Yes, the Canadian man of the moment is not short of self-confidence, switching from a smooth silk shirt ensemble to a tight black vest for all the appreciative “bitches” out there, most of them so overwhelmed they’d forgotten they had school tomorrow morning.
To his credit, when he’s steering clear of the low notes and taking time off from electronic vocal modifiers, Aubrey Drake Graham has an excellent voice and smoothly interchanges a souful croon with his rapping duties. But so much of his sound is pre-recorded that there’s a depressing hollowness to the prizefigher poses and grandstanding as he struts across the stage. A unrefined banger, with the refrain “rapping and bitches”, opener Under Ground Kings sets the tone, while Crew Love is an annoyingly catchy exercise in humblebrag.
The affected, storytelling depth of Going In For Life is mercifully soon dispensed with, and Take Care, even without Rihanna, is shallow as a puddle but unquestionably danceable.