Home > News & Reviews > Anderson Paak

Anderson .Paak - Ventura (Album Review)

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 Written by Jacob Brookman

Anderson .Paak’s new record is excellent: a rich, energetic return to groovy modern soul that reins in the edgier hip hop tones seen on 2018’s 'Oxnard'. And while his music sometimes feels derivative, it gives space to a singer and musical character of fabulous poise and endeavour.

Standout moments include the incurably funky Winners Circle, a track that opens with a vocal skit from the 1993 film A Bronx Tale before dropping into a bassy groove-led scat vocal motif matched by a flute melody. This compositional technique is light, familiar and drop dead gorgeous, and it provides a marvellous basis for rapping that is soulful and thoughtful. Similarly wonderful is Make It Better—ostensibly a sugary ballad with a light-headed soul and groove that is warm and hypnotic.

Elsewhere, King James is probably the most interesting song in terms of lyrical content. Here, .Paak riffs on African-American political resistance and aligns the trend of protest action in high profile sportspeople to grassroots movements and community activism.

The arrangement of the track is once again wonderful, with a host of new-sounding synth voices and brass effects accompanying some death-defying vocal arrangements and .Paak’s seemingly effortless rhymes.

That said, .Paak is in some ways a vexing artist. His musical voice appears highly distinctive—even original—at first, but dig a little deeper and you find that he hasn’t actually covered his tracks very well. His songwriting choices frequently look like direct lifts from Prince, Parliament-Funkadelic or, somewhat inevitably, Stevie Wonder, and while they are knitted together with intense intelligence and skill, the criticism remains that he is something of a musical magpie.

But ‘Ventura’ is still a record of highly detailed and varied composition, and one that should restore some of the cred .Paak lost with ‘Oxnard’. The problem is that there seems to be a true auteur vision currently out of reach for him. To put it in footballing terms he is Sergio Agüero—happy banging in goals for fun in England, but there is a chance he could actually be a world beater akin to Lionel Messi. Does he realise this, or is he happy at his current level?





Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!




Related News

Anderson .Paak Shares Smokey Robinson Collaboration Make It Better
Fri 05 Apr 2019
Anderson .Paak continues to tease his forthcoming album with new song Make It Better.
Anderson .Paak Shares First Single King James From Upcoming Album 'Ventura'
Fri 15 Mar 2019
Anderson .Paak is streaming the lead single from his upcoming album, 'Ventura'.
Anderson .Paak Announces New Album 'Ventura' And Best Teef In The Game North American Tour
Thu 28 Feb 2019
Anderson .Paak has announced a new album.
Queen Machine Symphonic Featuring Kerry Ellis To Tour The UK In 2020
Mon 15 Apr 2019
Queen Machine Symphonic will head to UK venues in spring 2020.
Tacocat Share New Single The Joke Of Life
Wed 17 Apr 2019
Tacocat have released a new single.
Blonde Redhead Founder Kazu Makino Announces Solo Project 'Adult Baby', Shares Debut Single
Thu 11 Apr 2019
Photo: Eva Michon Kazu Makino is going out on her own.
The Shires, Alabama3, Magic Numbers Join Black Deer Festival Line Up
Fri 10 May 2019
The Shires, Alabama3, and Magic Numbers have joined the bill for Black Deer Festival.
Bleached Return With New Single Shitty Ballet
Thu 11 Apr 2019
Photo: Nicola Rowlands Bleached are back.
 
< Prev   Next >