PartyNextDoor, also known as Jahron Anthony Brathwaite has returned to music after a long hiatus from his last project PartyNextDoor 3, with new album PARTYMOBILE.
Words by Conor O’Donoghue
The rapper, signed to fellow Canadian, Drakes record label OVO Sound, had released tracks such as ‘Loyal’ with Drake and ‘The News’ back in December. The album was due to be released in February but was pushed back to March 27th.
A seasoned performer in production and songwriting, Brathwaite has spent three years working on his craft for artists such as Rihanna with hits ‘Work’, ‘Takin’ Shots’ by Post Malone, Major Lazer and Calvin Harris to add to an already impressive collection. Many fans would have been asking questions as to where PartyNextDoor was for the last 4 years but really he was just taking his time to finalise PARTYMOBILE. In November 2017, he tweeted:
I’m taking my time with this album, It’s straight party & unapologetic.— PARTYNEXTDOOR (@partynextdoor) November 22, 2017
This rings true for PARTYMOBILE. This album creates an atmosphere of optimism, heartache and vulnerability, proving to be his finest work to date. Tracks such as ‘The News’, PND sings to a partner informing them that they don’t deserve his love and seemingly implicates that they are cheating on him, or are at least not fully committed to the relationship:
“Deep down, I want out… Deep down, I feel tied down… Sometimes, it’s my own doing that makes things come to fruition, babe…”
Most of the album follows this pattern with the emotion in PND’S voice taking centre-stage over the production. The raw emotion of the vocals, with the lo-fi R&B sound creates a vibe fit for partying with friends or crying alone over a loved one.
The singer has a Jamaican roots and the influence of Dancehall is apparent on tracks such as ‘Believe It’ featuring Rihanna and ‘Trauma’. The latter takes the listener back to Brathwaite’s roots. The juxtaposition of the vocals equating regret and sadness with the up-tempo production is a track that I can see a lot of people moving their head along too.
There are also references to cultural Jamaican icons in songs like ‘Turn Up’ with Lyrics such as “out on these streets they call it murder…”, an ode to Jamaican Legend, Damien Marley’s ‘Welcome to Jamrock’.
“Out in the streets, they callin’ murder… Baby, have a drink with me, don’t order a virgin (Ooh)… I’m not controlla in it, I’m tryna see you turn up… I wanna see you (Turn up)… I wanna see you turn up, oh…”
The best track on the album for me is ‘Loyal’. PND collaborates again with Drake for the 12th time in his career. The track is about love and friendship with your other half that has a lovely vibe to it. There isn’t an overload of instruments in the track. Although noticeable, the vocal and emotion of the lyrics consummate a strong relationship to make a strong track.
As PND says the word “loyal” in the song you feel the emotion being portrayed throughout. The influences of dancehall and reggae are sprinkled into this track along with several others.
“True, you’re a star in my head… You, no need fi raise war with my friends… True, you’re so bad, we don’t need to pretend… But I don’t want war with you or my friends…”
Fans of PartyNextDoor will love this album. It’s emotional, vibey and incorporates lots of Dancehall and Reggae but that will come as no surprise to his fan base. Many people will become familiar with tracks such as ‘Believe It’ featuring Rihanna and ‘Eye On It’ in the coming months.
It is a welcome return for the Canadian and he hasn’t disappointed.
Songs worth putting on repeat: ‘Loyal’ and ‘Believe It’
Missed our review of The Weeknd’s banger After Hours? Click here to see what we had to say.