Last night Drake’s label’s newest talent PARTYNEXTDOOR released his self-titled debut album. Having only previously dropped two tracks, the finer details of the album were shrouded in mystery before the release, though the two songs did seem to reveal a lot about PARTYNEXTDOOR’s sound. There are a lot of things that I love about this album and some things that I don’t.
I have to first address the length. There are only ten songs here and when you put them together the entire album doesn’t even add up to a half-hour listen. For me it would have been ideal if each track was a minute or so longer, especially as cutting them to 1 or 2 minutes doesn’t really fit with the hazy and chilled out vibe that PARTYNEXTDOOR manages to produce. But boy does he produce it. Welcome To The Party is an edgy introduction to the rising star’s music career and his first album.
Even after that I think we can all see the similarities between PARTYNEXTDOOR’s and Drake’s music. It’s either your cup of tea or it’s not, but there’s no question that these tracks are packed full of confliction, despair, and well… feeling. Perhaps my favorite track on this album, Right Now, is backed by a perpetually moving beat that I have fallen head over heels in love with. PARTYNEXTDOOR effectively uses the ‘I’m-singing-but-I’m-also-rapping-at-the-same-time’ tactic that Drake seemed to make so popular, and it packs a hell of a punch.
The final track worth mentioning in my opinion is Over Here which features Drake. When I listened to this track for the first time I got an air of deja vu before realizing that there are lots of similarities between PARTYNEXTDOOR and The Weeknd, the difference being of course that Drake got a happy ending with PARTYNEXTDOOR as he signed with Drake’s label OVO. Inevitably comparisons are going to be made between the two but this should by no means take away from PARTYNEXTDOOR’s obvious talent and ambition (and I’m talking about the kind of ambition it takes to bypass first feeling your way out into the music world with a mixtape and instead confidently releasing an album).
With regards to the album as a whole, I suppose I would say that it’s okay. The three songs that I highlighted are songs that I well and truly love but it is true that other songs can easily fade into the background and don’t have melodic hooks that are quite as gripping. However, they are by no means unpleasant to listen to. Strangely, PARTYNEXTDOOR seems to have already found his sound in its entirety with his first release. I’ll be very interested to see how he flourishes under Drake’s mentorship and how the new OVO/OMO combination is received by the music world.
I almost forgot, the entire album is available to download for free here.