Anderson .Paak - Ventura
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2019 Ratings: #206 / 770
User Score
2019 Ratings: #87
Liked by 46 people
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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.

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.


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.

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.


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

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.
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.

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


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


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

Slant Magazine

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


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.


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

Under The Radar

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


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.

The Needle Drop

Ventura is much more than a set of Oxnard leftovers.


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.

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.

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.

The Observer

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


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.

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.


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
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
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
Literally EVERY production choice on this album is perfect. Anderson .Paak is a great vocalist, and has such a nice soulful aesthetic that's just so soothing and fun to listen to. Even if it's his shortest album yet at only 40 minutes, it's very engaging and fun throughout the runtime. Anderson .Paak's just someone I'll always come back to.

favourite tracks: Come Home, Make It Better, Winners Circle, Yada Yada, King James, Chosen One, Jet Black, What Can We Do?
least favourite: ... read more
Sleek, ultra smooth funk/soul record that never fails to make you feel like dancing. Excellent stuff, man.
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Added on: February 27, 2019