Recording information: Circle House Studios, Miami, FL; Conway Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Crescent Moon Studios, Miami, FL; Estudio Santito, Buenes Aires, Argentina; Glenwood Place Studios, Burbank, CA; No Excuses Studio, Santa Monica, CA; South Beach Studios, Miami Beach, FL; Studio 26, Miami, FL; Studios At The Setai, Miami Beach, FL; The Hit Factory Criteria, Miami, FL; the Record Plant, Hollywood, CA; The Studios At The Palms, Las Vegas, NV; Thomas Crown Studios, Virginia Beach, VA.
Photographer: Philippe Jarrigeon.
Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. was doing more than fine as Snoop Dogg, but after a 2012 trip to Jamaica, he became convinced that reggae was his true calling and that the Rastafarian lifestyle would guide the rest of his life as Snoop Lion. Three years later and his disco-funk album Bush -- a Snoop Dogg release -- resets everything for the masses, but this slick, star-studded effort produced by Pharrell owes a lot to 7 Days of Funk, the 2013 G-funk throwback project Snoop recorded with underground producer Dƒm-Funk. If that fine return-to-form was Funkadelic, this album is Parliament, and maybe even "Atomic Dog"-era George Clinton, as one party starter after another rolls out, all of them singalong-worthy with Snoop's stingers and punch lines making him the undisputed Doggfather. This album is so knowingly cool, it daringly opens with the midtempo "California Roll," a song that steals the feel of the Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney collaboration "The Girl Is Mine," enlists Stevie Wonder as a guest for his sunshine-bright harmonica, and gives up the album's main influence with "Girl, you could be a movie star, in Los Angeles/Get yourself a medical card, in Los Angeles." "This City" looks out the limo's windows and watches the L.A. dispensaries fly by at a disco pace, then "R U A Freak" kicks like Chic, with the lyric "this beat is murder" being the only kind of 187 that Snoop speaks on here. Detractors can complain that the revolutionary and dangerous artist who stood with Dr. Dre and 2Pac has offered an album with just ten different versions of "Sensual Seduction," but Bush is in love with its city and the amount of great weed within it, and that's the kind of platform Kendrick Lamar (oil) and Rick Ross (water) can agree on during the closing highlight "I'm Ya Dogg." This excellent balance of cool and crowd-pleasing should have been there to help celebrate when California legalized medical marijuana, but better late than never is the way of the stoner. Accept Bush as a delayed dank disco triumph, and then drop it like it's hot, one more time. ~ David Jeffries
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "BUSH uses the genre's rhythmic groove to portray Los Angeles as a smoky, sexy, sunshiny wonderland where every day feels like a block party."
Billboard - "The beats are all about the feel-good, retro-disco-lite that has become Williams' calling card in the past few years."
Pitchfork (Website) - "BUSH was conceived as a tribute to the funk and R&B of the 1970s, and the familiar wail of Stevie Wonder's harmonica on the stand-out opener, 'California Roll', establishes the mood."
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