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G. Love And Special Sauce
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|7. Cold Beverage|
|9. This Ain't Living|
|10. Walk To Slide|
|11. Shooting Hoops|
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|14. I Love You|
With Beck's unexpected commercial breakthrough, everyone's suddenly interested in a new kind of music best described as "slacker-rap." Although it uses the sing-song cadences of hip-hop, it's the polar opposite of gangsta rap; in both its laid-back delivery and self-deprecating lyrics, slacker-rap acknowledges vulnerability and failure. It was done first and best by Washington's Basehead, but it gets an invigorating twist on "G. Love and Special Sauce," the eponymous debut album from this Philadelphia trio.
G. Love not only looks like Michael Stipe, but he has the same mealy-mouthed vocal delivery. If Stipe ever decided to record his first rap album with an unplugged blues trio, it'd probably sound a lot like "G. Love and Special Sauce." Recorded live with no drum machines, samples or overdubs, the album creates a fresh, distinctive sound with its odd blend of lazy rapping and funky acoustic blues. Unfortunately, G. Love's absurdist observations on life aren't as funny as those by John S. Hall of King Missle, and the laid-back minimalism of the music wears thin after a while. Only "Baby's Got Sauce," which boasts a pop hook and a valentine to a domineering woman, holds up on repeated listens. --Geoffrey Himes
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Top Customer Reviews
GL&SS's take on the blues is not quite as reverent and pure as someone like John Hammond Jr., but at the same time it's not like the slick roadhouse rock that passes for blues these days. G. Love introduces himself and the band with the brief, harmonica-infused opener "The Things That I Used To Do". Many of the songs on the first half of the album are mid-tempo and bluesy and nicely showcase G. Love's nimble fretwork. The members of the band were all pretty young when they recorded this album (early to mid 20's), so the general tone of much of the lyrics seem to be fun and carefree, some would say frivolous ("Rhyme For The Summertime", "Cold Beverages" and "Shootin' Hoops" are examples), but they nicely represent G. Love's laid-back view of everyday life and provide the ideal soundtrack for pursuits of leisure, be it cruising in your car, hanging out on your front porch, or ... yes, shooting hoops. Elsewhere, more worldly concerns are expressed on tracks like "This Ain't Livin'", a song set to a slower tempo that chronicles the plights of people struggling to make ends meet in the inner city. Also, G.Read more ›
I would suggest holding on and taking some time here, the other reviews are spot on, it's bluesy, some neat jazz overtones, jaunty rhythm and laid back rap delivery. It is a very cool album.
But should you buy it? Or see what else was recommended, maybe something more hip hop, more blues?
When I first heard it several bands sprung to mind, but I got that feeling, you remember the one you got when you first heard Scooby Snack by the Fun lovin' Criminals, or Loser by Beck, or the first time you saw the Sabotage video?
Along with realising you will never be that cool, you had the gut feeling there was a chance you would be perceived that way just for the 3 odd minutes of the track.. Well this album hits that spot, with some added summer.
Its one for THE Collection (the 6 or so CD's you can fit in the glove compartment for long drives) each track holds its own and it wouldn't be out of place next to Digable Planets, Wagon Christ, Johnny Cash and of course Air!
One of my top buys this year, and its 10 years old so already stood the test of time (relative to the present state of the music industry)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I say this because G. Love, from a sarcastic critic's eye, is a billboard-sized target. His affected bluesman scat borders on parody, and his wirey delta chops were more likely absorbed through 70 watts of Volvo wagon stereo than a Mississippi roadhouse -- white boys singing the blues are always suspect, and usually with good cause.
But once in a blue moon, one of our suburban brethren pops out a keeper. And man, this IS a keeper. Six years and, I don't know, 200 plays later, this disc is still as fresh and smooth as a peach. There is simply nothing else that sounds like this, it just clicked, this is THE sound. It swings, it rocks, it grooves, it flows, it chops, it dices -- it works.
Somewhere down the line, someone will call you out on this disc, accuse it of being a fraud, and point you instead to some "real" blues in the form a scratchy 78 vinyl 1923 pressing of Old Man Blind Whisky Slim Johnson. Have none of this. Enjoy this disc, enjoy it often, and it enjoy it guilt-free.
So I have to thank Erika Lucas, for introducing G Love into my life. This Cd was the catylist for my musical wonderings. Listening to this led to Jack Johnson, Ben harper, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Coldplay, Ben Folds, Moby, miles davis and David Gray. And unlike what the reviewer states above, the album will hold up untill Cd's are out of style and the new form of experiencing music comes around.