Anderson .Paak - Ventura
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2019 Ratings: #85 / 201
User Score
Based on 410 ratings
2019 Ratings: #10
April 12, 2019 / Release Date
LP / Format
Aftermath / Label
R&B, Neo-Soul, Funk / Genres
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andersonpaak.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
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. He sounds like the best version of himself.

90
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.

82
HipHopDX

Besides a few dull moments, Ventura is a worthy companion piece to Oxnard that may even be more appealing to some listeners.

80
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.
80
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.

80
The Independent
The album borrows heavily from the singer’s consistently brilliant 2016 record ‘Malibu’, itself a fresh slice of soulful funk
80
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.

80
Clash

For those who are excited by an artist unafraid to reinvent and experiment, then look no further.

80
musicOMH

Ventura is a slam dunk by an artist who has already proved himself essential to modern R&B.

70
Exclaim!

Ventura is super but not superb, a statement that could apply to a lot of .Paak's recent output. It's a super-charged R&B record, laced with throwback Motown/Philly grooves, that hits hard but fails to land a knockout blow.

70
The Needle Drop

Ventura is much more than a set of Oxnard leftovers.

69
Pitchfork

This tune-up album, at the very least, restores the underlying feeling of his signature stuff. But there, too, lies its flaw: it’s a hollow effort lacking in any real distinguishing characteristics. The album never becomes more than the sum of its sounds.

65
The 405

Ventura feels more like a collection of songs than a fleshed-out album from Anderson .Paak, but the runtime is much slimmer than Oxnard and its highs are quite a bit higher. Unfortunately, it also hits a lull towards the end.

60
The Observer

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

60
Highsnobiety

On Ventura, it sounds like Anderson .Paak wants to be Bruno Mars. Bland pop production blights the whole album, removing all but the slightest hint of the raw energy that defined his earlier work.

60
FLOOD Magazine

Paak isn’t making bad songs, but his adherence to formula is beginning to define him; his personality disappears slightly from focus with each successive release.

Benny
85
That Andre 3000 feature was like my second meeting with God
PatrickL0419
82
YESSSSSSSSSS LAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWD!

Malibu was one of those formative records I listened to as a 16-year old that exposed me to the swooning, groovy sounds of neo-soul in a personal, introspective way through .Paak's lyricism that had me falling in love with an entire genre. It was on repeat for days and days back in my high school summers.

Fast forward to November 2018, as a (slightly depressed) college freshman, when I heard .Paak would be concluding his Beach Trilogy with Oxnard, I was excited ... read more
zachthesnack
86
I was honestly surprised to see Paak coming out with another album so soon, it hasnt even been 6 months since Oxnard and now we get this, which is perhaps his best album yet!? Excuse me whaaaaaaat!

Paak has been on an absolute tear lately, he is a man on a mission! Dont expect him to slow down anytime soon. He has solidified himself among Cali’s best and brightest music stars and I would even go as far to say that he is RnBs current equivalent to Kendrick Lamar (ironically enough they ... read more
YungNoodle
89
his best project
usedtobe
90
Sleek, ultra smooth funk/soul record that never fails to make you feel like dancing. Excellent stuff, man.
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Track List

  1. Come Home (feat. André 3000)
  2. Make It Better (feat. Smokey Robinson)
  3. Reachin' 2 Much (feat. Lalah Hathaway)
  4. Winners Circle
  5. Good Heels (feat. Jazmine Sullivan)
  6. Yada Yada
  7. King James
  8. Chosen One (feat. Sonyae Elise)
  9. Jet Black (feat. Brandy)
  10. Twilight
  11. What Can We Do? (feat. Nate Dogg)
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Added on: February 27, 2019