Review: Snoop Lion – Reincarnated
Published on April 28th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Let’s start with the positives: “Boulevard” has a nice, feelgood sort of ska groove about it, and “Fruit Juice” is a welcome round of weirdness that features the either-brilliant-or-awful-but-we’re-inclined-to-give-it-the-benefit-of-the-doubt lyrics, courtesy of Mr Vegas, “Natural berries are so very good for the system / Some taut, some sweet, me just can’t resist ’em”.
Dogg Lion is that guy whose smoked-out drawl lit up Doggystyle and The Chronic, two of the greatest hip-hop records ever made. That’s got to count for something, right?
Look at that LP cover: what a succinct testament to the very evident fact that Snoop has finally smoked himself too far out of sight. The man thinks he’s the reincarnation of Bob Marley, for crying out loud: that’s full-blown dementia. Dogg’s found a new trick with this whole reggae schtick but it emulates more than it innovates, sounding at best heartfelt and at worst totally misguided.
It was almost impossible not to be sceptical about this whole rebranding, so Snoop has been up against it from the off; he had to deliver something spectacular, and has resoundingly not done so. His singing voice is agreeable without being anywhere near as compelling as his erstwhile flow, the messages – taking care of “Mother Earth” and whatnot – from a good place but largely devoid of artistry.
“Lighters Up” overwhelms its pleasing rumble of brass with a procession of dance hall clichés, and even when a characteristically whirlwind Busta Rhymes cameo lights up “Remedy” it merely fuels an inkling that he – or guest artists capable of a similar impact (not Drake or Rita flippin’ Ora, who appear on “No Guns Allowed” and “Torn Apart” respectively) – should have been used more.
In a nod back to his seminal work with Dr Dre, Snoop Lion extols the virtues of smoking weed “every day” on “Smoke the Weed”. It may have worked for him then, but all that smoke would now appear to have clouded his judgement somewhat.
Rocksucker says: One and a Half Quails out of Five!