PARTYNEXTDOOR: ‘PARTYNEXTDOOR TWO’ Review
R&B’S NEW SUBTLE SAVIOR
It’s been a hard couple of years for the male singer who doesn’t sing, i.e. the current state of R&B music, and although OVO Sound signee PARTYNEXTDOOR may be backed by a fellow Canadian superstar, he’s beginning to shine a bright light on the diminishing world of “real” R&B with PARTYNEXTDOOR TWO all on his own.
With only one album feature on single “Recognize,” PND relies on 90’s R&B samples to back him up, from Ginuwine’s “Only When You’re Lonely” on “Muse” to Dru Hill and Missy Elliott. But when it comes to production, PND relies on himself. Besides “SLS” being co-produced by SLS, hence the song title, PND took the reins and drove it through his beat machine for this project. Initially, the album sounds like a series of preludes, but they’re not. They’re extensions of ideas, a beginning, and heavy drops (“FWU”), but he’s heavy on the fade outs which can leave you wanting more as if you didn’t get the full experience, and that component is definitely intentional. He’s clearly inspired by the past and has found a way to transfer it into his music, making for a wild ride and a number of head bobbing, finger snapping, AHA! moments.
There isn’t an honestly “bad” song to complain about. PND is only 21, so expect to listen to 21 year old experiences, drugs, sex, and women (everything that makes a party a party) to be the main focus. Nothing spectacular but nothing horridly making your ears bleed either. Redundancy is an overly used tactic, you know, rhyming a word with that exact same word, which is done a lot, too much. But with tracks like “Options” and “Bout It” that are so catchy and essential to demure substantial potential, it’s necessary and leaves a lasting impression.
He sweetly serenades on “Belong To The City” that he’s from the city where “you ain’t gotta love to love.” PND’s lightly coated baritone isn’t intimidating, it’s inviting, filled with passion, and damn near erotic at times. He knows when to fall into falsetto like on “Her Way” and when to bounce back without interruption on “Thirsty,” where his tone is strong and steady. He also tends to be short and slurs within his delivery, making it very easy to get lost, and if you aren’t listening as closely as possible, you won’t understand a word of it, you’ll just know that it sounds good.
PARTYNEXTDOOR TWO is a familiar sound to prior fans, a fresh start to purists who may have given up hope, and for sure a party you don’t want to be late to.
How would you describe PARTYNEXTDOOR’S sound? What’s your favorite track from the album? Let us know in the comments below.
*This review of PARTYNEXTDOOR TWO is based on the 12-track standard edition.
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