With his fourth album arriving just months after his third, the announcement of 11-track 'Ventura' from Anderson .Paak was a surprise for fans. After the somewhat falling short of his previous album - 'Oxnard' - listeners were sceptical that the artist had it in him to make another phenomenal album, but were treated to a return to the style that made .Paak famous - a 180 flip in both sound and theme from 'Oxnard'.
2017's 'Malibu' scored Anderson .Paak a Grammy nod for best new artist, so there was a lot of expectation for the followup that was 'Oxnard', especially when it came in the form of heavy-hitting rap. Now, the lean album that is 'Ventura' returns to the soulful vocals that made Anderson .Paak's name.
As Rolling Stone said:
"If last year’s 'Oxnard' was Anderson .Paak’s version of Outkast’s 'Speakerboxxx' – a shape-shifting hip-hop LP steeped in eccentric R&B — its sister LP, 'Ventura', is his 'The Love Below', an eccentric R&B record tilting towards hip-hop.
In the standout single 'Make It Better', Paak teams up with Smokey Robinson for a romantic track to remember. Just as he borrows Motown from Robinson, Paak also uses disco for 'Reachin' 2 Much', bringing a Michael Jackson-esque vibe to the tune.
Paak still raps in the album, but the verses are few and far between which make them fit better in each song.
All in all, the romantic vibe of the tightly-knit record make this album a pleasure to listen to and gives much excitement for what is next from the uber-talented Anderson .Paak.
Final Score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Listen to 'Ventura' for yourself here!