ANDERSON .PAAK MALIBU (Steel Wool/OBE/Art Club)
As brilliant as it was and as masterfully executed Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly was, the one thing that was not in its favor, was the fact that it was so hard to listen to it. So rich, so komplex and yes, so difficult. Wherefore Anderson .Paak’s sophomore album Malibu feels like a more relaxed approach to the jazz-hip hop landscape and what a delight it is.
Don’t get me wrong, Anderson .Paak is as intricate and skilled as you’d hope for, but it is him integrating more soulful elements that lightens up the experience on Malibu. He is as much of a singer-songwriter as he is a rapper as he is a soul crooner. But first and foremost, he is a story teller and it is that particular skill that makes me surrender. The way that he tells his stories lands somewhere in-between rap and crooning, his voice is slight jagged, yet smooth and all is elegantly wrapped in an infectious and swaggy production. That spoken-word and laid back soul feel to it, reminds of one of my all-time favourite albums, Who Is Jill Scott?, Words And Sound, Vol. 1.
He has an elegance and warmth that is hard to resist, whether it be Am I Wrong with its gorgeous soul disco tendencies or the brilliant and beautiful operning track The Bird, a very personal reflection on his life. And there’s plenty more of gems to find on this loveable album.