3 out of 5 party cups
I discovered Anderson.Paak a few years ago while living in Atlanta. His ability to fuse Soul and Hip-Hop was spell bounding. Needless to say, the Grammy nominated project Malibu and was in constant rotation in my little Altima.
A moment of honesty! My best friend and fellow music aficionado Marcus sent me a couple tracks from Anderson’s latest project Oxnard which included Who R U, and Tints. I was not totally feeling either song. They sound ok, but the singles alone did not capture me. I just knew I would instantly fall in love with Tints considering Kendrick Lamar was on the track. Nope. Later, I received Cheers featuring Q-Tip and it fell in line with my taste, but I wasn’t totally interested in giving the album my full attention.
I didn’t want to write off this album as a sophomore jinx without giving it my full attention, so I decided to sit down and take off the judgement.
The first track The Chase gave me blaxploitation movie vibes. It’s put you in the head space of Shaft and Isaac Hayes…you know, the feel good 70s vibe. He starts our rhyming but reminds us he also has singing chops. I even found a greater appreciation for Tints once hearing it after the first two tracks.
It’s my opinion, at times, that the true essence of a single can’t be unveiled unless you listen to an album in its entirely. Artist have a way of telling stories with song. If you listen to these songs individually or out of order from its intended storyline, the song may seem out of place. In my case, I really didn’t get the songs as they stood alone. Now that I have read the story from cover to cover if you will, the songs make sense. Anderson.Paak has penned a nice tale with Oxford and I am here for it! Marcus, I apologize for not seeing the light initially. Lol
My favorite track from the album would have to be Brother’s Keeper featuring Pusha T questioning loyalty of those closet to you when you go through the transitions of life. “If Jesus would've had a better lawyer would he have to see the cross. I hope your niggas is true, I hope they don't do you like Judas.” Yes Lawd!
Uncle Snoop comes through with the mild banger on Anywhere which also features Last Artful and Dodgr which samples. Sweet Chicken mashes West Coast up with the Midwest flare of BJ the Chicago Kid. This satirical song meddles through the different types of women Anderson gets involved with. I enjoy this kind of foolery and it took me back to shit like Kanye’s The New Workout Plan.
This singer, musician, producer doesn’t disappoint with Oxnard. While is not better than Malibu, it’s still a good piece of work. Anderson continues to give us true artistry and freshness in a music world that is filled with mediocrity and refurbished lyrical and instrumental content.
Other standouts include: Headlow, Smile/Petty, Trippy and Saviers Road.