Published Jul 29, 2014With each new effort, the Mississauga, Ontario artist known as Partynextdoor is getting stronger, more sure of himself as an artist and more aware of the syrupy slow-smooth musical direction in which he wants to go. As long as he refuses to coast, he should be in a good place, music-wise. So far, it seems like Jahron Anthony Brathwaite a.k.a. PND has decided to settle into a sing-rap kind of groove a la his mentor Drake. This is clear on joints like "Muse" and "East Liberty" (C'mon baby/ You don't want a lazy lover/ So switch your mind and find another).
The lyrical laziness creeps in on tracks like "Options" or "Recognize" (featuring Drake), with copious cursing and rote rhyme structures about who got what, who's with who, who's doing what (or who), and so on. Which, by itself, is cool — if PND is content with creating non-challenging, chill-mode numbers (see: "SLS" or "Bout It") that are admittedly well produced and manage to evoke a smoked out party vibe, so be it. But one gets the sense that as an artist, PND has yet to even scratch the surface of his potential. Two serves as evidence of such; perhaps the third and successive instalments will see continued artistic progression. Or not. (OVO Sound)