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G Love And Special Sauce - Superhero Brother

G Love & Special Sauce, Superhero Brother

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

G LOVE and Special Sauce’s Superhero Brother is their third album for Jack Johnson’s Brushfire label, and 10th overall, in a career that now spans 15 years. In many ways, it’s tailor-made for that particular label given its laidback charms.

The LP offers a generally agreeable mix of political and party songs that combine hip-hop tendencies with acoustic rock and even Beatles-influenced blues-rock. It’s not entirely successful, but at its best it’ll succeed in putting a smile on your face and keeping it there.

Commenting on the album himself, G Love says of the latest batch of songs: “I think of us as a rock and roll group. We definitely incorporate a lot of different flavours, which is why we tried to focus on what we’re known for this time… Making sure the backbeats are funky. Each song tells a unique story, both in subject and musical style.”

That funkiness is evident on songs such as album highlight Crumble, a deceptive charmer that begins with a lounge piano introduction before settling into an easygoing slice of blue-eyed Philly soul. The central guitar riff running through it is particularly pleasing.

It’s immediately followed by another gem, the hip-hop inflicted What We Need, which combines a well-seasoned Chambers Brothers-style funk-rock with the style of Cream’s I Feel Free. Once again, the bluesy guitar solo is a real pulse quickener.

As is former single Peace, Love And Happiness, which drops a red-hot Stones-y Sympathy for the Devil vibe over its plea for people to chill out a little more.

Look out, too, for the harmonica-laced City Livin;, which cuts quite a funky strut to really get the album into gear, the reggae-tinged Wontcha Come Home (a track that encapsulates the Brushfire ethos), the blissful ode to getting high that is Who’s Got The Weed and the bluesy title track Superhero Brother.
In fact, apart from a few self-indulgent excursions into jazz, there’s not much to dislike about this album. So, kick back and enjoy this new G Love And Special Sauce mix.

Download picks: Peace, Love And Happiness, What We Need, Crumble, Who’s Got The Weed, City Livin’, Superhero Brother

Track listing:

  1. Communication
  2. City Livin
  3. Wiggle Worm
  4. Peace, Love and Happiness
  5. Soft and Sweet
  6. Wontcha Come Home
  7. Crumble
  8. What We Need
  9. Grandmother
  10. Georgia Brown
  11. Who’s Got The Weed
  12. Superhero Brother
  13. Seashells