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  • Writer's pictureMagda Knyszynski

Anderson .Paak - Ventura

Ventura, the newest record by Anderson .Paak furthers the series of music inspired by his early years in Southern California. The release follows the late 2018 record, Oxnard, which gave audiences the likes of ‘Tint’s ft. Kendrick Lamar”. Rather than following the high energy, rap theme from Oxnard, .Paak decidedly transitions towards a more soulful and funk vibe for Ventura, showcasing his musical diversity. By bringing in big voices such as Smokey Robinson and Lalah Hathaway, .Paak has definitely created beautiful harmonies that are timeless.

Starting with twinkling piano embellishments, a funky bass beat, and a distinct drum groove, “Coming Home” cements the opening of a traditional Anderson .Paak album. The song effortlessly conveys cliché wooing attempts of a love through .Paak’s vocals and the angelic backing vocals. The stripped down instrumental allows for the focus to be on his vocals and André 3000’s rap on the tail end of the song. The instrumental melodies indicate a more mature vibe as compared to previous releases as Venice or Malibu, allowing the listener to enjoy .Paak’s growth and range in style.

“Make It Better” is a bubbly track full of smooth grooves that highlight .Paak’s appreciation for a great drum beat. By signing on the Motown legend Smokey Robinson onto the track, the song is a beautiful soulful creation that seems earnest in painting the theme. .Paak proves that his music is more than capable of pursuing the complexities of love and relationships. With the lack of sexually charged lyrics, he is able to express his penchant for soulful love songs.

.Paak comes back with his traditional style of music with “Twilight”. The track features Brandy, and a groovy bass and funky drum beat. His raspy vocals pair beautifully with Brandy’s soulful soft voice, the contrast working perfectly for the entirety of the albums’ genre. While the track is soulful in vocals, the beat and bass riffs are reminiscent to .Paak’s Malibu album, embracing the energetic and funky punches that listeners are used to.

Ventura is a superbly produced album, satisfying listeners with a new style and tone, but also showcases Anderson .Paak’s growth from previous records.

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