Albums to watch

Ventura

Anderson .Paak

Ventura

Fourth full-length studio release from the Southern Californian R&B artist featuring guest appearances from André 3000, Brandy, Nate Dogg, Sonyae Elise, Lalah Hathaway, Smokey Robinson, and Jazmine Sullivan

ADM rating[?]

7.5

Label
12 Tone Music
UK Release date
12/04/2019
US Release date
12/04/2019
  1. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    With sumptuous harmonies and a live band locked in on every track, .Paak finds a sweet spot between throwback soul and the 21st Century dancefloor
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  2. 9.0 |   No Ripcord

    Memorable and intimate from the start, Ventura completes Oxnard, as Malibu did to Venice; tying up all loose ends and graciously ready for the next chapter
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  3. 8.3 |   Consequence Of Sound

    The .Paak of Malibu returns with a lean and lovely record full of funk and soul
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  4. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Serves as a reminder of the magic that can result from looking to the past to inform the future
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  5. 8.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    This album is largely just content to be itself, and it's easy to imagine a superior album being made from sequencing it with the best of its predecessor. But there's a simple, unassuming quality that would be lost if you did
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  6. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Overall, Ventura‘s grooves are scintillating, with percussive filigree sputtering like fireworks across the album’s mix, and at its best the LP conjures vintage soul with modern beat science underpinnings, an elegant mix of tough and plush
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  7. 8.0 |   music OMH

    The production credits are varied, the most notable names being The Alchemist and Pharrell, but .Paak makes all of these songs his own, and Ventura is a slam dunk by an artist who has already proved himself essential to modern R&B
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  8. 8.0 |   The Independent

    The album borrows heavily from the singer’s consistently brilliant 2016 record ‘Malibu’, itself a fresh slice of soulful funk
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  9. 8.0 |   NME

    The Californian rapper and crooner continues his series of brilliant, self-mythologising records, and there's a distinct sense of a chapter coming to a close
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  10. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    The rapper’s new album feels like a riposte to criticism of his last one, amping up the subtlety and dialling down the grand ambition
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  11. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    Dominated by funky, wandering basslines, retro-soul backing vocals and .Paak’s husky voice, which resembles a singing Kendrick Lamar
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  12. 8.0 |   Clash

    Those who are excited by an artist unafraid to reinvent and experiment, then look no further
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  13. 7.5 |   Under The Radar

    He updates romantic tropes to suit the more woke, modern lady, and strips off the machismo that mired Oxnard
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  14. 7.0 |   Exclaim

    It's a super-charged R&B record, laced with throwback Motown/Philly grooves, that hits hard but fails to land a knockout blow
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  15. 6.9 |   Pitchfork

    After the hard left turn of Oxnard, Paak sinks back into the bubbly smooth grooves that got him noticed
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  16. 6.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    The tame quality of so much of .Paak’s work continues to frustrate
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  17. 6.5 |   The 405

    Ventura, while not without highlights, finds Paak punching below his weight a bit too much. When you excel at making breezy listens, you have to be careful about your impact not blowing away
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  18. 6.0 |   The FT

    In his third Californian-inspired album, the R&B star engages his listener but somewhat loses the thread
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  19. 6.0 |   The Observer

    Recorded at the same time as Oxnard, Ventura distinguishes itself from its predecessor by being looser and warmer
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