Exclaim!'s Top 27 Albums of 2016 So Far

6. Anderson .Paak
( Steel Wool/OBE/Art Club/EMPIRE)

The second studio album by genre eschewer Anderson .Paak should rightly be called a breakthrough.

A brisk mix of soul, jazz, hip-hop and R&B, the Cali artist got his just due on Dr. Dre's 2015 project Compton, and has parlayed that momentum into one of the year's best, most ambitious full-length efforts. Owing much to classic hip-hop and soul artists — he carries more than a passing sonic connection to neo-soul singer Bilal — .Paak mines black funk, boom-bap and rock to faultless effect on Malibu.

As a recording artist, .Paak revels in dynamic flows and abstractions, making even a record as substantial as this feel breezy.
Ryan B. Patrick