Anderson .Paak stretches out into almost every genre imaginable and for the most part, succeeds! (audio)
Before I listened to my #1 earlier this year, Anderson .Paak’s sprawling, ambitious album Malibu was all set to be my favorite of this year (betcha can’t guess what my favorite is gonna be?). But it wasn’t always like that. Back when I first heard “Suede”, I really wasn’t into it. Something about his delivery at that time really bugged me. But after hearing his chorus on Blended Babies’ “Make It Work, I went back and gave the song another listen and found myself really enjoying it (the music video definitely helped as well).
Malibu is not a perfect album (but really, how many are?). It gets a bit messy towards the end, as it’s ambitious nature kinda leads to some rather meandering tracks that feel like the seeds of great ideas that don’t really mature into something truly great. That and some of those later tracks’ lyrics are just straight up sophomoric, in my opinion (“Silicon Valley” being probably the worst offender).
But surrounding those weaker moments are some of the most diverse, exciting, addictive tracks I’ve heard all year. Throughout the duration of the entire album, .Paak his slew of fantastic producers and musicians run through just about ever genre imaginable: house, disco, soul (both of the neo and straight up variety), and finally hip-hop and neo-soul. And aside from those weaker moments, he does it all swimmingly. Anderson .Paak doesn’t slouch in the lyrical department either, showing off his ability to swing back and forth between confessional and personal, to brash and showy without missing a beat. Ultimately when I look back on 2016, this is gonna be one of the big ones that I remember. Except for…