On his fifth and most confident album yet, G.
On his fifth and most confident album yet, G. Love continues marrying rootsy blues with modern influences in the church of hip-hop; this time out, he adds touches of classic rock and psychedelia, among other references. The opening track, "Unified," shows G. Love going to Jamaica; over a bouncy ska rhythm, he chants a socially conscious plea for one-world unity (only to conclude that "the world is not ready"). From there he moves to New Orleans, with creeping funk that recalls Dr. John's "Walk on Gilded Splinters." On "Night of the Living Dead," Zeppelin meets zydeco before the tune lurches into a Jerry Garcia-like pop tune that evokes the Dead of the song's title. "Hopeless" finds G. Love rapping defiantly over a rock track that suggests Jefferson Airplane with a vaguely Indian slant. And the closing "Sarah's Song" is a straight bluegrass love song, complete with pedal steel. Young fans will no doubt gravitate to "Parasite," on which G. Love's swaggering rap cuts across an organic Beastie-Boys-imitating-the-Meters-style jam of B-3 organ and loopy guitar. There's a lot of meat on this record, and G. Love serves it with effortless, streetwise flair.—SA