Album Review: Snoop Dogg – BUSH

Bush_Album_CoverEditor’s Note: Snoop Dogg will be performing at Cincinnati, Ohio’s Bunbury Music Festival Sunday, June 7. Single day tickets are still available here. Check Live From The Internet for festival coverage and videos.

What can you say about Snoop Dogg? He’s a legendary rapper, a pop culture icon and the Hip-Hop Prince of P-Funk.

Unfortunately, there is one other thing you’ve been able to say about Snoop over the years: he’s never that consistent. Not since his earliest work has Snoop put out an album that felt inspired front to back.

However, BUSH turns that notion on its head – that happens to be its greatest characteristic.

This album is a new birth for Snoop, taking more influence from inspirations than ever before. Pharrell takes Dr. Dre’s P-Funk to new heights that Snoop hasn’t experienced before – and for the most part, it’s really enjoyable.

It’s an album that can fit perfectly into the background of any party. Plenty of songs are worth settling into with detail, but a party atmosphere is best for this release.

“California Roll” is a wonderful way to start the album. It introduces you to the sound that you can expect, and you couldn’t ask for anything better that early. In fact, this song’s only problem is that the album peaks too early with it. There are great features with Stevie Wonder and Pharrell both flying over the smooth instrumental.

“This City” continues with the funky vibe, introduced by a radio announcer. This one is certainly an ode to Parliament Funkadelic with singing style. It’s a very P-funky disco track. A guitar bass eventually arrives, accompanied by a perfectly rhythm-oriented Snoop verse. Nothing fancy, just filling the track with enough to keep it interesting. Other highlights include “Peaches and Cream”. “Edibles” and “I’m Ya Dogg”.

Perhaps the only problem with BUSH is that it could be called a one trick pony. No one song is bad, but many border on forgettable because they share too many sound characteristics. Outside of the highlights, it’s easy to let this album continue pulsating in the background. The disco keeps rolling along, and on that level, the less memorable songs are still enjoyable.

BUSH is less like a Snoop Dogg album and more like a Pharell party that Snoop plays host to. It’s at its best when other party guests accompany the rapper over Pharrell’s funk. Rick Ross is the unlikely hero here, providing the best verse on an album that includes Snoop Dogg, T.I. and Kendrick Lamar.

If you listen too closely, there are a few problems with BUSH. But on its surface level, the album is extremely enjoyable and the most inspired from the rapper in over a decade.

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