...More O.C than Plan B.
Alex Forster 2007
G Love raps and plays guitar; not a crime itself, until you add lyrics that make Crazytown sound like Gil Scott Heron and arrangements Corinne Bailey Rae would consider bland. No joke. Apparently, ‘People have been trying to label G Love’s sound for years’ - Why one would commit years to such a thankless task is as baffling as how this guy has managed to fill seven previous albums with his insipid music. This is a featherweight, forgettable amalgamation of lame hip-hop and blues, fit only for Abercrombie and Fitch adverts; more O.C than Plan B.
G Love has opened his door to collaborations on Lemonade, his second on Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records. The hope that Ben Harper will bring some genuine The Will To Live-era grit and passion to G love’s cliché-ridden tripe is dashed with the cod-creole workout “Let The Music Play”. Jack Johnson shares vocals on “Rainbow” – which sounds like Eric Clapton’s version of Bo Diddley’s “Before You Accuse Me” – and “Banger”, featuring Blackalicious, struggles to excite even before G drops the gem, ‘If life was a buffet, I’d go back for seconds, but you just get one plate before you fly away, now check it’. Lord give us strength.
G Love is clearly a man at pains to express just how chilled out he is, ‘So I must, so I trust, so my lyrics just bust, into this new day, like I was busting a nut’ (“Ain’t That Right”). His Philly cool smacks of lazy faux-hippiedom, rather than Arrested Development or Native Tongues idealistic conviction. Only on opener “Ride”, which floats along on a nice enough melody, and “Beautiful”, co-sung by Tristan Prettyman, can you stomach his sunny optimism.
Under the guise of a laid-back surf shack kinda vibe, this record is the sonic equivalent of the holiday mentality where you are coerced into excusing things you wouldn’t normally tolerate - just because it’s nice out. So it’s OK for a record to be riddled with some of the worst rhymes since Brian Harvey hung up his mic, because Jack Johnson’s jamming on the porch and a surf ‘n’ turf platter is on its way? No it’s not! The sun's getting to you, go indoors…