Words by Rohit S. Loomba (@poombster)
PARTYNEXTDOOR is knocking on the door of major success this year after having penned the radio-adored “Work” for Rihanna. Building on this momentum, Party serves up PARTYNEXTDOOR 3, a 16-track effort that highlights Party as a singer, songwriter, and producer. The album also highlights the seeming lows that Party feels he is currently experiencing.
Production is slow-tempo and minimalistic for the most part throughout P3, letting Party’s vocals do most of the heavy lifting. That doesn’t mean that the production is lacking by any means, however. Party is directly credited as a producer or co-producer on 10 of the album’s tracks. Party starts the album off with “High Hopes” with an industrial sounding production effort completed by subtle water drop sounds weaved throughout. Elsewhere on P3, Party comes with one of the album’s true production standouts in “Sptifeul”. A simple drum pattern is coupled with an electronic guitar melody supported by a Spanish guitar. It’s not to say that Party’s vocals aren’t welcome here but the production could be a track in and of itself with the guitar audibly channeling the frustration and sorrow Party shares throughout P3. On “Not Nice” Party is joined by 40 and Neenyo who all craft a smooth jazz-esque production effort that is also one of the album’s production efforts. Other producers on the album include 40, Boi-1da, Bizness Boi, G Ry, FWDSLXSH, Nineteen85, Supa Dups, Sevn Thomas, and Larry Sanders.
While P3 features solid production in the vein of the darker R&B Toronto sound, it also features impressive vocal performance and songwriting by Party. Party isn’t necessarily the strongest vocalist, he doesn’t try to impress with incredible vocal range and impeccable vocal control. That isn’t him. What he has is the ability to use his voice as yet another instrument to perfectly adapt to the production. His ability to weave his vocals and ad libs over changes on individual tracks is impressive. This is well demonstrated on “Brown Skin”, a track driven by a staggered melody line for most of the track before changing into a thicker more continuous sound later in the track. Party takes a beat many singers would have trouble crafting lyrics to and delivers an impressive track. The lyrical themes on P3 are few in number: love, loss, lust, and substances. “High Hopes”, “Not Nice”, “Temptations” all fit the love and loss categories while tracks like “1942” cover the lust and substances side of things. Call it what you want whether that’s alternative R&B, PBR&B, or whatever but this is a sound that Party has pioneered over the course of his three offerings. Features are limited with the sole featured artist being Drake on “Come and See Me”.
Party uses his distinct production and vocal sound to share his current emotional woes on what is a solid effort with P3. Party handles much of the production, singing, and songwriting on his own which is a very impressive accomplishment on its own. Toronto is on a roll right now and Party’s name deserves to be in every conversation about Toronto Hip-Hop. Party’s time in the limelight cannot be too far away with releases such as P3.
4 (out of 5)