This Anderson .Paak review was written by Peter Shand, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Stephen Butchard. Lead photo by Laurent Fintoni
2015 was the year west coast artist Anderson .Paak finally became an established act and reached the musical forefront. It culminated in his writing and vocal abilities being predominantly featured on the long awaited Dr Dre 3rd studio album ‘Compton’. The top of the year glimpses ‘Malibu’. His third studio album release and it’s his most engaging to date.
The uniqueness and the confessional tone he sings with strikes you almost immediately from the opening track ‘The Bird’ reminiscing over hardship and the dysfunctional family setting he once grew up amongst. “My mama caught the gambling bug my papa was behind them bars we never had to want for nothin said all we ever need is love“. The pain is evident which carries itself through the project.
‘The Waters’ contains Midwesterner BJ The Chicago kid. The versatility is evident as Anderson decides to take a detour from the soft singing to delivering a rap sermons. “I’m glad that you finally made it to the future but you’re late And the price is through the muthafuckin’ roof If you want you could wait outside the building I ain’t takin’ no more meetings.”
Basking in the glory of the new found notoriety and wealth brings two part song ‘The Season / Carry Me’ the first half of the song Anderson remains intent on not changing staying the same person he was before the fame, “Say ain’t shit change but the bank statements spent the summer in the rave with the beach babies“. The second half of the song is humble reminder of harsher times slept on the floor with a new born baby on the way. “I was sleeping on the floor, newborn baby boy tryna get my money pot so wifey wouldn’t get deported.”
Anderson’s penchant for heartbreak is on full display through ‘Am I Wrong’ and ‘Without You’. The rhythm and groove on ‘Parking Lot’ is potent enough to make the worst of dancers breakout in song and dance, carrying the feeling of an epic jam session with Anderson going toe to toe with the songs instrumentation.
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‘Come Down’ & ‘Celebrate’ hold their own keeping the albums themes and production cohesive. ‘Room in Here’ sees The Game returning a feature favour after Anderson’s appearance on ‘The Documentary 2.5’.
The albums main focus points leads to Anderson being his own therapist in sorts. Finding motivation mixed with a resolute resolve, no matter the conquest if it be from his past or present life. The records outro ‘The Dreamer’ personifies this “Who cares ya daddy couldn’t be here momma always kept the cable on I’m a product of the tube and the free lunch.” Riding the wave of success is something Anderson has took in his stride. Giving a detailed synopsis of how it all happened using past pains and current glories, intertwined with lyrics and music always makes for a strong outcome.
‘Malibu’ is out now via EMPIRE.