Anderson .Paak
Malibu


3.0
good

Review

by Jordan M. STAFF
January 17th, 2016 | 200 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Promise undulating with staid posturing.

Part of the Anderson .Paak hype- and part of why his sophomore effort, Malibu, is at least somewhat disappointing- is that he emerged as a promising standout on The Documentary 2 and Compton, two of 2015's most overstuffed hip-hop albums. Of course, .Paak had every right to emerge triumphant, his smooth and sultry tones recalling better vocalists whilst tempering unruly album lengths. The problem was that, given such a context, .Paak emerged as a superpower when his execution errs closer to the side of imitator. Don't be mistaken, .Paak certainly has the ability to be the performer his featured appearances strongly hint at; as it goes, though, Malibu does not entirely deliver on that potential.

Despite his emergence as a humbled, 20-something, Dr. Dre protege, Anderson .Paak relies on a remarkable amount of clichés to pad out Malibu's hour-long run-time. His gimmick, a deeper throwback to black music tropes than his peers care to muster, is well executed on lead single "The Season / Carry Me", a 5-minute slice of sincere and nostalgic R&B. Of-the-minute hip-hop inflections are best executed on tracks like "Put Me Thru", where .Paak's delivery is enhanced from a dry impression to a sexy swagger. However, whether due to record company politics or a general lack of confidence, songs are often forced to play host to unnecessary features and awkward production choices. Accordingly, BJ the Chicago Kid and The Game make customary appearances to bolster the idea that Malibu is a throwback record with commercial hip-hop credentials to boot. They don't hinder the affair- "Am I Wrong?", stripped of its ScHoolboy Q verse, could very well be one of .Paak's most infectious and well-rounded tracks- but it's difficult to argue the importance of their presence when the most notable aspect of their appearance is a name in parenthesis. From a marketing standpoint, Malibu appears poised to assume the backpack rap mantle, glib in its reliance on Motown nostalgia and Top Dawg Entertainment modernity. Predictably, neither source of influence adds up to much, existing merely to buoy .Paak's ideas across 16 tracks of occasional genius and inconsistent glory. Perhaps my words would be far less damning were it not for how .Paak relies so heavily on crutches to explore his ideas. But he does, and Malibu reaches its forgone conclusion- 'Don't stop now / keep dreaming,' "The Dreamer"- with predictable trajectory. For all of its misgivings, .Paak can easily render criticisms moot when he writes confidently smooth R&B tunes, such as "Come Down". That he instead chooses to trade in platitudes and trends is one of the reasons that Malibu fails to standout as much more than promising.

It's funny; although .Paak doesn't make much of a gambit to be at all enigmatic, he's still obviously trying to make his delivery as inimitable as possible. Malibu isn't bad because it's predictable, it's frustrating because it's confident in achieving little. When he wants to, .Paak tosses of undeniable pop songs without a care in the world- "Come Down" being the prime contender. When he wants to sell Malibu, he becomes lost in attempts to emulate the classics and the hits. If he had any sense about him, he'd ignore the background noise and pay attention to his own vision, the promise that undulates with Malibu's staid posturing.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
JamieTwort
January 17th 2016


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Starting to get the hype about this guy. This album is getting so much acclaim and it definitely deserves some of it.

JamieTwort
January 17th 2016


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didn't like his last album that much but this definitely delivers on the promise of his guest spots/collabs. Really want to hear him do a full album collab with Knxwledge next.

SonofSnow
January 17th 2016


1758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love the production and general good vibes from this.

Digging: The Devil Wears Prada - The Act

PappyMason
January 17th 2016


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hmm, probably should listen to this.



I'm still a bit unsure on Paak, the best thing about that NxWorries EP was Knxwledge's beats.

JamieTwort
January 17th 2016


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Paak killed it on Suede.

PappyMason
January 17th 2016


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea, good track.

wtferrothorn
January 17th 2016


5842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this guy >> miguel



JamieTwort
January 17th 2016


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Might bump.

LotusFlower
January 18th 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Totally forgot Anderson had something on the way. Gotta check this out!

wtferrothorn
January 18th 2016


5842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

def do it man, it's got my seal of approval (if that counts for anything...)

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2016


16306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

all bad url's damn



LotusFlower
January 20th 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah this sounds pretty cool

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
January 20th 2016


6738 Comments


just copy the link instead of clicking : /

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2016


16306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

dun gimme that face i dunno how the internet works.





but thanks.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
January 20th 2016


6738 Comments


yw (✿╹-╹)

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2016


16306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the hiatus kaiyote sample was outta no where

wtferrothorn
January 20th 2016


5842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea but it was still sweet

PistolPete
January 20th 2016


5037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not sure what I thought about this. Need to give it a few more spins but I wasn't blown away.



And there's no song quite like "Milk n Honey" on this which is a bummer

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Calc
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2016


16306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah im not feeling a 3.8 here. its not bad though

Nomos
January 22nd 2016


1737 Comments


Not blowing me away but I love a couple tracks and the production is slick



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