Updated: Aug 5, 2020
Favorite Track: "LIFE" Least Favorite Track: "FIGHTER"
I remember the first time I was introduced to Saba as an artist, it was because of the song "Angels" with Chance the Rapper, an upbeat track focused on gun violence in Chicago. When I stumbled across CARE FOR ME about a year later, I realized it was going to be very different from "Angels'' as none of the songs even come close to emulating the joy of the dance track, rather exploring some very different heavy handed issues that everyone seems to possess. Saba's sophomore Album, CARE FOR ME, isn't very long with only 10 tracks focusing on recounting memories and how they've led him to be grief-stricken. The album undoubtedly breathes authenticity, with lyrics that are reminiscent of younger, dumber years with backwards priorities and a pointless journey for happiness. "BROKEN GIRLS" accentuates the repetitive loop of lust and depression as he searches for others who are as trapped as he is, in an effort to see if they have a way out of the cycle. In "BUSY/SIRENS", he focuses on his anxiety that prevents him from texting and hanging out with friends, seeing his friends all have fun perpetuating his anxiety and trapping him inside of another loop. These two tracks are the rawest on the album as they feature the dark and depressive details that would otherwise be left out of a finished story. Both songs come off as incredibly vulnerable and the beauty comes in the form of the authenticity of his words. Further along in the track-list are arguably the best tracks on the album, with "LIFE's" hard hitting bass and lyrics and "CALLIGRAPHY's" therapeutic and chill atmosphere, it's hard to leave the album without taking at least one of these songs with you. However, towards the middle of the track-list, the album hits a slough and the tracks, although meaningful, aren't as enjoyable to listen to. "LOGOUT" serves as an example, with a lackluster Chance feature that drags the song down, and "FIGHTER", "GREY", and "SMILE" all serve as interesting listens but lack repeatability. However, the two songs at the end of the album pay homage to storytelling in grand fashion, especially with "PROM/KING" switching up the beat to match the story and getting to hear the fateful day in which Walter, his cousin and childhood friend, was shot. This song puts the entire album in perspective as many of the problems the album exposes is due to his death and Saba's struggle to cope with it. Its transition to "HEAVEN ALL AROUND ME" is as equally beautiful as the song itself and wraps up the album tastefully.