Ventura is Anderson .Paak's fourth studio album which was released on April 12, 2019 by 12 Tone Music and Aftermath Entertainment.
In 2020, the album won a Grammy Award for "Best R&B Album."
In May 2018, Dr. Dre leaked the title to Anderson Paak's third album, Oxnard Ventura during an Instagram livestream; however the title of his third album was later changed to "Oxnard." Paak has stated in interviews that Dre let him have more freedom with the production on Ventura, following the more tightly produced, "Oxnard."
In a March 2019 interview for Esquire, he said, "[Dre] let me have a lot of leeway on Ventura. He was like, it seems like you got it. I spread my wings on the production and on the writing and on these collaborations."
- Come Home (featuring André 3000) 4:27
- Make It Better (featuring Smokey Robinson) 3:39
- Reachin’ 2 Much (featuring Lalah Hathaway) 5:55
- Winners Circle 3:29
- Good Heels (featuring Jazmine Sullivan) 1:38
- Yada Yada 3:28
- King James 3:18
- Chosen One (featuring Sonyae Elise) 4:05
- Jet Black (featuring Brandy) 3:28
- Twilight 3:16
- What Can We Do? (featuring Nate Dogg) 2:56
"Ventura" debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200, earning 55,000 album-equivalent units, of (which 39,000 were pure album sales), becoming Paak's first US top 10 album.
"Ventura" was met with widespread critical acclaim. At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 82, based on 19 reviews.
Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 7.5 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus. Album of the Year assessed the critical consensus as 78 out of 100, based on 25 reviews.
Kitty Richardson of The Line of Best Fit gave the album a positive review, stating: "With sumptuous harmonies and a live band locked in on every track, .Paak finds a sweet spot between throwback soul and the 21st Century dancefloor. He sounds like the best version of himself. ... An exceptional return to form."
Will Hermes from Rolling Stone stated, "Paak's output is keeping pace with his ambition. But good as his records have been, this set included, you still get a sense that the best work still lay ahead."
Alexis Petridis of The Guardian spoke on the album saying "Ventura sounds like the work of someone intent on fixing the flaws in its predecessor. Paak's tendency to supercharge the production for commercial appeal has been reined in. The sound centres around an appealingly stripped-down take on mid-70s Philly soul."
Jack Shepherd of The Independent also praised the album saying "Rather than being an album of Oxnard offshoots, Ventura instead borrows heavily from .Paak's consistently brilliant 2016 record Malibu, itself a fresh slice of soulful funk."
Jordan Bassett of NME called the album "a lush '70s soul-inflected record" commenting that "Last year's Oxnard referenced his childhood in the titular Los Angeles neighbourhood, while this latest album name-checks Ventura, the sun-kissed Californian coastal town in which, he's explained, he 'found [his] depth' as a teen."
Exclaim! critic Ryan B. Patrick said, "It's a super-charged R&B record, laced with throwback Motown/Philly grooves, that hits hard but fails to land a knockout blow. It seems to be a case of not being able to fully satisfy the hip-hop heads, the R&B fans and the amorphous genre-less Venn diagram in between."
Sheldon Pearce of Pitchfork said, "This tune-up album, at the very least, restores the underlying feeling of his signature stuff. But there, too, lies its flaw: it's a hollow effort lacking in any real distinguishing characteristics. The album never becomes more than the sum of its sounds."