With the entire world paused and quarantined, now is definitely the perfect time to listen to music. As we undergo these uncertain times, music is one constant that continues to lift us up and maintain our sanity.
After much hype (and hope) our answers were finally answered with a brand-new album from PartyNextDoor! It’s been nearly three years since listeners and PND lovers have heard any music from PartyNextDoor and four since his last full length album, PARTYNEXTDOOR 3 (P3). After several years of waiting, the shadowy Canadian sing returns with his highly anticipated fourth album, PARTYMOBILE. One thing about Party is, he’s very private, very calculated and very closed off about his work.
Before the release of the album on Friday (Mar. 27), Party released the album’s two lead singles, “Loyal,” featuring OVO head honcho Drake and “The News” late November. Following the two singles, he took to Twitter to announce an initial January release date. Quickly after the announcement, the crooner returned to Twitter again, pushing the album back to February, leaving fans in some sort of limbo awaiting the album’s arrival. To no avail, the album would release the following month later in March.
To the fans, I’m gonna need some more time to put the finishing touches on this album. February… I promise the extra time will be worth it
— PARTYNEXTDOOR (@partynextdoor) January 29, 2020
Running for almost an hour, PARTYMOBILE consists of 15 songs and holds only a few guest features. Rihanna, Drake and Bad Bunny lend their talents, while Party holds down the project on his own. As usual, the album lets listeners into the hazy, shadowy mind of our ghostly fave. The project tells a story of love, lust and sex, while delivering some misogynistic undertones.
Party sets the tone firstly with the album’s opener, “Nothing Less.” Listeners see and feel Party’s passion as he bellows to his lover about only giving her the pure best that he has to offer in their relationship. He knows that she’s not someone to be toyed with and she will not accept anything less than 100% from him. Therefore, he knows what he must to do in order to be with her. Both the lyricism and production transports listeners back to the days of vintage PND (even if for a moment).
Continuing with “Turn Up,” Party gives us more of that trademark Party but he steps out of his normal topics as he paints this picture of being out with a girl and encouraging her to simply turn up and have fun with him. The bouncy production and his cadences are great. The chorus is contagious and he continues to maintain the album’s momentum.
We then arrive to the album’s lead singles, “The News,” “Split Decision,” and the Drake-assisted, “Loyal.” While Loyal is fun for mainstream radio play, “The News” and “Split Decision” really evoke that sound that many of us have missed from Party. There’s a hint of irony as “The News” recounts infidelity on Party’s partner’s end while “Split Decision” places Party in seat of infidelity. Regardless, both songs are utterly amazing.
As we begin 2/3 of the album, much of the album’s consistency begins to dissolve. Party experiments again with Dancehall/Reggae production and feels. Some of the tracks simply sound similar to one another and sound… uninspiring. Yeah, they are a pretty catchy and you may even find yourself singing them to yourself (if you don’t skip them and actually listen).
A standout arrives at “Showing You!” Apologetic and compassionate, Party begs his lover to hang in there and not give up on him. He promises to love her, be better for her and do right by her. His voice is distorted in a way but over this immaculate production, it flows so well.
The Caribbean vibes continue with the infectious Rihanna-assisted “Believe It!” While Riri leaves us with a mere chorus throughout the entire song (and some background vocals), it feels SO good to hear her voice on a record again. We haven’t heard her feature on anything since November 2017 when she joined N.E.R.D. on “Lemon!”
No stranger to one another, Party and Rihanna link up again creating another dope moment in music. The two bellow to their lovers about remaining faithful on both sides. They ask one another to believe in each other to keep the relationship alive and strong. Everything about this track feels good. It makes you want to dance, sing and just be in the moment.
Finally, as we reach the final five songs of the album, we see more standout songs. Party takes it up a notch with “PGT!” Reverting to his old appeal, he flashes listeners back to the days of PND and PND 2. In PGT (Pretty Grown Thing), Party focuses on this mature, driven woman who brings out all of these feelings within him. He bellows “PGT” continuously throughout the song.
Now, seen as potentially the best song on the album we arrive at “Savage Anthem.” Here, Party is simply just talking his sh*t and he doesn’t care one bit. You can literally see what type of time Party is on as he bellows, “Don’t hold your breath/Don’t wait on my love.” Vivid, descriptive and unbothered, Party lets his lover know that he is indeed a savage and he has no plans to change for her or anyone else.
Darker than the album’s opener and many of the other songs on the project, here we really get that old Party back. He literally does not care about this woman’s feelings at all. Party doesn’t want her waiting for him to reply to any of her texts. He does not care about losing her trust or her feelings. He literally just would rather have sex and keep it pushing.
Rumored to have been about the period of time when he dated R&B songstress, Kehlani, Party is a beast from beginning to end.
On the album’s final song, Party remixes the original, bubbly “Loyal” song with Drake but adds some Latin flavor to it with the help of none other than Bad Bunny. The message is the same – the three long for loyalty from their partners.
Initially, I did not like this album… I was utterly disappointed on first listen. After having played the album over and over, it has most certainly grown on me in some ways. It is tolerable… While it is not downright trash, it just did not live up to the 3-4 year wait (and I stand by what I just said). I really feel that Party could have come so much harder than what he displayed. However, for the most part, there are several gems throughout the album. The songs that are really good… are REALLY good.
PARTYMOBILE is an album that grows on you as you play it over… The problem however is, you have to take the time to actually give it a chance.
Overall, I’d give the album a 5.5/6. It’s not his best, but it’s not utterly valueless.
Top Songs from “PARTYMOBILE:”
(Not including the singles)
- Savage Anthem
- Nothing Less
- Showing You
- Believe It