Listening to Drake’s new album, “Take Care,” it’s hard to decide what genre to place it in. 

“Take Care” is a mix of styles and textures: R&B croon, headstrong rapping and a low-registered drawl show off Drake’s vocal dexterity. “Take Care” features a lot less rapping than his first record,“Thank Me Later,” which fits the new album’s darker mood. Drake pulls from a diverse pool of influences for his sound, which is more indie than Biggie.

This record is built differently than a standard R&B or hip-hop release. Rather than flooding the credits with producers and collaborators, “Take Care” is the brainchild of two minds: Drake and producer Noah “40” Shebib. 40 has produced the lion’s share of Drake’s material since his first mixtape, “So Far Gone.” His work is the foundation for the record: flowing synths and cannonball beats that are expansive, but never ornate. Credited with 14 production credits and 15 songwriting credits, 40 should receive just as much praise as Drake himself.

Also separating “Take Care” from its peers are the collaborations. Not many rap artists have this few guests on a record, with only seven total verses dotting the 18 tracks. The album is intensely positive. One of Drake’s strengths as a writer is in revealing the insecurities most rappers pretend not to have

The collaborations also shed light on Drake’s influences. On “Thank Me Later,” Drake mostly tapped familiar sources: Jay-Z, T.I. and his boss Lil’ Wayne. This time out he enlisted Jamie xx of The xx on the title track and fellow Canadians The Weeknd on “Crew Love.” These collaborations show that Drake’s mind isn’t on the top of the charts (although choruses on songs like “We’ll Be Fine” should help make a dent). Drake has fully embraced the indie artists that his approach is more attuned to.

“Take Care” is a great crossover record. It meshes the sonic trademarks of indie with the vocal approach of an R&B star, creating a sound both huge and inviting. None of the album’s singles will approach the success of past hits like “Best I Ever Had,” but as an album it’s more consistent and fascinating than anything Drake has attempted.

Four Stars