After weeks of waiting, days of counting, and minutes willing Best Buy to open, I finally have my anticipated new albums, G. Love and Special Sauces' "Superhero Brother" and Amos Lee's "Last Days at the Lodge" (review coming later). I am pleased to say that both albums were 100% worth the wait, and "Superhero Brother" may be my favorite release of the summer (except for next week's John Mayer release, "Where the Light Is", obviously)....MORE "Superhero Brother" was a perfect album to me, because you can see hints of older albums, keeping with past styles, and you can see where Garrett (G. Love) and band really pushed their music and went in new directions. The best decision they made when creating this album was leaving out guest appearances by other artists. I say this because it gave Garrett and the other members of the band a chance to show that they have really grown as musicians and songwriters and they needed to showcase this by themselves. Although "Rainbow" with Jack Johnson and "Beautiful" with Tristan Prettyman are really fantastic songs, the last album "Lemonade" focused on these guest appearances (also including Ben Harper, Blackalicious, and Marc Broussard) while the other songs on the album were just as good, if not better.
But "Superhero Brother" really goes above and beyond "Lemonade". With several funky jams, beutiful acoustic tunes, and the first single "Peace, Love and Happiness", it will be hard to find a better album this summer.
G. Love states that his inspiration for this album, and particularly "Peace, Love and Happiness" came from spending time in the slums of Rio de Janeiro with children. After seeing these children and the conditions they lived in, and seeing that they still had a positive outlook on life, how could he not be thankful for what he has and remain positive? The title track "Superhero Brother" also speaks about how superhero brother G. Love can rid the world of it's problems.
The opening track, which makes you feel like you are put in the middle of the song, "Communication" spells out what we all need a little more of. Bassist Jimi Prescott appears to have won his argument with G. Love from their documentary "A Year and A Night", about playing electric bass, which is heard in several songs on this album, despite G.'s strong feels against it.
The second song on this album is my favorite. "City Livin'" features a tropical sound with electric guitar and a brass section. The song points out that city living can bring a person down, but "whatcha gonna do when the sun don't shine on you? Keep on shining through." I could go on for hours about things I love about this song, so spare yourselves and just download it.
My other favorite song on this album is "What We Need" (is to pull it together now). The beginning is so funky it makes me think that Sly and the Family Stone are there jamming. "Georgia Brown" is quite the funky jam as well.
This album also includes a few songs that have been featured on past G. Love set lists, such as "Wiggleworm", which can remind you of the "wiggle while you jiggle" JELLO commercials, and "Who's Got the Weed", which really needs no explanation.
I love this album because Garrett stayed true to things he cares about in his songs, his son, the state of the world, Philadelphia, weed, and fresh rhymes. But musically the band expanded and the Special Sauce has finally hit their groove. This album is their best effort yet, and I'm sure the summer tour will be proof of that!
SONGS TO CHECK OUT:
(The whole album)
Peace, Love and Happiness
What We Need