Is PARTYNEXTOOR finally happy?
PARTYNEXTDOOR (PND) is far from the kind of artist that one would expect to step out of the spotlight for more than a year at a time.
Between releasing studio albums and mixtapes, receiving writing credits on some of Rihanna and Beyoncé’s biggest hits, or lending features to Drake, Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa or Summer Walker it’s safe to say that PND stays busy in the industry.
Fans began to wonder where he went after two full years without releasing any music, birthing the recurring joke that he’s caged up in Drake’s basement, forced to write for others rather than work on his solo music.
After announcing a new album would be coming soon, the album missed three of its announced release dates before finally sticking the landing on March 27.
After taking one of his longest hiatuses in between studio albums, PARTYNEXTDOOR is finally back with a new project that should hold fans over for another few years.
The new album “PARTYMOBILE” (or “PM”) breaks the norm of his release titles (“PND 1m, “PND 2” and “PND 3”), but the album’s sound plays it safe. “PM” spans 14 tracks with a remix of hit single “LOYAL” featuring Drake, this time assisted by Spanish artist Bad Bunny.
The duration of the album is exactly what fans have been asking for from him. If the project was any shorter, it would have left everyone clamoring for more from him. If it was any longer, it would have been drawn out beyond enjoyment, felt overstuffed and bloated with themes of heartbreak and regret.
An aspect of this album that has impressed many is that his recent string of singles has finally found a home. Songs including “THE NEWS,” “LOYAL,” “SPLIT DECISION” and “BELIEVE IT” seemed out of place being anywhere near PND’s discography, yet they all have a much more cohesive sound put in their places on the tracklist.
Standout tracks include the Rihanna “assisted” track “BELIEVE IT,” as well as the final ballad “SAVAGE ANTHEM.” Fans flocked towards “BELIEVE IT” when they noticed Rihanna on a song for the first time since 2017, yet were confused to see her more as background vocals singing the same dozen words over the hook.
On “SAVAGE ANTHEM,” PND looks back on his relationship with Kehlani, yet the lyrics aren’t filled with regret as much as the feeling of moving on. Which begs the question: Is PND finally happy?
Many of the singer’s hooks and verses are filled with the feeling of being over past relationships and looking on to what’s next for him, rather than the characteristic lyrics filled with self-sabotage, remorse and contrition. It’s a new PND that leaves fans anticipating what will come next from him in terms of lyrics and songwriting inspiration.
While he does deliver his staple sound that many fans have been begging to hear again for years, the drum patterns and beats have an eerily similar lo-fi resemblance to one another, making most songs sound identical to one another and hard to tell apart.
On his other projects, many songs will go from slow and melodic (“Come and See Me”) to fast-paced yet sorrowful (“Break from Toronto”). From start to finish, the bulk of this album is extremely indistinctive, with very few tracks standing apart from one another.
While this album may have many similar tracks that still leave the listener content, we are left with one final question: Will we have to wait another four years for a full project from PND? If so, “PM” is sure to hold fans over.