AOTY 2021
Anderson .Paak - Malibu
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2016 Ratings: #57 / 947
Year End Rank: #11
User Score
2016 Ratings: #36
Liked by 69 people
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Throughout, he's a (stoned) common man making the best of his consequences, yet he has an otherworldly quality, like he has been beamed down to mine the L.A. County sewer system and Pacific Ocean floor for cosmic slop.
Consequence of Sound

.Paak seems to be in total control of his talent. It might be a challenge for him to make something as relatable and soulful as Malibu again, but fortunately, the album has the kind of substance that suggests he’s built to last.

Pretty Much Amazing

Paak’s got the musicianship down to a science. Now it’s clear he’s working on what his music feels like.


A rose from concrete, Malibu offers a sense of wonder that's carefully rooted in funk and soul, and presents a complete vision from a blossoming new artist that's not only fearless, but leading something of a sonic revolution.


This is powerful art, not only for people of color, but for everyone who exists beyond societal constraints. It’s for those who’ve been told they don’t quite fit, those viewed through a different lens because of their circumstances.

The 405

Malibu’s millennial jazz appeal not only lived up to .Paak's hype but elevated it, proving vision and brilliance are not manufactured and marketed equipment.

Entertainment Weekly

Malibu, his second full-length, is a bracing wash of warm neo-soul that spits in the face of the chilly self-flagellation the Weeknd managed to spin into chart gold.

For as good as the melodies and ripe drums and bass beats are on the album, more impressive is the songwriting. Anderson has writing credits on every single song on the album. Let us marvel, for a moment, at just how rare that is in today’s musical environment.

His ability to make uptempo soul without losing his ability to invoke a response more typical of downtempo sounds is particularly impressive.

The Guardian

Sunny yet substantive, Anderson .Paak’s second studio album shows he is as at home settling into a breezy club groove over euphoric brass or unleashing James Brown-esque funk yelps as he is waxing autobiographical tales of family hardship.

Songs weave together, spilling the details of his tumultuous upbringing and forging his prospective future path with scintillating soul jams.

Marked by a reverence for the rich history of black American music, Malibu is a love letter to the giants on whose shoulders he stands.

The Needle Drop

Singer-songwriter Anderson .Paak comes through with a formidable breakout album that fuses elements of soul, hip hop, pop, funk, and more.

Rolling Stone
The music isn't always as dynamic as his thoughts, opting for a mostly mellow mood that matches the LP's carefree samples of surfing documentaries, but doesn't always capture their freewheeling individuality.

Malibu isn't bad because it's predictable, it's frustrating because it's confident in achieving little.

In the boisterous streets of New Orleans, life couldn’t really get much better. Saxophones muffled but blaring through local bars, the yells and screams of the people around, and the bright sky shining into the historic buildings in this large city. But this isn’t where we are. In the alleys, far away from the centre of town, we find this sophisticated jazzy album “Malibu”, an underrated outlier outstander in the distance, no short of true greatness. All alone in this ... read more
☆☆☆☆ 1/2

With very little competition, I have to pick "Malibu" as .Paak's best effort to date, and that's saying something, considering everything he has under his name is at the bare minimum some of the most lively and eccentric funk and soul ventures from the 2010's.

The material he brings forth this time around is so gorgeous and butter-smooth. The chorus's are the work of god, the features all blend together faultlessly, and as far as production is concerned you can't ... read more
After the very scatterbrianed but still decent "Venice", I was hoping for a more straightforward, and consistent album. And, uh, yeah "Malibu" is just that!

"Malibu" is is a straightforward RnB album, but honestly in the best way possible. Production? Fan-fucking-tastic!!! Features? Cranked out to the max on quality!!! Bars? Oh, does Anderson deliver!!! Just the production on tracks like "The Season / Carry Me" or "Lite Weight" is honestly ... read more
I'm convinced 2016 is just one of the best years for music in history. It just has to be!

With an incredibly soulful, funky and smooth as hell sound and some incredible hooks and melodies that really shine throughout the album, Malibu is kind of impossible to not love. Like I'm being serious here, who came up with some of these? Whoever did, in my opinion, seriously deserves a nobel prize. These hooks are just so damn smooth. They flow effortlessly through the tracks and just feel so natural. ... read more
Anderson really out here making Marvin and D'angelo proud by showing the new school generation why neo-soul/rnb movement has been loved in black culture. This imo is a top 5 rnb album EVER. Anderson shows off his soulful voice which is complimented by sweet, west coast vibe, beach instrumentation. Not to mention this thing has an extremely good feature list with the likes of Q, Rapsody, and Talib. It makes me so happy that Anderson has continued to make music as consistent and as near perfect ... read more
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Added on: January 3, 2016