Care for Me Review
Care for Me by Saba
Saba emerged onto the Chicago rap scene with notable features on Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap and then again on the hit single for Coloring Book “Angels.” Bucket List Project was a good debut album, but wasn’t enough to propel him completely into the mainstream. Care for Me is a significant improvement over Bucket List and allowed Saba to step out of the spotlight of former mentor Chance. With Care for Me, Saba establishes his voice and gives listeners a reason to tune in. This is a deeply emotional album. We hear about Saba’s insecurities, his fears, his flaws. He proves himself to be an exceptional storyteller.
Saba’s sound is very raw, from his lyricism to his production. In a lot of ways this works, like how he doesn’t always use traditional rhyme schemes or formats for his songs. He has two “double songs” on the album, where the song is essentially two songs in one with two different names. This technique is typically used by the elite lyricists like the Kendricks and the Lupe Fiascos but Saba takes this tool and uses it perfectly on what is only his Sophomore outing. This is just one of the many ways that Saba crafts a unique storyboard of emotions throughout this album.
This unrefined sound can be a weak point for Saba, however, and sometimes the composition of his songs suffer. His hooks on this project are sometimes pretty dull (BROKEN GIRLS, LOGOUT) and his themes are not always well executed (FIGHTER). However, the good far outweighs the bad here and this album is outstanding, one of my favorites from 2018. PROM/KING is a notable highlight, featuring a 7:32 chilling story about the late John Walt. If Care for Me is even a hint into what we can expect from Saba in the future, I’m excited.
Top 3 songs: PROM/KING, CALLIGRAPHY, LIFE