Friday 15 May 2015

Review of 'Bush' by Snoop Dogg

Having thankfully abandoned his shortlived career as a reggae artist, Snoop Lion returns as Snoop Dogg with this brand new record Bush, the title of which could refer to many things. Personally, I think it’s a tribute to the ex-president.

Clearly the inspiration behind this album
In recent years lots of artists have been jumping on the 70s-revival bandwagon. Snoop is the latest to hop on board (although given his 90s g-funk roots it’s hardly new territory), half-rapping/half-singing over slinky instrumentals loaded with bow-chikka-wow-wow guitars, groovy basslines designed for making babies to and gratuitious use of the 808 cowbell. It’s unashamedly cheesy, particularly the melodramatic male backing vocals layered over each hook (they did make me chuckle), but Snoop – being as smooth as he is – is able to get away with it, resulting in an album that’s charmingly feelgood.

Handling the production is Pharrell Williams. Some of you may have heard of him. He turns out to be one of many guest artists on the record, others being Stevie Wonder, Gwen Stefani, Kendrick Lamar, T.I. and Rick Ross. Together, this horde of guest artists help to conceal the fact that Snoop can’t sing or rap any more (or most likely isn’t trying). Snoop’s vocals are largely flat and auto-tuned and his lyrics consist of largely weed-related throwaway scrap, but underneath the carnival of backing vocals and Pharrell-produced funk this seems irrelevant, that is until you remember that this is a Snoop Dogg album.

Choosing to take a backseat throughout the whole album, the record never feels quite as vibrant as it could be. I can just picture Snoop lying back with a joint in his hand whilst the rest of his entourage do the work around him. That said, this is an enjoyable listen and there are standout moments. ‘Run Away’ and ‘This City’ contain some of Pharrell’s most velvety beats yet and ‘Peaches N Cream’ is clearly the new ‘Gin and Juice’.