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New Snoop Dogg album heavy on funk, light on Snoop

By Eric Carman

Snoop Dogg, Snoop Lion, Snoopzilla, Snoop Doggy Dogg, or whatever you want to call the West Coast-based hip hop artist who released his first album in 1991, has returned with his 13th studio project: “BUSH.” The album, produced by R&B singer Pharrell, was released May 12.

A somewhat surprising fact about the EP is that, at first listen, it doesn’t really sound like a traditional Snoop Dogg project. The album strays from traditional verses and bars, and is instead a much more funky and pop-oriented experience.

As far as track-by-track, the album is consistently catchy, fun, sexy, and all around enjoyable. But this pretty accurately describes every last track on the album, which is all close to the same sound. The uniform funk that covers the album is inescapable, even for a second.

The features on the project tie in very nicely, especially in the song “I’m Ya Dogg” which includes a verse from Rick Ross and Kendrick Lamar.  Stevie Wonder starts off the album with the track “California Roll,” delivering one of the many catchy hooks that appears throughout the album. Other notable features include TI and Gwen Stefani on tracks “Eatibles” and “Run Away” respectively.

The album’s prominent flaw is also surprisingly one of its strongest elements. The production, while very upbeat and pleasing to listen to, takes over the entire project. The sound throughout the entire project provides the exact same feel, with almost unrelenting catchy-ness and overly saturated funk. Sure, calling a Snoop Dogg album “too funky” might be a strange complaint, but the production gets to the point where the listener can’t even distinguish Snoop’s voice from the background vocals. The resulting sound is pleasant, but not very interesting.

Another critique to note is the surprising lack of actual verses from the artist himself. Snoop is singing on a majority of the project, whether it be verses or the radio-pandering hooks, which somewhat detract from the hip hop feel of the project. This might be problematic for traditional fans of the Dogg.

All in all, BUSH is a fairly pleasant experience with a good summer vibe, and this is most likely Snoop and Pharrell’s goal. Aside from the value of his name on the project, however, Snoop Dogg is hardly contributing any of his talent or distinguishability to it. The album really doesn’t stand on its own alongside Snoop’s many accolades and achievements preceding it.

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