rapper Anderson Paak debued as
Breezy Lovejoy with O.B.E. Vol. 1 (2012).
The EP Cover Art (2013) was a clever attempt at "whitexploitation",
a black artist covering white artists.
Venice (Steel Wool, 2014), credited to his real name,
followed in the footsteps of neo-soul
(the poppy and velvety The City and Put You On)
but it frequently indulged in
playful and almost parodistic overtones (Milk And Honey,
Might Be, the
deconstructed Michael Jackson-style funk-soul Luh You).
It also included de tours into jazz-rock (Miss Right),
a reggae-folk hybrid (Miss That Whip) and the
visceral psychodrama Drugs with electronic arrangement.
Malibu (Steel Wool, 2016) didn't quite offer an upgrade to the neo-soul
of the era but, instead, regressed in time. The album seems in fact a
tribute to the golden age of folk and soul music with songs that homage
soul-jazz (The Birds),
Tamla's funk-soul (Put Me Thru),
James Brown's funk (Come Down),
disco-music (Am I Wrong, featuring ScHoolboy Q)
and even the singer-songwriters of the 1970s (Celebrate).
There is also an oddly comic dimension, best visible in the
satirical, almost Frank Zappa-esque,
Heart Don't Stand A Chance
and in the surreal and poppy ditty Parking Lot.
Less brilliant and spontaneous than Venice, the new album seems to show
that his neo-soul strategy is not sustainable, although his many and unpredictable detour show a multifaceted talent.