The uniquely-voiced young thing in rap that assisted Dr. Dre’s comeback last year returns himself. Anderson .Paak dropped an innovative, vibrant, bossy album, ‘Venice’, only back in August, so to hear even fresher sounds from him is pretty cool. ‘Malibu’ is yet another trippy collection of beats hailing to beach namesakes, with summer vibes channelling expertly. As much as January was quite the wrong month, in absolutely the chilliest season (well, here anyway), this record is one of hope for warmer weather.
I’m as yet totally undecided about whether I think this speedy follow-up is a step up; some tracks blaze, while others are slow burners. The latter is the case for the album opener; ‘The Bird’ is softer than his typical template, and doesn’t translate as well for me, though ‘Parking Lot’ packs a punch. There are other true belters. The best example of this just has to be ‘Come Down’. With its old school hip-hop beat and off-kilter riff, this is a definite ripper. It has surf/skate anthem written all over it, and is slightly Kendrick Lamar-esque in its relentless delivery.
Chilled tune, ‘Heart Don’t Stand a Chance’ begins with a tight drum solo, which descends into a gentle beat. This is, aptly, a dinner date offering, with its soulful undercurrents and sheer sincerity. ‘The Waters (ft. BJ the Chicago Kid)’ is another with a steady melody, but it isn’t as smooth and Marvin Gaye in style. The pitches and delightful backing vocals fuse to create another class point of the album, though. The piano keys of ‘Put Me Thru’ and the devilishly ’80s synth funk of ‘Am I Wrong (ft. Schoolboy Q)’ are yet more alluring elements, while the angelic notes running across the blueprint rap beat of ‘Without You (ft. The Rapsody)’ makes for another enjoyable listen.
‘Silicon Valley’ and ‘The Dreamer (ft. Talib Kweli and Timan Choir)’ are more prominent hits, with the latter being so doggedly inspiring, thus offering what it, effectively, said on the tin. Truthfully, this guy has such a great vocal quality that I would actively want to hear anything he spits, but this album is just another reason to enjoy the fruits of this otherwise bleak month.
If you only download one (though I recommend you get hold of the bunch), let it be: ‘Come Down’