Album of the Week: Anderson .Paak, 'Ventura'


Anderson .Paak, 'Ventura'
Anderson .Paak, 'Ventura' (Courtesy of Aftermath)

After a tangibly ambitious reach with his 2018 album Oxnard, Anderson .Paak is right back in that soulful sweetspot that made 2016's Malibu such a classic. On songs like King James, What Can We Do and Yada Yada the tracks are so full of great writing, funky breakdowns and spectacular keyboard bass that I have to compare the album to the finest work from 1970s era Stevie Wonder.

Ventura has me rethinking about that old saying, less is more. Less is lazy. More is indulgent. Just right is all that matters. And Ventura is just right. When .Paak can tell his story over a snare and some simple key lines, that's all he uses. But when he sets the scene for the romantic rollercoaster Ventura takes you on - he dials up a Blaxploitation overture sounding open, an echo chamber of voices and a verse from Andre 3000. It's a strange gumbo, but it's JUST RIGHT. And just right is all that matters.

The record is a master class is making good musical choices, and word is, on this record executive producer Dr. Dre gave Anderson .Paak the keys to make a lot of decisions on his own. What .Paak did is create a modern soul masterpiece - with legendary artists like Brandy, Jazmine Sullivan and Smokey Robinson joining .Paak's incredible voice. It's an extraordinary listen that I imagine I'll be listening to for years to come.

**And it should be mentioned: this is one of the filthiest bass albums I have heard in my 38 years on Earth. To the eleven of you that are bass fanatics here are your tracks: Winners Circle, Yada Yada and Chosen One. OMFG, filthy, nasty, press rewind bass moments all over this bad boy.


Anderson .Paak - Official Site

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