PARTYMOBILE is out on OVO Sound/Warner Music

Though PARTYNEXTDOOR has been out of the public eye for some time, he’s certainly been busy in the studio. Following the release of his 2017 EP, Seven Days and writing Rihanna’s #1 hit “Work,” the Canadian singer-songwriter has been meticulously getting to “work” on his eagerly awaited album, PARTYMOBILE.

For those who aren’t familiar with PND’s lengthy accolades, the wunderkind has been making big strides, as an artist and songwriter, since he was 18. His lush blend of chill R&B and hip-hop earned him coveted publishing and label deals early on – first with Warner Chappell in 2012 and then with Drake’s OVO Sound the following year. Soon after, he released a succession of well-received, full-length projects including song collaborations with Halsey, Drake, Bad Bunny, and Rick Ross.

Released in March, PARTYMOBILE is a perfect soundtrack for good times with friends or, more fitting for the current climate, quarantine chilling. Production-wise, the ambient vibes coupled with PND’s signature lo-fi sound gives each track a sense of seamless blending into each other. Yes, that’s a polite way of saying much of the album’s 15-tracks sound similar, but it’s not a negative, in fact, it lends itself to PARTYMOBILE’s charm. 

Opening track ‘NOTHING LESS’ is a seriously smooth love song about giving all you can to a relationship. Its airy production style quickly draws your attention as the track gradually builds into the first verse. I’m a sucker for a good opening song; a well-executed opener should serve to build excitement and set the tone for the entire album and ‘NOTHING LESS’ nails it.

The theme of love and all its ups and downs makes up much of the lyrical content of PARTYMOBILE. The overall sound doesn’t change much either, but PND’s beloved tropical vibes (à la “Work”) make their first appearance on his Drake collab, the autotune heavy “LOYAL.” Those tropical vibes peak with “EYE ON IT,” one of the album’s more uptempo, danceable tracks. With its steel drum sounding synths and four to the floor beat, the song has quintessential dancehall, club vibes.

Of course, you couldn’t write a review of this album without mentioning RiRi’s cameo on “BELIEVE IT,” in part because fans (/the entire world) have been eagerly awaiting the Fenty fashion mogul’s return to music. While it’s not the rumored album we’re all waiting for, Rihanna’s vocals add a magic touch. There’s an undeniable 90s pop throwback with melodic guitar and TLC-style layered vocals that RiRi’s perfect for.

Though PARTYMOBILE is certainly not a “party” album per se, its chilled out vibe and lowkey production styles make for pleasurable listening nonetheless. What it lacks in catchy hooks and standout beats, it makes up for by offering listeners an incredibly atmospheric, R&B experience front to back. Listen to the album on all streaming services.

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