Published Aug 19, 2016The artistic progression of Mississauga, ON's Partynextdoor has been measured. After penning hits for Drake and Rihanna, it's clear that Jahron Anthony Brathwaite wants — no, at this point needs — some of that spotlight shine on his own efforts. But while PND's production is typically on point, his songwriting and vocal skills are still evolving.
Opening dirge "High Hopes" sets the tone for P3, his latest, 16-track effort: 6ix callouts, patois and pop references galore. "She say she want to come to Toronto," he croons on "Don't Run," which comes off (still) as a Drake cut, while tracks like "Nobody" and "Problems & Selfless" see PND get lost in his own haze of vulnerabilities. The album rarely hits the highs that the now-legendary "Come and See Me" does, though "1942" and "Joy" try hard at it and come close.
It's clear by now that PND albums will tend to be a mashup of conceptualized sketches on party life, real life and aspired life. It's also clear that, as an artist, he's continuing to grow and work to eliminate the perception he is more than a songwriter with a knack for melodies and that his best stuff gets scooped by his more famous mentor. P3 is the next stage of his evolution — regardless of how you feel about the music, the intrigue that follows him as he continues to grow is strong. (OVO Sound / Warner Bros.)