade sensuality ("Karaoke") and even The-Dream's synth-anchored slow jamming ("Shut It Down"). Alicia Keys guests on "Fireworks," a decent song with a striking melodic resemblance to "Unthinkable." Thank Me Later's content isn't all lovey-dovey; occasionally parking into lonely and immature life choices with regret ("The Resistance") and teenage-acting ego-tripping.

With only a year in the public's eye yielded by a blazing hip-hop single ("Best I Ever Had"), Drake still has a lot to prove after becoming the coolest, brightest new kid on the block. Drake's highly-anticipated debut, Thank Me Later, comes off the heels of his well-received EP, a bold and intelligent mixtape bearing Kanye West prototypes while dealing with young love and bachelor cadence.

On his official album release, Drake heavily implores the smooth sexiness of R&B's bedroom magicians with Isley Bros. smoldering ("Unforgettable"), Sade sensuality ("Karaoke") and even The-Dream's synth-anchored slow jamming ("Shut It Down"). Alicia Keys guests on "Fireworks," a decent song with a striking melodic resemblance to "Unthinkable." Thank Me Later's content isn't all lovey-dovey; occasionally parking into lonely and immature life choices with regret ("The Resistance") and teenage-acting ego-tripping. Thankfully, he keeps the music shielded from critical torture. He isn't ashamed to depend on his vocal chops, a gift he genetically inherited from his funky uncle, Larry Graham, perfectly proven on the seven-minute "Shut It Down" and on the pop-friendly, all-vocal track "Find Your Love."

Probably the album's low points come through the project's special guest rap collaborations that too often get in the way of Drake's luster. Along with his easy lyric-spitting flow, Drake's lyrics on "Fancy" feel more advanced and supernatural than T.I.'s superficial list. Drake does get superficial along with Nicki Minaj on "Up All Night," but the lyrics are more cohesive in its package, even as he rambles about hard work and its accompanying recreations. Jay-Z shares a verse on "Light Up," although Drake appears to be a bit more profane and edgy, possibly due to the apparent competitiveness with the Hova. Lil' Wayne, Drake's partner-in-crime (no pun intended), shows up on "Miss Me" and turns a four play-focused ballad into a porn track.

When added up, all the superstar visits on Thank Me Later somehow get in the way of a suitably balanced and organized work of art. It's obvious that Drake could have pulled the album off without all the names, but when you're hip-hop's hottest commodity and you have a lot to live up to, it's hard to turn down a good offer.

Notable Tracks: "Karaoke," "Fireworks," "Fancy," and "Find Your Love"

Vocals: 3.0 stars
Music: 3.0 stars
Lyrics: 2.5 stars
Production: 3.0 stars
SoulTracks Call: Recommended

 

By J. Matthew Cobb
 
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