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Average User Score: 7.9Nov 19, 2018Oxnard is the third studio album by Anderson .Paak that has big shoes to fill after the release of Malibu, and despite relative aesthetics,Oxnard is the third studio album by Anderson .Paak that has big shoes to fill after the release of Malibu, and despite relative aesthetics, both of these projects are well distinguished and refined in quality.
In short, Oxnard delivered much like its predecessor.
The production in Oxnard was enriched in variety and captured every emotion beautifully. Slow-tempo tracks like Anywhere and Headlow managed to function as both funky and relaxing. It is a distinguished characteristic that Anderson .Paak has specialized in from time to time.
He excels in versatility. Most of his features knock it out of the park, with the exception of Dr. Dre, who is strangely awkward in his flow and lyricism for Mansa Musa, an exceptional track that had little effect on me, personally. It felt sub-par in many aspects, but that’s where the cons stop.
Brother’s Keeper and Trippy caught some eyes for the exceptional features. Though far apart in sound, both Pusha T and J. Cole enters each track properly and delivers on their end. The first mentioned track is a surprising banger that is inconceivable for an Anderson .Paak album, yet it is pleasantly welcomed. As for the latter, Jermaine sets up an unorthodox take on love, but his appearance and verse complements the track pretty welll, beautifully crafted by producer Chris Dave.
This album overall is meant to be a fun joyride, filled with comedic events like .Paak receiving head on the second track and crashing in the process, while pointing fun at the President in an original take on politics in 6 Summers. Many of these tracks are split into halves, and each half is satisfactory for many tempos.
When Anderson .Paak wants to capture a mood, he does it on his command, and he excels in a way that many artists haven’t been able to do this year.
Overall, the problem I have with this project is that while it is musically pleasing, many of these tracks seems to focus on more mid-tempo rather than distinguish itself with further ends of a musical spectrum that .Paak can easily manipulate. He is very versatile, but strangely there is an anti-climatic format of tracks. The last songs on this album, including the bonus tracks, are anti-climatic, with .Paak being held at gunpoint in one skit and then transitioning to a different scenario with no explanation given. The themes of luxury, crazy love, and fame stay true to the geographic culture in California, but gets tiring when the preceding Malibu has proven to do these better. It is not a straight duplicate, but it is fairly inferior in this subject.
But that shouldn’t knock it down a peg too much. This album was fun, exciting, chill, and existential in many aspects. While the demands of a different album in .Paak’s discography may not have been answered in a satisfactory extent, it is a pleasing continuation that distinguished itself from other music this year. Another home run for Anderson .Paak, and a great addition to the closing year.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.5Nov 7, 2018Eh.
It’s always been anticipation when a solo Migos member comes out with something. Personally, the Migos have not innovated the game inEh.
It’s always been anticipation when a solo Migos member comes out with something. Personally, the Migos have not innovated the game in any way, nor are they cherished by any hip hop fan, other than the mainstream.
The entirety of the album is monotone at best. Even with a pleasing set of intercom samples that tries to illustrate a journey here, every track feels like an on-foot trip to pure boredom. The production, compared to other projects in the Migos discography, appears to be far weaker and less exciting than its precedents. Most of Migos demographic rely on loud instruments and excitement, but that is hardly presented here. There is hardly a clear target that Takeoff is going after, meaning the album is purely trying to be redundant and quick. For a twelve track album, this lowered standards.
I don't understand the hype, nor do I understand why others feel it was above average when it has little purpose and cannot deliver pleasant musical sound. To rate this album high because it's "a fresh start" for Takeoff is redundant.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Oct 24, 2018Perfect.
I could write some pretext here, but it's all explained in this project. From beginning to end, there is no track worthPerfect.
I could write some pretext here, but it's all explained in this project.
From beginning to end, there is no track worth skipping here. Every track ranges from smooth and pleasant vibes to charismatic rocky fun. The opening track, The Bird, is a pleasant little overview of .Paak's life before the come up and how his family played a role in his transition as an artist. From there, it instantly takes us to the groovy aesthetic of Heart Don't Stand a Chance, in which it projects images of enjoyment with the woman that you are pursuing. The first half is a bit repetitive, but the closing is a highlight that presents .Paak's way of experimenting. Next is The Waters, in which another track of stellar production discusses his current situation and his struggles with recognition. From there comes probably the most superior track of this masterpice: The Season/Cardy Me, a catchy tune that'll never escape your mind as long as you hear the whistles rhythmically play. His past is another subject in this track that casually lists all the seriously messed up predicaments he had to face during childhood.
Put Me Thru and Am I Wrong both function as a romantic work that releases a wide range of emotions, whether its frustration, angst, or admiration to this mystery woman.
Without You is probably going to be the most "hip-hop" that Malibu can get, and it is executed quite nice with two perspectives of a hilariously dysfunctional relationship that forms in hopes of Anderson .Paak blowing "like a Nintendo cartridge". This fun little break then heads over to Parking Lot, probably the best produced track that includes a variety of instruments and appropriate synths in the background. It manages to be both emotional and exuberant as .Paak continues with his hook.
Lite Weight and Room in Here are represented in the same way. A vibe is established in the air as these two tracks get gushy-gushy towards a love interest, an optimistic approach that is consistent throughout this whole album.
Not much can be said about Water Fall, except that it is a relaxing form of exhaust from all the energy in this album. Though sexually suggestive, it is still a pretty great melody to repeaf, even if that track is an "Interluuube" Your Prime is a repetition of hook and drums with some uplifting synths in the back. Even when uneventful, it is still a pleasure to listen to.
Come Down is a highlight single of Malibu. In many ways, it shows the best and the worst of Anderson .Paak. His radiating energy and way to fire up is contrasted by his aggression and his arrogance, something that combines together to make a easygoing track on the surface with complex usage. It is the outlier of the album, and it is not a bad concept to work with.
Silicon Valley is a jam that can be relaxing and erotic. Most prefer to be relaxed, so the purpose of this track may not be something that'll be put on repeat. However, there is still admiration towards the instrumentals. Same goes for Celebrate, a minimalist yet flexible track. It ends with a six minute closer that efficiently ends with an upbeat mix of inspiration and rebellion, complemented with a sample from a source that commonly appears throughout the project.
Why I didn't put pretext is because no matter the circumstance, Malibu stands alone as a perfect musical piece. If the background was vacant, it would still work because it excels in delivery and purpose. Was it a homage to the 60/70s wave of surfer music in California? Duh. All the instrumentals are subjectively flawless, and the charisma of Anderson .Paak is what fulfills these tracks like a puzzle. Their chemistry altogether and devotion to theme makes this project so different. There is no music piece like it. A "parody" of an older art form making critical use of its own aesthetic is so odd to see in music today, especially hip hop, but it works here very well!
Like I said: "Perfect".… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0Oct 24, 2018Logic has had himself a couple of changes. After the commercial success of The Incredible True Story, he officially split from the undergroundLogic has had himself a couple of changes. After the commercial success of The Incredible True Story, he officially split from the underground and came out with a far more commercialized project in Everybody, something that ended up as merely decent when compared to his overwhelming discography. His exposure has lead to universal recognition and admiration, and even though the lead single was an awkward public service announcement on suicide...
(Who can relate? Whoo!!!)
...he still had plenty of gain. Now comes YSIV, the final installment of a nostalgic Young Sinatra series and the continuation of a new period. First of all, the production in this album in general is outstanding. It started as a tribute to boom-bap, and it ended up implementing an enjoyable hybrid of superb 90's beats with relevant messages. Thank You is the victory lap for Logic, and Everybody Dies is the fast-paced homage to his older works, where he raps about his comeuppance in an onimous and shadow-lurking sound. Wu-Tang Forever was a very enjoyable track involving the reunion of the Wu-Tang Clan, but it was a little awkward hearing each member try to enter a modern Logic beat. Legacy is in my opinion a perfectly crafted rap song courtesy of Logic, where he ponders a frightening and a pessimistic future over a set of guitar strums and the distant female vocals that beautifully mix together to create an emotional roller-coaster ride of a track. It closes out strong with the title track integrating many samples including Nas' Life's a B****, closing out with a shoutout to the late Mac Miller.
It delivered on plenty on aspects, so much so that it is impossible to call him out on how "corny" he is. Aside from plenty of filler verses and some awkward moments in the album, it well exceeded my standards. Give the entire album a try, because it doesn't hurt to take something away from Logic's brilliance.… Expand
Average User Score: 3.8Oct 24, 2018This is a prime example of why numbers don't make you a top artist. Sucesss does not equate to quality, and it is Drake who disregards such anThis is a prime example of why numbers don't make you a top artist. Sucesss does not equate to quality, and it is Drake who disregards such an important principle.
Aside from the singles, which were enjoyable but tiring after so long, there is little that stands out in this project. The intro track, Survival, sounds like a ripped off sample of Drake's own "9" from his previous studio album, Views. While 9 was a whimsical trip and a highlight of that mediocre project, Survival has no substance to work with whatsoever. Nonstop is probably one of the weakest Drake singles out there. Instead of passion, his tone is a bore, despite the attempt to establish hype through some arrogant bars. A missed opportunity over this beat. Elevate itself cannot be saved from a French Montana feature. Emotionless and 8 Out of 10, however, are the most exceptional tracks due to the effort by Drake and his refined flow that has been a treasure in rap. God's Plan, though overplayed since it came out early 2018, is still a relevant track to jam to. I'm Upset, much like Nonstop, has no substance.
Drake's constant exclamation on his distrust is already tiring, which is why the second half is an unlistenable portion that attempts to establish a vibe with generic and formulated production. The only exceptions to this is the two singles included in Side B along with After Dark, which in my opinion was above average in delivery, even if it was another track illustrating his desire.
The problem with Drake is that he does not fit two extremes in a spectrum of hip hop demographics. Those looking for a lyrical conscious album will turn away from it. Those in the urban population looking to bump up a track or two will hardly find anything but singles. His progression as a rapper at this point is vague because he's always maintaining his success and struggle with trust and relationships as the focal point for his albums. It is the lack of perspective that separates the second half of his discography from classics like Take Care and Nothing Was The Same. Expect formulated rap to ravage the music industry. As long as the incentive of stream numbers are up there, Drake will cut every corner he can to preserve his "reign" as the "king".… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Oct 24, 2018This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Tha Carter V has been released as one of the most highly-anticipated albums in the hip-hop genre, along with long-time holdouts like Dr. Dre's Detox or RZA's The Cure. Since it's announcement, the aesthetic of rap in general has faced plenty of progression in sound and especially flows. Though arguably outdated and surpassed as we feel the welcoming breaths of Late 2018, Carter V remains an exceptional music piece.
The features keep it at a relevant state, with XXXTentacion's haunting hooks in Don't Cry and Let it Fly including Travis Scott's bouncy trap vibes, who has had an eventful year for the better. The production in many of these tracks are well decorated with the names of Swizz Beatz, DJ Mustard, Metro Boomin', and Ben Billions living up to their roles. Lil Wayne's perspective on all the eventful things that have happened to him throughout the past years is an intriguing subject that keeps listeners alert on the man after a hiatus. A well-done story that can transition from the bittersweet Don't Cry to the bodacious and in-your-face track Uproar to serious business Mona Lisa, a masterpiece of a rap that included the talents of Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar.
It is, however, disappointing to hear Lil Wayne himself attempt to lead the charge. He is well known for his signature figurative language and craftiness in lyrical content. In this album, I subjectively felt there was not much that truly opened my ears for closer inspection. While he is a renowed artist in the game who came this far with his admirable ability to apply adversity, he does not do much to distinguish this project from the rest. He ends up coming off decent than exceptional, and that is infuriating when the standard for excellence in today's rap should have been far exceeded by Wayne.
This album had no chance of living up to the hype, but that didn't necessarily mean it was not a good album. For Lil Wayne, this is an essential win for him in a period of downs.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9Feb 27, 2018This is what an authentic Drake album sounds like.
The best of both worlds, a singing Drake whose R&B influence continues strong withThis is what an authentic Drake album sounds like.
The best of both worlds, a singing Drake whose R&B influence continues strong with melancholic melodies (Marvin's Room, Take Care), and the rapper Drake that hits hard and tears up the rap game with incredibly executed production and excellent lyricism (Lord Knows, We'll Be Fine). This album is probably one of the funnest albums that has inspired a new generation with its refined use of two essential genres.
The collabs in this album are that of Drake's personal Dream Team, and manages to make these tracks all the more entertaining. This album's thrilling pace will drag all kinds of music listeners into the conscious of the 6 God himself.
However, it is fair to point out this album has a couple of flaws. Some of the few filler tracks on this album seem to be unnecessary lengthy, especially Cameras/Good Ones Go, but it refuses to disappoint as it goes heavy with the more dynamic songs of this great piece.
Undoubtedly Drake's best album, and a good boost to Drake's name.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.8Feb 27, 2018An improvement from the snooze fest that was Views? Definitely.
This is the project that Views was expected to be, and while More LifeAn improvement from the snooze fest that was Views? Definitely.
This is the project that Views was expected to be, and while More Life contains an almost equal amount of filler for certain tracks, the utilization of more renowned collabs makes for a consistent rap album. Production is saturated with the same old dance melodies that Drake is known for, but unlike the previous album, Drake at least amps up on this one. The lyrical ability is always a given for this Toronto artist, along with the flows. However, this is not even the best mixtape that Drake has put out there. The continuation of Drake's repetitive style is what holds this album back from being compared to that of IYRTITL, and Take Care. Nevertheless, Drake delivers us a fine piece of work.
This album will most likely be unable to stand out as time progresses, but at least we get a glimpse of what will hopefully be Drake's most triumphant comeback yet.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Feb 26, 2018What frustrates me about the album the most is the minimalist attitude and the string of liability tracks in this album. Ye's ambition toWhat frustrates me about the album the most is the minimalist attitude and the string of liability tracks in this album. Ye's ambition to experiment his music is very skeptical in this project. This is the album that showed us Kanye West has set a new bar for his ego in tracks produced by "God" himself. The industrial beats however, make the most out of it and gives the music world gems such as "Blood on the Leaves" and "New Slaves". This album probably has the weakest intro and outro I have seen in a Kanye West album, and while it is refreshing to see Ye shed light on a potential genre, there is too much ambition towards trying to be innovative.
There is no innovation in not putting a cover art in, or wrapping the album with gold wrappers. Kanye needed to fill up some big shoes after what may have been one of the best rap albums of all time, and sadly, he produced what is commonly argued as his weakest album.
Good thing he didn't charge $300 for this one.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.6Feb 26, 2018Trust me, the singles were great to listen to. They were able to get the public talking and other fans hope for more from Drake. However, theTrust me, the singles were great to listen to. They were able to get the public talking and other fans hope for more from Drake. However, the rest of the album that was handed to us did not fulfill the hype, nor the hunger of many rap fans. With the exception of 9, the rest of the tracks were full of the repetitive Drake style with a weaker production. Despite Drizzy's undeniably excellent flow and lyricism, it was not enough to carry this album.
As said before, most of the faults fall upon the sound, which did not spark anything inside me. Bombastic rap is unappliable with this album. A collection of souless music with no ambition nor charm to it has driven the hype back and makes most fans fear what lies ahead for Drake. Don't expect this album to age well in the near future. An album that doesn't sit well with millenium times despite its heavy concentration within its content cannot be expected to go far.
Drake has usually prevailed with his fans, but this is a loss that is irreversible in his discography.… Expand