Vinyl Review - Month April 2024

Vinyl Review - Month April 2024

Anderson .Paak Malibu (2016)

I discovered Anderson .Paak through YouTube. I double-clicked the subscription to NRP Music Tiny Desk Concert (that is to me the contemporary version of the earlier MTV Unplugged series) without much expectation of this guy and I was speechless for 45 minutes. The concert is only 15 minutes, but I watched it three times in a row. A guy in a hat and glasses is on the drums and sings and raps - while casually shaking out the coolest rhythms from his wrist. He is extremely relaxed and grins extremely broadly into the camera with his approximately 2,571 snow-white teeth. His music and playing style are as impressive as they are cool. If you asked me whether it was hip hop, funk or jazz, the answer would be “yes.” The drummer and singer is Anderson .Paak, an unknown to me at that time.

Anderson .Paak grew up in California. His childhood and his first years at work were more than tough. When he was a child, his father received a long prison sentence and as a teenager his mother was taken into custody for fraud. During his time as a young musician, he was laid off and became so heavily in debt that he was briefly homeless with his wife and child in 2011.

In 2013, it changed its pseudonym Breezy Lovejoy to Anderson .Paak. According to his own statement, the point should always remind him and others of the importance of details. The foundation stone was laid by Dr Dre. He gave him an impressive six feature parts on his album “Compton”. A hell of a lot for an unknown musician. He got the record deal from Dr. Dres Aftermath Entertainment. “Malibu” was released in 2016 and the album hit the US. It is his first chart success. In the summer of 2016 he followed up with the Tiny Desk Concert and made it the most successful concert in this series. The video currently has over 100 million views. WoW!

So for me, Anderson .Paak has every reason in the world to just smile in a good mood right now. You should also watch his concert and his bright smile - it's definitely worth the 15 minutes.

Let's go into the album and listen to the imaginative, multi-faceted and detailed song “The Bird”. For me, this track is indicative of his style and his work. The backdrop seems improvised: there is a guitar, there are the drums, here is a blown trumpet, we also use snippets of speech and singing that mesh together. It's as if you picked up the individual components as you strolled past. The art of Anderson .Paak shows that they still fit together into a coherent whole. It's just wonderful!

If there is such a thing as a favorite song for me, it is “Come Down”. A driving funky bass that makes your head nod, plus this incredibly precise hi-hat. I'm sure when Anderson .Paak was born the hospital said to his mother "Congratulations!" You have brought a healthy metronome into the world.” This rhythmic track has a flow that I have never heard before. If you are in Salzburg and see a jumping, strolling Michael Jug with a dreamy look in his eyes, then just wave at me. I guess I have this song in my ear right now.

What I really like is that the artist doesn't forget where he came from. He reflects on his sudden fame, but the dry years before remain present. He has a great need to give something back to those around him. This practically oozes from the anthem "The Dreamer", which encourages all the little visionaries out there: "Don't stop now, keep dreaming." This is atmospherically enhanced with a children's choir behind him and with Talib Kweli at his side. A real catchy tune.

The album “Malibu” was sold around 500,000 times in the USA and is the foundation for the current projects. One of them is a joint production with Bruno Mars "Silk Sonic", the two don't really take themselves seriously and are clearly having fun with it, and they also make damn good music together. I think you'll be reading about that Duo here soon. 😊


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