Reincarnated by Snoop Lion (Album of the Week)

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Album: Reincarnated

Artist: Snoop Lion

Year: 2013

Details: 16 songs; 58 minutes

Who’s Choice: Gone Mild

Reggae is not a genre of music that I listen to a great deal. I like Bob Marley, but a little can go a long way. While this is almost certainly unfair, I think of reggae as being unidimensional. There is the slow, off the beat style. There are lyrics that tend towards social commentary. 

I apparently missed the news that Snoop Dogg actually did transform himself into Snoop Lion after having gone through a conversion to Rastafari. I found out only after I jokingly asked Dan if Snoop Dogg and Snoop Lion were related. I wish I did not know that.

With this week’s album, Reincarnated, I will say that there are dimensions, but this is definitely a reggae album. As evidence, there is the requisite multiple references to ganja and lighting up. 

Over at Gone Mild, Dan stands up for the album soundly. He does a good job explaining his own unwillingness to judge any non-genuine motivations of the artist. He just wants to listen and be happy. There is nothing the matter with that.

The sweet reggae vibe to this album is undeniable. The Good Good is super nice, and I can just picture a smiling Mr. Lion and Iza on a stage singing this to one another and bouncing to the beat with big smiles on their face. Although it starts out with a ridiculous soliloquy about how musicians don’t get any love while they are living (Dan and I  differ strongly on that one), I like Rebel Way a lot. It has some great guitar licks, and it just has a nice smooth sound. So Long is also a nice tune with a nice message.

The strength of this album are the other voices that contribute to the sixteen tracks on the album. Lots of women provide both background and major participation on  many of the songs. The musicianship is also solid. While there are lots of sounds that get mixed in (including a lion’s roar), there is guitar work, drumming, and some horn work that is fantastic.

Now let me get out what drove me away from this album. When I realized who Snoop Lion is, the album turned into more of a novelty joke album. Snoop sings on many of the songs with a Jamaican accent, which seems ridiculous. When he sings Smoke the Weed it could not be sillier. He brings Miley Cyrus in to duet with him on Ashtrays and Heartbreaks. No comment. 

I don’t deny Snoop Dogg/Snoop Doggy Dogg/ Snoopzilla/DJ Snoopadelic/Snoop Lion the right to make a reggae album, but the whole name change seems gimmicky and one more of the antics that he has been known to pull throughout his career. I have seen him and his shtick enough to not really take him very seriously. 

Next Up:  Acoustic at the Ryman by Band of Horses

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