Back in 2016 when Anderson .Paak dropped the album Malibu, he utilized a soul funk aesthetic that hadn’t been heard in the way he used it since the seventies. Even though he just released Oxnard less than six months ago, he’s back with a similar soul funk vibe that falls all over the sexy and at times angelic notes of Ventura. Full of features and a more relaxed approach, .Paak proves that he’s a cut above the rest with stronger songwriting and a more sultry perspective.
Opening with seventies vibes of “Come Home (feat. Andre 3000)” lays the groundwork for the foundation of the release with ease. Where Oxnard took sharp turns into what .Paak could do, this album is more smooth and comes on like a memory that you don’t want to forget. When he wants to get funky, he does so like on “Make It Better (feat. Smoky Robinson)” and on “Good Heels (feat. Jazmine Sullivan).” When he wants to get into soulful R&B he goes that route on “Chosen One (feat. Sonyae Elise)” and with “Jet Black (feat. Brandy).”
The whole album is full of gems with features, in fact “Jet Black” stands out on its own as a mix of sultry R&B and hip hop. Yet with all of the features, .Paak shines on his own with tracks like the pulsating sounds of “Winners Circle.” and on the groove heavy vibes of “Twilight.” .Paak is taking his own steps here while still keeping his toes in all of the genres that got him to the space where he’s a leader and not a follower. While the sound is a step up from where he began, in many ways Ventura proves that Anderson .Paak can always return to his roots and still own the light that surrounds him.
Ventura is available to stream on all streaming sites, it can be purchased digitally in all online music retailers or it can be purchased in bundles and physical formats directly from the Anderson .Paak web store. Anderson .Paak will be on tour starting today at Coachella in Indio, CA until August 28 at Dimensions Festival in Fort Puta Christo Pula, Croatia. A complete list of his upcoming tour dates can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Katie Spoleti.