G. Love & Special Sauce – Love Saves The Day
1.) Love Saves The Day
2.) Dis Song
3.) That Girl
4.) Back To Boston
5.) New York City
6.) R U Kidding Me?!
8.) Baby Why You Do Me Like That
9.) Let’s Have A Good Time
10.) Peanut Butter Lips
11.) Pick Up The Phone
12.) Lil’ Run Around
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: October 30th, 2015
Official Website: G Love Website
The Philadelphia based trio consisting of G. Love (Vocals/Guitar), Jim Prescott (Bass) and Jeffrey Clemens (Drums) have been playing their signature blend of Blues, Rock and Hip-Hop since forming in 1993. After a lengthy hiatus, the band reformed for their 20th anniversary and released their album Sugar in 2014 to both critical and fan acclaim. As a result of their lengthy hiatus, the band’s creative workflow from Sugar carried over into their latest project Love Saves The Day.
Sonny Boy Williamson. Lead Belly. Robert Johnson. Howlin’ Wolf. G. Love & Special Sauce?
The Blues is one of only a few things in this world that is uniquely American, yet it is a dying and under-appreciated art form in today’s world. With B.B. King’s death earlier in 2015, it seemed that the Blues would disappear into history with him, and then G. Love & Special Sauce released Love Saves The Day. This isn’t an imitation of the famous Mississippi Delta Blues, rather a rejuvenated version of it featuring hints of Hip-Hop, Jazz, and some good ol’ Rock & Roll.
G. Love & Special Sauce take a defibrillator to the tired old blues with their opening track “Love Saves The Day,” a high-energy and hard-hitting rock tune featuring Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo that will put every piece of wiring in your sound system to work. The band then goes back to the sound that made them famous with “Dis Song,” a lyrically hip-hop based song backed by zydeco instrumentals that’s as simple as it is fun to sing along to.
In terms of sound and production, the first two songs are a precursor for the rest of the album. Both of these songs feature the band’s superior instrumental ability, G. Love’s signature vocal styling, and strong production value, however the vocal track on both songs seemed to be diluted under the instrumental track and I unfortunately found that trait present at times over the course of the album. Despite that aspect, I found little else to be critical of.
The band successfully executes their signature sound on songs “That Girl,” “Back to Boston,” and even on their cover of Lead Belly’s “New York City” which features acclaimed vocalist Lucinda Williams. Although Williams and G. Love don’t have the most harmonious of duets on this track, their individual vocals, coupled with an energetic series of keys and guitar riffs, both pay homage and bring new life to this classic tune.
We hear more strong collaborations on the album’s first single “Muse” with Citizen Cope, “Let’s Have a Good Time” featuring legendary rock band Ozomatli, the groovy “Baby Why You Do Me Like That?” with DJ Logic, and “Pick Up The Phone” featuring up-and-coming singer/songwriter Kristy Lee. When discussing the collaborative process, G. Love said, “When you have the opportunity to collaborate with musicians that you love, admire and respect, it’s such an honor and it brings out the best in everyone.”
The album comes to a strong close with signature G. Love & Special Sauce sounding songs “Peanut Butter Lips” and “Lil’ Run Around.”
Overall, Love Saves The Day feels like a series of professionally recorded jam sessions. You can feel and hear the passion that G. Love & Special Sauce have for their music, and the fact that this album was recorded so soon after the release of 2014s Sugar shows that the band’s creative fire continues to burn unwaveringly. While some of the vocals on this album seem to get lost, it’s only a testament to the quality of the band’s instrumental skill. G. Love & Special Sauce may not be blues legends just yet, but they’re one of the few artists keeping the genre alive, and doing a damn good job of it. In this case, I guess you could say Love Saves The Day saves the day.
Written & Reviewed By: Andrew Aroche
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]
Listen: G Love & Special Sauce – “Muse” (ft. Citizen Cope)