View Full Version : Album Review: G. Love, "Lemonade" (Brushfire)

08-10-2006, 09:56 PM
Lemonade is a refreshing summertime drink. What a shock, then, that "Lemonade," from Philadelphia's G. Love </B>(music (http://talk.livedaily.com/musicstore/index.php?Operation=ItemSearch&Keywords=G.-Love&SearchIndex=Music)), is a refreshing summertime album.
Bright and sunny with plenty of guests, G. Love's second album on pal Jack Johnson's Brushfire label is a fun, easy listen--a perfect soundtrack to backyard hanging' or block party bumpin'.
Much of "Lemonade" echoes G. Love's earlier music. The Philly hip-hop bluesman isn't breaking any new ground here. "Hot Cookin" recalls "Rodeo Clowns," only with some organ filling out the empty spaces. "Can't Go Back to Jersey" is a bouncy blast of funk that brings to mind "This Ain't Livin'," from G.'s eponymous '94 debut. "Banger," with Blackalicious and Lateef the Truth Speaker, exists in a realm similar to the tough tunes G. Love dropped on "Yeah, It's That Easy," from 1997. Still, for fans of innocent, easygoing sounds, "Lemonade" could be the perfect elixir.
While he's never been much of a lyricist--opener "Ride" features the wack line, "I know what I know / I don't know nothin' else"--G. Love's appeal comes more from his swaggering street style--together with his grooving acoustic guitar and spirited harmonica. Perpetually positive, the man and his music are altogether likable.
No wonder, then, that G. Love can get friends like Ben Harper, Jack Johnson and Blackalicious to chill and contribute some cool vocals of their own. The sweetest surprise here comes courtesy of Tristan Prettyman, a San Diego surfer who comes across as Jack Johnson's female alter-ego. Prettyman and G. Love share the mic on "Beautiful," a loose campfire groove custom made for summer loving and campfire cuddling. All this makes "Lemonade" a rewarding, easy-to-dig album. No topical tunes here--just refreshing songs to help you wile away the summer.