By Daniel Winogradoff, Albums Editor


SCORE: 6.5

Twenty-three-year-old Ontario native Jahron Brathwaite, better known as PARTYNEXTDOOR (PND or Party), began songwriting at the age of 18. A plethora of resources and tools at his disposal has helped him to hone his deep, furrowed sound, and as a result, PND has consistently created intimate music with tears of sexual deviance and emotional ponderance — music that has earned him international recognition. The highlights of his career so far include his close relationship with the Canadian record label OVO Sound and it’s co-founder, Drake, his boat show writing about contemporary love on Rihanna’s summer hit “Work” and his standout 2016 studio album, PARTYNEXTDOOR3 (P3).

With the culmination these feats, PND surprised fans by adding to his discography a new installment to his “Colours” series, a four-track EP titled Colours 2, out now on OVO Sound/Warner Brother’s. On this 17-and-a-half-minute project, PND trudges through patented Toronto filters, big basses and wavy, drunken melodies on his way to detailing nights of lust, longing and dolor. The project’s lo-fi interpolation was a result of executive production of Party’s long-time friend and collaborator, G. Ry. According to recent interviews, the album’s manufacturing took place over a single week, with continual communication between the artist and producer.

The project was released on several platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal, but was also recently uploaded as a different version on SoundCloud. The SoundCloud intro starts with OVO label-mate Majid Al Maskati (of Majid Jordan) harmonizing over a series of drum sounds, including a weak kick and clap-snap combos. The track is then rounded out with a congratulatory phone call from G. Ry’s incarcerated twin brother, Roland.

On the project’s first full track “Peace of Mind,” Party coos over a twirling, baritone-chorus inspired melody with sharp highs hats and crunchy claps about the delicacies that make up his woman and how that helps him relax. The darling pre-chorus’ transition into a smoother chorus is the song’s best part: “When it feels this good she get the key to the house, yeah/ Because in exchange you give me peace of mind/ Baby, you could take all my time/ All I needed was a piece/ All I needed was peace/ Someone that gon’ listen to me,” the Canadian artist sings.

“Freak in You” is where Party returns to his original strength in superb storytelling. With a friendly piano break in the background and trap drums up front, Party attempts to make his woman swoon by unleashing the undertow of her sexual fantasies. Exceptional lines include “So pretty, girl, you belong in a gallery,” “I’m flickin’ my wrist like I’m a fisher/ Diamonds on my chest like a bishop/ And these lines right here ain’t no pickup,” and “That spandex might triple my antics/ Might take off the bandage.”

At this point the project’s highpoint has yet to come: the island-tempo song“Low Battery” is the true standout. With its dancehall-esque rhythm, “Low Battery” has the most dance-club-potential of all the tracks. The writing contradicts itself, but in a good manner; Party is able to turn a juvenile, yet practical theme into something much more substantial and human with appropriate wordplay and darling vocals. “You coulda said you want to see different people/ Never knew that your love was so lethal,” PND says. “Shot, shot, shot, it’s a shot baby/ Kept your secrets on the D-Low/ Low-key like a C-note.”

 On the EP’s final song, “Rendezvous,” Party ditches the entire plan he’s developed plot-wise up to this point, which essentially brings him back to where he started: focusing on the reciprocity that this never-ending cycle exhibits. With a beat similar to that of “Peace of Mind,” the outro is able to connect this idea efficiently. With a final push for apology and rewind, PND sings, “You going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth/ I don’t know what you want, yeah (no more).”

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