– THE CHARM OFFENSIVE –
Anderson .Paak was already a triple threat as far as I’m concerned; a brilliant musician, an excellent live show and good on record. He didn’t need to be anything more than that (believe me, I like plenty of artists who only tick one of those boxes). However, King James took him to new heights. Heights that few musicians ever reach in my estimation. Heights that even a 6ft 7¼ basketball player would struggle to scale.
And that’s because this is the song that announces .Paak as a lyricist and an activist.
Eagle-eyed readers will recall that I mentioned I would be at .Paak’s gig last Friday and at said gig King James was played. “We couldn’t stand to see our children shot dead in the streets / But when I finally took a knee / Them crackers took me out the league” sang Oxnard’s finest, in reference to the American Football black rights activist, Colin Kaepernick. 10,000 people inside Alexandra Palace joined him in singing every word – despite the song having only been released that morning.
And while I’d likely be a fan of a song with such lyrics anyway, musically …James marks a return to the sort of disco funk that launched .Paak’s career on Malibu; which is really exactly in his wheelhouse.
The track is the first to be released from a forthcoming album, Ventura due out on 12 April.
You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –