G. Love & Special Sauce
if you put together a mix tape of G. Love & Special Sauce's, finest moments, you'd have yourself, one of the finest urban soundtracks imaginable: hip-hop over funky, live grooves, doo-wop street comer soul and stylish, inner city blues. Lyrically, you'd have everything from G. Love singing an homage to lemonade to a song about the struggle for racial harmony.
The problem?. G. Love has never been able, to put together an entire album that captures his, unique talent. His fourth release Philadelphonic, is close, but in the end you're still left feeling that a handful of things could have pushed the album to greatness.
When he gets it right on Philadelphonic, G. Love and the superb rhythm duo of Special Sauce hit some amazing highs. The religious reflection of "Numbers" has a silky smooth flow as G. Love's words search for a higher spiritual peace. Similarly, "Honor and Harmony calls for people to re-examine themselves in this age of increasing desensitization toward the human experience. Maybe it's just 'that these songs are so strong that the other cuts seem lacking. But when G. Love busts out "Friday Night" with his rap vocals annoyingly imitating Digital Undergrounds G-Shock, you have to wonder why G. Love isn't comfortable enough to just deliver the song in his own style. The good news is that moments like this are few and far between on the album. Philadelphonic has plenty of songs to add to the ever-expanding G. Love mix, but one day he'll hopefully enlighten himself, and us with one almighty record on which assembly is-not required.
Brian Richard Grade: B