Let’s welcome back Confessional Drake, everybody. The side of the Toronto rapper-singer that let us classify 2011’s Take Care as one of the year’s best R&B albums has been relatively quiet this year. Of Aubrey Drake Graham’s last two tracks, “Started From the Bottom” is a shout-along boast and “5AM in Toronto” is an ice-cold verbal barrage. He released two more tracks yesterday, and the latest, “Girls Love Beyoncé,” is the more lyrically exposed. Usual producer Noah “40” Shebib’s typically skeletal backing track is built around fluid keyboards, finger snaps, and silky vocal harmonies that throw back to the era of Shai and H-Town, while guest vocalist James Fauntleroy sings a half-lit version of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” refrain. Drake nods to Take Care‘s “Practice,” plus the “No New Friends” policy of his other new track yesterday (more on that later), but his nimbly phrased acknowledgements of a desire for intimacy here recall touching late-Take Care track “Look What You’ve Done,” only directed toward a lover rather than family. “I need someone that’ll help me think of someone besides myself,” he intones carefully. Even those who hate Drake, confessional or not, can probably get behind that sentiment.
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