Before Compton and Malibu came Venice, the debut full-length from Anderson .Paak. The singer/songwriter/producer/rapper is POPPING at the moment, but before being hailed as the soul-funk-jazz-hip-hop messiah, .Paak put in something like 13 years of work with no real checks or recognition. Venice is the Oxnard artist’s first venture after dropping his Breezy Lovejoy moniker, and it paints a super cohesive and vivid picture of .Paak’s then life. Smooth and whispery at times but spirited and explosive at others, this dude’s emotional and vocal range is unheard of, and he’s got bars that he can DELIVER as if the only thing he’s been doing creatively is rapping. If you think we’re riding .Paak’s wave too hard, you are correct, because he is that WAVE (ask Dr. Dre), just check out songs like: “Waves,” “Milk N’ Honey,” “Might Be,” “Dogtown,” “Right There,” “The City,” and “Put You On.” And yes (lord), that’s like every song on the album. Recommended.
- music label: Steel Wool Records 2015
reviewed by donut savage 07/2016