His first solo album in six years is comfortable, accomplished and at times even gleeful in its kitchen-sink approach to sound design A central part of Gold Panda's appeal has always been the sweet, homely feeling he brings to songs: the samples are chopped for maximum emotional heft, and while the instrumentation is sometimes exotic the performances are sentimental. His first solo album in six years, The Work is a comfortable record, accomplished and at times even gleeful in its kitchen-sink approach to sound design. The Corner is one of the album's most ear-catching songs, with an intro that resembles soulful drill and an enjoyably shambling vocal loop ("'cause more often than not I'm down here on the corner").
If we haven't heard from Gold Panda in some time, then that's because he's been going through some changes. Sobriety, therapy, and fatherhood have all intervened, stalling his productivity but enriching his life, and – in the process – helping to further and deepen his art. 'The Work' feels like a natural enhancement on his previous output; glitchy electronics with a human touch, it's shot through with both light and melancholy, the dichotomies somehow rendered more absolute, more crystalline.