G. Love did amaze us by mixing hip-hop, blues and a bit of folk in a way that actually worked. Unfortunately, his newest solo effort has one wishing he’d stick with the Special Sauce instead of sluttin’ around with famous friends like Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. There are a few great tracks here, like “Can’t Go Back to Jersey,” with that old G. Love charm, and the straight hip-hop “Banger,” with guests Blackalicious and Lateef the Truth Speaker, comes through. But at least half of the album sounds like a musically proficient but creatively stagnant blues band showing off some heartless chops. Even G’s lyrics, normally a guaranteed treat, seem this time around like clichés. Ever seen an aging blues act bring a bad rapper onstage in an attempt to keep up with the times?
As printed in The News and Review.