Vocalist Anderson .Paak and producer Knxwledge — together, a group called NxWorries — released their debut album Yes Lawd! on Friday. Neither of these artists is a stranger to producing amazing music, and the album’s impressive 19 tracks fuse melody and groove for a fantastic collaboration.
This album showcases Knxwledge’s knack for beats and creating sounds with numerous instruments. He uses brass, drums, tambourine, guitar, bass, strings and even the xylophone to accompany .Paak’s smooth vocals. Even though the songs don’t have a theme to unite their sounds, they all blend to form a cohesive narrative track-to-track. Every rhythmic and instrumental part gives off melodic and relaxing vibes.
On the vocal side, .Paak does not disappoint. He mixes his singing with rapping, all with the flow and rhythm you’d expect. To add depth to his vocals, he often sings over other parts where he raps. At times he is even joined by a choir.
One downfall to the album is that the tracks are short. NxWorries is able to explore emotions and stories through their lyrics, but it feels like the songs have just begun when they come to an end. Many lyrics revolve around women and, much like Mac Miller’s The Divine Feminine (which you can read my review of here), they delve into love as a journey. But Yes Lawd! tackles this topic in a much less vulgar manner. Throughout the album, .Paak sings about appreciating his woman, but also struggling with the temptation of others. It also explores more personal facets of his life.
There is one moment where Knxwledge takes a skit from the popular Adult Swim series Rick and Morty and incorporates some of Morty’s lines. Honestly, it was hilarious to hear this short dialogue. I am not quite sure what it has to do with the music, but I tip my hat to them for the reference.
NxWorries’ first collaborative album is great. All the musical elements work with one another to create a groovy, mellow soundtrack. Although it is a strong piece of work, it seems to me that it would fit the setting of ambient music around the house. It is just too calming to listen to otherwise. Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge score an eight out of 10 on their debut album Yes Lawd! Give it a listen!
Contact CU Independent Arts Staff Writer Benjamin Vernon at Benjamin.Vernon@colorado.edu.