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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
Gigwise

Listen if not for .Paak’s extraordinary musicianship but for its deft production, old-school influences and Ventura spirit on some of the best hip-hop and rap of 2019. Ventura is surely a force to be reckoned with.

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.

83
Consequence of Sound

Now, Anderson .Paak has learned how to use those tremendous resources to his advantage and made a personal statement to satisfy his nostalgic soul. Ventura is lean and lovely.

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
musicOMH

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

80
AllMusic

Rather remarkably, it's the self-termed rap singer's tightest and most concentrated album yet.

80
Sputnikmusic

There's always something to be said for taking a swing for the fences, but when an artist's old sound fits like a glove and still feels like a breath of fresh air? Maybe staying where they're comfortable can be the boldest choice to make.

80
Slant Magazine

The album serves as a reminder of the magic that can result from looking to the past to inform the future.

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
Clash

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

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

75
Under The Radar

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

70
The Needle Drop

Ventura is much more than a set of Oxnard leftovers.

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.

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.

65
Spectrum Culture

Having already experienced how beautiful, soulful and unique he can be, the tame quality of so much of his work continues to frustrate.

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.

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
The Observer

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

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
79

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

TehSniper_143
80

While "Ventura" doesn't really do anything unique or new in the .Paak canon, it is still a quality soul RnB album. There are some great songs on here like "Make It Better", "Reachin' 2 Much", and "Jet Black" that are some of .Paaks greatest material. And the production is honestly just as, if not, maybe a little bit better better than the production on "Malibu" and "Oxnard", and the features do bring some nice performances as well. ... read more

77

Class. Best song: Make it Better

WhiteFury
100

It’s very very good nothing else to say

Imlikesupercool
78

I love this guy.

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Track List

1Come Home
4:26
94
2Make It Better
3:39
95
3Reachin' 2 Much
5:55
86
4Winners Circle
3:29
88
5Good Heels
1:38
77
6Yada Yada
3:27
81
7King James
3:17
88
8Chosen One
4:05
feat. Sonyae
80
9Jet Black
3:28
feat. Brandy
87
10Twilight
3:16
80
11What Can We Do?
2:56
feat. Nate Dogg
90
Total Length: 39 minutes
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Added on: February 27, 2019