Thank Me Later

Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Toronto MC Drake has said that he wants fans to feel the different layers of his debut, Thank Me Later. From the sounds of it, he's held little back, sharing with listeners his deepest thoughts on family, women, and fame.
  2. With its laid-back atmosphere and relevant lyricism, Thank Me Later is a hip-hop album that successfully balances commercialism with art.
  3. Thank Me Later presents its star as a bottle-serviced hip-hop headcase tirelessly searching for love and good times while caught up in his own thoughts.
  4. Given his limitations, his famous friends are a mixed benefit, because they show him up.
  5. Drake may be powerfully conflicted about stardom, but on his cohesive, bittersweet, assured debut, he proves himself worthy of the sometimes-blinding spotlight.
  6. Thank Me Later may not have been the game-changing release everyone was hoping for, but we now have every reason to believe that the hype will ring true on his next album.
  7. Thanks to the rich and nuanced production and Drake's thoughtful, playful, and intense lyrics, Thank Me Later is a radio-friendly, chart-topping collection of singles but also a serious examination of Drake's life that holds up as an album.
  8. Drake is not changing rap, because the thing Drake is worst at is rap. It's everything else that can-and probably will-change. Perspectives, tempos, the very notion of entitlement . . . they're all up for grabs.
  9. In amongst the filler of the album's latter half, he still manages to hold his own with Jay-Z on the pounding Light Up, and sit back and admire 'Lil Wayne's oddly compelling flow on Miss Me. Self-obsessed, paranoid, fleetingly spectacular and always interesting, Thank Me Later does indeed mark the arrival of rap's newest superstar.
  10. XXL
    80
    On Thank Me Later, he explores what it's like to have done that-to have become successful. Turns out, it's not exactly what he thought it would be. But it still sounds pretty damn remarkable.
  11. 80
    The abundance of spacey synths and clattering, reverbed percussion makes Thank Me Later feel like ideal cruising music for a ramshackle UFO, but it also incorporates dynamics like few other hip-hop albums before it.
  12. 80
    With a vicarious and melodious debut, it's clear that hip-hop's hopeful hasn't shied from his balancing act.
  13. Because of his relatively privileged upbringing (he's from a wealthy part of Toronto), Thank Me Later is less about chronicling and rising up out of his environment (like basically every rap debut since Illmatic) and more about how Drake is uncomfortable being famous.
  14. So Drake isn't the hip-hop savior he was hyped to be. Instead, as he drifts through what should have been his boisterous coming-out party, he comes off as muted and rueful, missing the days when he was 19 and it was just about him and his girlfriend in a college dorm room.
  15. Fame's downside is a ?frequent topic for Drake, the Degrassi actor–turned–hip-hop heartthrob, who spends half of his debut Thank Me Later rapping about the anxieties and disappointments that have come with his success.
  16. Drake is in total command of a style that would have been hard to imagine dominating hip-hop a few years ago: He's subtle and rueful rather than loud and lively; emotionally transparent rather than thuggy.
  17. The album is good at parts, but never great. It's unlikely he's the next Jay, or Kanye, or even Jeezy. But you'll definitely keep hearing his name.
  18. As morose meditations on the miseries of fame go, it comes across like a rap version of Woody Allen's Stardust Memories or Deconstructing Harry.
  19. A genre redefining album from the most innovative and exciting voice of a generation? Not exactly. Yet while predictably wide of the genius mark, at its best it does tag Drake a breath of fresh air.
  20. The rapper's insistent navel-gazing isn't the most original concept, and it won't make for the most stable subject matter in the long run, but it certainly works on Thank Me Later, which nails confused introspection in a genre famous for willful misrepresentation of self.
  21. This is not a bad album – on the contrary, I like it. Drake is a clever guy, sure – but he will look back on this with disappointment at the imbalance of it, the intermittent connection, the lack of boldness.
  22. Two of Drake's favorite topics on Thank Me Later are I'm young and I'm rich stated with precisely that level of eloquence and imagination; should we start calling him the Justin Bieber of rap?
  23. Unfortunately, the emotionally charged lyrics rarely evolve beyond platitudes, exposing a profound emptiness at its core. The gratitude can wait, but therapy now might not be such a bad idea.
  24. It's those constant and predictable superstar interjections that prevent the album from standing out as much as it had potential to do.
  25. Drake's hooks are flimsy and irritating. His long-winded emo choruses gnaw at your brain. He complains about fame way too much. He mentions Kelsey Grammer for no reason. He's completely humourless. Worst of all, he sounds like a frog – not like Kermit in Rainbow Connection, but actual croaking.
  26. Mojo
    40
    By the album's close, however, his vulnerability risks tipping over into maudlin self-pity. [Sep 2010, p.103]
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 279 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 71
  2. Negative: 12 out of 71
  1. CodyT
    Jun 17, 2010
    3
    Promising buzz single "Over" does not represent this album in the LEAST. I went in expecting an energetic, original rap album but was left Promising buzz single "Over" does not represent this album in the LEAST. I went in expecting an energetic, original rap album but was left scratching my head at all of the soft, auto-tuned laziness on the disc. At times the production sounds amateur and you begin to realize all the hype about this former child actor is blown way out of proportion. So with that being said I suggest you look elsewhere for in your face spitting, because you won't find it here on this lackluster debut. Full Review »
  2. MarkC
    Jun 19, 2010
    2
    This album was hyped to be so much, but was a completely let down. As a Hip hop fan, this is awful, Drake may as well call himself a Pop This album was hyped to be so much, but was a completely let down. As a Hip hop fan, this is awful, Drake may as well call himself a Pop artist, he cant sing and just uses Autotune like theres no tomorrow. Full Review »
  3. GregC
    Jun 18, 2010
    9
    Impressive debut album. Drake possesses some serious skills on the mic, being able to actually hold a tune unlike his advocaries who think Impressive debut album. Drake possesses some serious skills on the mic, being able to actually hold a tune unlike his advocaries who think that they could, and if you're still on that whole "Drake can't rap" boat, I advise you to get off because it's a quickly sinking ship. Full Review »