"Oh well, you lose some, you win some," reflects Drake on the opening track of his second album, consoling himself, "just as long as the outcome is income."
Not that he has any worries on that account: the Canadian rapper is currently the hottest thing in R&B, with "Take Care" a shoo-in for next week's American chart-topper. And for a while on this overlong album, he brings something new to the usual hip-hop parade of brandy and bitches, lasciviousness and loyalty – a certain generosity of spirit, and most notably a delivery which eschews anger or threat for a weariness shadowed by wistful regret. But ultimately there are a few too many solipsistic reflections on his position in "the game", and his wheedling autotune croon, engaging at first, becomes wearisome after a while.
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