Monthly Archives: January 2020

G. LOVE – The Juice

Album: The Juice

Artist: G. Love

Label: Philadelphonic/Thirty Tigers

Release Date: January 17, 2020

http://www.thirtytigers.com/

By John B. Moore

While G. Love’s latest, The Juice, is technically a solo album, he still filled the studio with plenty of friends for the outing. Most prominently was former labelmate Keb Mo, who co-produced, co-wrote and performs on several songs across the record.

Other guests who stopped by the studio include Marcus King, Robert Randolph, Roosevelt Collier and Ron Artis. And while this slew of new voices and players don’t entirely change the unique vibe and sound G. Love has build up over the past 25 years, it does expand on his funky, Jazz, R&B, Pop fusion quite a bit. He leans heavily into the Blues on tracks like “Fix Your Face,” and the track “Shake Your Hair” hardly sounds like a G. Love song until you hear his distinct vocals, a mix of Philly immediacy strained through a southern drawl.

The album kicks off with the title track (which also closes the record), one of his most overtly political songs with nods to the #MeToo Movement and general equality. His lyrics – almost a trademark in goofiness that surprisingly almost always manage to work – do come off a little too forced now and then on this record (most notably on the eye-rolling “Soulbque”). But that odd knack for turn of phrase shines beautifully on a song like the sweet “She’s The Rock,” one of G. Love’s closest attempts to a Pop song yet.

At this point, more than two and a half decades in, you pretty much know what to expect with a G. Love record. Love him or not, he’s consistently content doing his own thing as musical fads come and go. The Juice seems to keep the streak going, even if it’s tweaked ever so slightly on this outing.

Download: “The Juice,” “Shake Your Hair” and “She’s The Rock”

MARSHALL CRENSHAW – Miracle Of Science

Album: Miracle Of Science

Artist: Marshall Crenshaw

Label: Shiny Tone

Release Date: January 17, 2020

www.marshalcrenshaw.com

By John B. Moore

This mid-1990s record was Marshall Crenshaw’s first for the indie Razor & Tie and simultaneously marked his move into a more indie mindset. Recorded at least partially at his own home and playing just about all the instruments, its’ also the record that comes closest to Crenshaw’s brilliant 1982 debut.

Having regained ownership of his efforts from the Razor & Tie era, Miracle Of Science is the first of four albums Crenshaw is re-releasing on his own Shiny-Tone label. The album is a little all over the place musically which makes for a pretty satisfying experience. From an instrumental (“Theme From Flaregun”), a solid cover of an overrated song (Crenshaw gives Dobbie Gray’s “The In Crowd” more respect that it really deserves) to a handful of pop songs that are as good as many of his better known hits, Miracle Of Science is a fantastic exercise in musical creativity. The twangy “There And Back Again,” and “Who Stole hat Train,” the closest Crenshaw has come to a Southern Rock song, are both positively addictive.

The album also includes three bonus tracks – Daniel Wylie’s “Misty Dreamer” Michel Pagliaro’s “What The Hell I Got” and the Crenshaw original, “Seven Miles An Hour”. The latter is the most impressive of the trio. A great album that deserves a whole new audience.

Download: “Who Stole That Train,” “There And Back Again” and “Starless Summer Sky”