Editor's Note: In honor of Thanksgiving, we asked each of our writers to pen a story about an artist, song, album, or moment from 2016 that they're most thankful for.
Gratitude is something that permeates the holiday season, and I love that. To be truly grateful is such a powerful thing, yet it’s so easily forgotten when your day to day life isn’t marked by struggle.
I’m thankful for so many things in this life, including the fact that I’m able to sit here in the warmth of my home and write this article for a publication I’ve been a fan of for years. For the sake of focus, however, I’m going to hone in on just one thing I’m thankful for musically this year, and that’s Anderson .Paak’s Malibu.
On a base level, I’m thankful for Malibu because it’s a fantastic album. Since its release, Malibu has played a part in nearly every weekend of my life. Nothing makes me happier on a Saturday morning than hitting play on “The Bird” as I start making my coffee, and running through the album as I lazily go about my weekend routine.
On a deeper level, however, I’m thankful for Malibu because it inspires gratitude itself. Malibu is a summation of Anderson’s highs and lows, an album crafted painstakingly, not in a few months of intense studio time, but in the 30 years of Anderson’s life.
The entire album oozes with emotion, and through every story of hardship and confusion, .Paak emerges victorious, as full of gratitude as he is confidence, a trait that’s surely played a hand in his recent successes.
Listening to Malibu offers me two separate experiences simultaneously. On a certain level, Malibu is perfect background music. I can listen to Malibu while going about my daily business, but it’s just as capable of sending me into a wormhole of pondering my own life’s shortcomings and victories.
Often, I experience both within the 16 tracks on Malibu without even realizing it until that moment of lucidity that arrives after “The Dreamer” ends, a feeling not unlike opening your eyes after a meditation and realizing you’ve been in another state for the last hour.
I’m thankful for Malibu for so many reasons. The insane replay value, the timeless soul it injected back into my regular music listening, but most importantly, it’s ability to remind me what it means to be thankful in the first place.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.