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“PARTYMOBILE” Review: Is PARTYNEXTDOOR Finally Happy?

The singer’s third album is some of the best music of his career.

PARTYNEXTDOOR's brooding (and at times extremely toxic) bravado has always been his calling card, albeit an ineffective one.

In the last four years, the singer has stayed completely silent. He was so inactive online that PND fans would often joke OVO's debut signee was being caged in Drake's basement, forced to pen hits for others instead of work on his own material. His ghostwriting abilities have always proven to be more lucrative than his solo work. 2016's P3 was a melodramatic slog, bloated with recurring themes of heartbreak and self-sabotage. "Tryna stay out of trouble but it follows me," he croons dramatically on "You've Been Missed." Party very much saw himself as a victim of his circumstances, with love and connection being his greatest foil. While Abel Tesfaye remained dispassionate and "ran through the p*ssy" so hard he needed to be put in "a dog pound," PND was falling in love with every woman that came his way. It was all incredibly toxic and detrimental to both himself and others.

But on PARTYMOBILE, he aims to change this narrative, offering optimistic R&B that embraces vulnerability, and is some of the best of his career.

"I promised you I'll never go back to the city," he sings on "NOTHING LESS." "Cause you know how messy it get." On Party's breakout and catchy-as-hell single, "Break from Toronto," he offers his lover a "break" from the city. On P2's minimalist interlude "Belong to The City," he acknowledges that this lover will never leave. "Come and see me for once," this lover pleads to Party on P3's standout "Come and See Me." Party has always felt distant from the city that raised him, and now it seems he's completely left it behind. Instead of begging for companionship, his self-worth is now his utmost priority.

PARTYNEXTDOOR & Rihanna - BELIEVE IT (Official Audio) www.youtube.com

Sure, he still has moments of toxicity ("ANOTHER DAY",) but it's effectively balanced by moments of transparency. He admits to his past infidelity ("NEVER AGAIN"), and sings optimistically about striving for loyalty ("LOYAL"). The murky lo-fi aesthetic of past PND records remains intact, but it all sounds less contrived. The singer floats effortlessly on "PGT" and fully embraces the Afro-fusion that has remained his calling card for years ("TRAUMA," "EYE ON IT.")

PARTYMOBILE's effervescence is its greatest asset, and the crooner's newfound optimism pushes each track forward in a way that his brooding, self-loathing never could. PARTYNEXTDOOR hasn't quite curated his magnum opus, but he finally seems to be making the music he's always wanted to make. And while fans and critics have ultimately been divided, PND's unexplained absence and sudden return show he doesn't give a f*ck what we think. "Got a mansion in Hollywood, but I never turned Hollywood," he sings on "PGT." In this day and age, that's a special power to have.

PARTYMOBILE

With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.

Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.

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MUSIC

Who Is Bad Bunny's Very Normal Girlfriend?

Fans were shocked to see the flashy reggaeton star courtside with a girl-next-door.

Bad Bunny is still riding the high from performing alongside Shakira and Jennifer Lopez at this year's Super Bowl, as well as releasing his fantastic sophomore album, YHLQMDLG.

The Puerto Rican reggaeton star's career has been wildly successful lately, so naturally, his personal life has become a point of interest, too. Photos recently surfaced on Twitter of Bad Bunny at a sporting event with his girlfriend, and fans had thoughts!

The pair seem unlikely only because the alleged girlfriend, who is apparently named Gabriela Berlingeri López, looks incredibly normal compared to her star partner. Bad Bunny is rarely spotted without bold glasses, manicured nails, and elaborate jewelry; López, however, has a girl-next-door charm, which is to say it doesn't look like she's had any cosmetic surgery done and normally sports low-key makeup and outfits. Evidently, she's an occasional model. She's super cute! Of course, women are free to get as much work done and wear as many extravagant outfits as they please, but for someone of Bad Bunny's caliber to be dating a sort of everywoman is very refreshing.

López and Bad Bunny aren't a new couple, either. They've been dating as early as last summer, when a very curious Twitter user created a thread divulging all the info they could find on Lopez. They are rumored to have met in 2017, though López had already been a fan, and began dating sometime in mid-2018.

Last year, fans speculated that Bad Bunny was dating Catalan singer Rosalía, who's had a similarly meteoric rise in the world of Latin music that's been popularized in the States. The two dismissed the rumors and clarified that they were just good friends. But we're thankful for López, who's giving us all hope for dating our favorite pop stars.