I used to sit down at the end of the year to think about my favorite albums of said year, and sometimes I would actually out-think myself, trying to be too cute or clever with my choices. I’d think back to albums I may have listened to once or twice (and liked) but not again since, and put those on the list.
Nowadays, I’m not really making lists anymore, not in a formal way, but I realized that the sole criterion for whether an album should be my “best” of any time period is: Did I let the tape rock till the tape pop? Did I listen the shit out of that album? Did I learn all the words and thrill to start the album over again at the last track?
Right now, and for the last month-plus, Anderson .Paak’s “Malibu” has ticked all those boxes for me. I LOVE this whole album. Yeah, there are parts of it that don’t work (I find myself mock-rapping along with Schoolboy Q’s “meh” Andre-3000-lite verse on the otherwise excellent “Am I Wrong” for just one instance), but the parts that do work, boy do they work.
It’s exuberant, contrite, celebratory, life-affirming, funky, addictive and hugely kinetic music. It makes me dance and sing and rap and point my fingers at nothing and butt dance in my seat and tap my feet. I can’t imagine much else that would supplant this as my favorite album of 2016.