Malibu - Anderson .Paak
Anderson .Paak, has been an artist I've had my eye on for a while, so I'm glad to finally give him a proper review and recommendation to the world. Paak, formerly known as Breezy Lovejoy, is a recording artist who has been creating a buzz for a while with his soulful vocals, occasional raps, and the varying soundscapes he produces. He began to really garner attention after his album, Venice, that precedes this 2016 release. Venice increased his internet buzz through his musings with women to the backdrop of the Venice lifestyle: beaches, cruising the streets, & drug induced parties. This eventually led to a collaborative EP with producer Knxwledge and their breakout single, Suede. The hit got an A&R's attention which prompted an invitation for Paak to contribute to what became Dr. Dre's Compton soundtrack last year. With that exposure, Paak was now set to work with even more big names on this follow up album, Malibu.
Now armed with a more honed approach to creating his vision, the city of Malibu is the backdrop of his second album as Anderson .Paak. You can clearly hear his influences from funk, R&B, hip hop, soul, and even a little rock. Everything cohesively transition between each other as demonstrated through Venice, but with a wider range of topics. It begins with songs like "The Bird", "The Waters (feat. BJ the Chicago Kid)", & "The Season/Carry Me" that give you a grasp on who he is despite his troubled upbringing. Then enter some of the dancable love songs like "Put Me Thru" and "Am I Wrong (feat. ScHoolboy Q)". After which you can get hip hop relationship tracks such as "Without You (feat. Rapsody)" & "Room in Here (feat. The Game & Sonyae Elise)". You can't leave without a few bedroom songs of the likes of "Water Fall (Interluuube)" and "Silicon Valley". The project then ends in an uplifting fashion with "Celebrate" and "The Dreamer (feat. Talib Kweli)".
Anyone who currently enjoys Neo-Soul and current R&B should be able to turn this on and never skip a track. Paak has seemed to master having a soulful approach with thoughtful lyrics that can also slyly turn into dirty talk that you'll unknowingly jam to regardless. None of the features ever pull you away from the experience as they all just add a little extra color to whichever song they fit into snugly. The production from Paak work well between some other respected names, such as 9th Wonder, DJ Khalil, Madlib, & Hi-Tek. I highly recommend this journey as he continues to rise in his music career.
To start off my personal favorites, "The Waters" is cool since Paak approaches it in a sing-rap style as he confidently talks about his rise in the industry. The singles, "Room in Here" & "Come Down", are also standouts. The former being an easy head-bobbing, wooing joint with an infectious melody and a smooth verse from The Game, who also used Paak's talents on his double disc album last year. Then "Come Down" is so funky with a vocal performance reminiscent of James Brown and you just can't help but dance to it. Finally, "Silicon Valley" became one of those few sex songs that I can't resist. Its classic, respectful slow jam delivery mixed with it's eventual upfront intention charmed me. Plus, this song also has a switch up in the third verse that describes the amusing exchange between himself and his lady before the act. Honestly, there's not a single track that I would remove from the album. This definitely is a project that is worth a listen and a purchase if you like it as much as I did.
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