Hard-twerker, last great gangsta rapper, renewed rock band -- and EW critic's No. 1
In a year that practically oozed smoove vibes from Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake, Drake got pop working its core. Even ''Hold On, We're Going Home,'' in every other way the '87 Oldsmobile of fall's top five hits, boasts a beat as crisp as anything by Phil Collins. When he gets to flexin' as on ''Worst Behavior,'' with its Rube Goldberg underpinnings; the MC smackdown ''The Language''; and the hypnotic ''Started From the Bottom'' he's flawlessly confident. But his restless thoughts keep the elegant music here taut. He revisits old flames (Courtney from Hooters, Bria from Macy's) the way a Zen master meditates on a candle, and even calls out his mother for ceding energy to her illness. Intimacy needn't be soft.
Best Track: ''Started From the Bottom''