If you enjoyed Bucket List Project for the calmer, more peaceful songs, you’re going to love Care for Me. Trust me. It’s a project that is remains spacey and dreamy throughout, and for better or for worse, it’s extremely cohesive. The project opens with one of the more unique songs on the tracklist, BUSY/SIRENS, which demonstrates Saba’s talent with multiple flows. Contrasting the lethargic vocals of the second half of the track, Saba adopts a really hostile flow that bites and grips listeners on BUSY, and frets over how physical distance has led to him feeling alienated from his home, and his girl. Both sonically and lyrically it sets the tone for the album well, and Saba’s choice to put this very personal song at the start of the project is respectable.
BROKEN GIRLS is the second, and one of the weaker, tracks on Care for Me, mostly due to it’s repetitive chorus and forgettable, bland beat. CALLIGRAPHY suffers the same problem, although it’s more appealing with it’s layers of brass instruments. Saba also experiments with an autotune vocoder effect that feels out of place and grating. On the other end of the spectrum is SMILE and FIGHTER; the former for the talented singing throughout, and the later for how wonderfully Saba and KAINA managed to tell such a deeply nuanced story.
Chance The Rapper returns the favour for Saba featuring on his 2016 hit Angels, and steals the third verse on LOGOUT, an erratic, paranoid seventh track on Care For Me. While it’s a great demonstration of Saba’s versatility, Chance’s performance is lacking. It’s repetitive lyrically, and the themes are presented very overtly, with very little room for interpretation. Delivered in a very laid-back, almost spoken word fashion, it lacks energy and is dull.
As an album, Care for Me is tight and cohesive, firmly maintaining it’s established sound. Saba switches up his flow on almost every track, which provides most of the creativity on the album; sonically, the album plays it very safe, while working to its strengths. The tone is very similar to J Cole’s ‘4 Your Eyes Only’, and like that release, Saba’s second studio album is best listened to as an album, not in a playlist as singles.