Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Anderson .Paak – Bubblin

Simmering, more like…


Alfred Soto: Or: We Made It. Testifying hoarsely over a trap beat doesn’t sound like what Anderson’s fans wanted from him in 2016, and if he’s saying anything beyond the well-appointed fury of the arrangement I can’t hear it.

Will Rivitz: This isn’t the .Paak I fell in love with two years ago, but I love it nonetheless. The musician ditches his trademark liquid, placid full-band material for something more turbulent, vintage Hollywood strings whipping around as though caught in a tornado before an absolute bulldozer of an 808 bass paves a clear path for .Paak’s most ruthlessly self-confident flow since “Suede.” If this is an assertion of his artistic evolution, I cannot wait for .Paak’s upcoming album.

Micha Cavaseno: Riding a bunch of cheesy band licks that feel like a Nick At Nite rerun turned into a modern day hybrid of peak Busta Rhymes, Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak simply does his best to provide cartoon excesses with no real excesses on the mic. Instead it’s all a sort of perfect complacency, the kind of approach to rap Ludacris once had down pat around the time of Red Light District that serves as pleasantly inane but fails to show any sort of blemish. It’s a hollow record, but is so happy to show you how much it’s not taking any of this seriously that it resists any sort of real analysis thanks to deliberately keeping itself handicapped for the sake of entertainment. As much as Anderson’s ambitions have often grated, it’s him doing cynicism that’s really embarrassing.

Nortey Dowuona: Shifting samples screech and scream as the bouncy, rubbery drums hop on top of their springboard and Anderson tosses it into the sky and then leaps above it to slam it down into the ground.

Thomas Inskeep: The overly caffeinated track samples a vintage Bollywood song (or something suspiciously like it), while Anderson matches its energy level line for line, sounding a bit like Kendrick Lamar at his most fired-up. No idea what he’s going on about, though.

Vikram Joseph: Those relentless sampled strings gyrate closely, almost oppressively against the eardrums; it’s a steamy miasma of a song, brash and lithe and lascivious, easier to admire than to like — especially since surely at this point there’s no one who’s not completely over songs about being disgustingly rich (although the bit where he promises to take your mum to the Marriott is… kinda cute?).

Joshua Minsoo Kim: I always considered Anderson .Paak’s music to be unsavory because he felt like an unbearably tedious version of Kendrick Lamar. The rapping and singing is just too sterile: a showcase of undeniable talent that unfortunately functions as the encapsulation of .Paak’s entire personality. The production may be different on “Bubblin,” but it still feels opaque despite (as a result of?) all the flash. I’m still waiting for a crack in the simulation.

Reader average: [6] (3 votes)

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3 Responses to “Anderson .Paak – Bubblin”

  1. wish you could comment more on the music instead of the artist himself

  2. .Paak penned the new Christina Aguilera song “Like I Do” alongside two other Koreans—Dumbfoundead, and producer BRLLNT (who I mostly know for making super Soundcloud friendly remixes). Interestingly, it’s my favorite song from any of those artists… not sure if it’s because it’s performed by other people or if it’s because they all mesh together well (BRLLNT’s production is refreshingly light when paired with the sort of .Paak vocalizing present in the song).

  3. literally every one of these blurbs is about the music