An indelible part of Drake’s OVO Sound production imprint, Ontario singer Jahron Brathwaite, better known as PARTYNEXTDOOR, delivers his highly anticipated third studio album titled PARTYNEXTDOOR 3 or simply P3. The record belongs to a class of sensual, nocturnal music that not only brings a dark mood but also bends the rules of R&B.

‘PARTYNEXTDOOR 3’ (‘P3’) by PARTYNEXTDOOR Album Review

PARTYNEXTDOOR has perhaps purposefully avoided huge recognition despite his appearances on Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and Views and his writing credit on the hit Drake and Rihanna collaboration “Work.” The singer’s self-titled 2014 debut didn’t make much of a splash but P3 promises to bring greater depth and to showcase a wider range of PARTYNEXTDOOR’s strengths. The new record is full of playful vibes like on the track he penned for Rihanna as well as a darker strain of R&B which reflects on sex, intimacy and emotions.

It’s difficult to separate this album from the tabloid circumstances surrounding the singer (he was involved in a scandal involving his ex the singer Kehlani earlier this year). A lot of the lyrics show him as a man struggling to make sense of a complex array of feelings following a breakup. In several tracks his lament is covered up by angst or sexual confidence, but underneath are nuances of something deeper.

The lead single from the album, “Come and See Me,” features Drake and has a similar glossy production vibe as some his best tracks. It’s a take on a n uneven situation in a relationship. Opener “High Hopes” may just be a little over-indulgent with regard to the production with its over 7-minute length, but it’s a fine example of how when given freedom in the studio, PARTYNEXTDOOR can certainly deliver unique arrangements and surprising sonic twists that elevate his style.

“Only U” and “Not Nice” are the flip side of such epic productions. Channeling a dancehall vibe, these tracks have a more upbeat, catchy and commercial feel to them, shutting down critics who might claim that the album’s length (16 tracks and just over an hour in duration) eventually brings boredom.

With each next track in P3, PARTYNEXTDOOR asserts his status as a great songwriter and an artist who continues to evolve. He successfully channels an array of emotions into his music, which proves fruitful for his songwriting even if it verges on being too blunt at times. P3 maintains the cold, dark aesthetic of OVO Sound and might be the album that allows PARTYNEXTDOOR to gain the recognition he deserves. Even if he doesn’t surpass the shadow of his mentor Drake, he sure has the potential, confidence and creative range to reach great heights.

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