Blending together smooth 1960s inspired soul and punchy jazz synths with a carefree West Coast feel, Anderson Paak’s “Oxnard” debuted fifth on the iTunes charts last week.
The album portrays a message of Paak’s early struggles being biracial and trying to find his way growing in a tough Southern California neighborhood.
Previously touring with the likes of music moguls Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, Paak at 32 years old rode into the spotlight in his own lane respectively.
The album’s name stems from the artist’s hometown of Oxnard.
Produced by one of the hip-hop industry’s greatest producers Dr. Dre, the album is one of the most unique, tantalizing and trippy releases of the year.
For an artist like Paak, having the opportunity to work with a long-cemented legend in the music industry like Dre not only boosts street credit, but production value.
Paaks’s smooth vocals throughout the album standout as his individualism and personal views are exemplified over 14 tracks of infectious melodies.
Having a palate of A-list artists to call upon is an advantage “Oxnard” had due to being released on Dre’s Aftermath label. With tasteful features from J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Q-Tip and Pusha T, Paak’s conscious rap hooks and witty wordplay is enhanced by strong verses from the supporting cast.
Throughout the album, we get a “funakadelic” taste of Paak’s groove in tracks like “Headlow” and “Tints” featuring Lamar. Being a multi-instrumentalist, the album features elements of pop, jazz, rap, funk, soul, and R&B with its 56-minute duration.
In the song “Cheers,” Paak pays tribute to the late rapper Mac Miller.
The two had previously collaborated in 2016 on Mac’s album “The Divine Feminine” in which Paak gained notoriety.
Paak’s distinctive raspy voice and ideals come through as he mixes a bit of rapping and singing in each song. On the track “6 Summers,” the song starts as an easy listen jam that slowly developes into a call for gun reform.
After being nominated for a Grammy in 2016 for his debut album “Malibu,” “Oxnard” lives up to fans’ expectations.
Paak is developing into the new standard of pop music. In an era of auto tune artists, Paak’s naturalism is a refreshing listen.