Music » Critics' Picks

Drake

5 p.m. Saturday, June 12. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights.

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And like that, the most heavily anticipated 2010 rap album (short of Kanye West's Good Ass Job, anyway) spreads its breathy, emotional tendrils all across the Internet. Thank Me Later is officially scheduled to drop June 15, so Drake had a good pre-release run, by the way things are reckoned these days. (Sleigh Bells' Treats is pretty much the single high-profile 2010 record we can think of not to leak well in advance of its release date.) Plus it all tends to work out if you have a good album on your hands, and at first listen, Drake's album is very, very good. The snare-drum sound on the Jay-Z collabo "Light Up"; the weird personal disclosures on "Karaoke" ("Isn't it ironic that the girl I want to marry is a wedding planner?") and "The Resistance" ("My mother was a florist"); the extended, soft-focus slow jam of "Shut It Down" — it all seems a lot like the emo-rap paradigm-shifter Drake was supposed to make. Your move, Kanye.

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