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SNOOP DOGG Tha Blue Carpet Treatment
 

SNOOP DOGG Tha Blue Carpet Treatment

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In recent years Snoop Dogg has worked his name more as celebrity than rap star -- and as such today he's almost more famous for hawking product on television than stuttering gangsta rhymes and pushing G-funk grooves. Thing is, though, even if he's peering at you from behind a cell phone, the guy's still got loads of charisma. Everyone loves Snoop; no wonder he's in such demand.

But maybe even Mr. Dogg himself is tiring of the pop-celebrity circuit, which may help explain why, on his eighth album Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, he's turned a 180, eschewing nods toward pop and instead embracing his Doggystyle roots.

Snoop pulled in some heavy hitters to help him on this one: producers include Timbaland, Neptunes, and Dr. Dre while guest performers run from D'Angelo, E-40, Ice Cube, and Akon to iconic old schoolers George Clinton and even Stevie Wonder. But no matter who's doing what on which song, Snoop stays flowing on top -- he's the voice you hear and walk away remembering, which, when it's your album, is how it should be.

Now just because he's turned back toward the West Coast gangsta style that got him his initial acclaim doesn't mean he's only going through a series of cheap-thug motions. This album is no mere throwback: Blue Carpet is sophisticated stuff, from the eerie, dirty, tension-rigged beats that propel the Timbaland-produced "Get A Light" to the captivating snap that grips "10 Lil' Crips," a song that in lesser hands (not that of the masterful Neptunes) would likely wind up a ten-cent throwaway.

With Snoop it's all about style. He's got words and rhymes, sure, but most of all he's got that trademark laid-back flow, and it's crazy infectious -- once you dig in, no matter what he's mumbling about (dope, ladies, guns, dancing), it's hard to let go. His voice keeps "Round Here" cool and easy while the Dre production adds a dark, intense undertone. On the other hand is the staccato attack "Think About It," an early album standout, where Snoop's words snap like rapid-fire shots across a '70s soul-jam groove -- and it's the combination that pulls you right in, even if you can't figure out (or maybe don't even care) what he's actually saying.

Stylistically and thematically Blue Carpet is a bit unsettled -- on one hand is "10 Lil' Crips," on the other the R. Kelly groove "That's That S***" and the toned-down peace-and-love-baked "Imagine." It's not strictly gangsta, but neither is it taking a full stand against hip-hop clichés. Nevertheless, like his personality and that ever-present languid drawl, Blue Carpet remains infectious. Hit repeat and let the sweet sounds flow all over again. Innovative? Perhaps not so much. But the kind of record you find yourself throwing on for the 16th time in a week? Now that tells you something, doesn't it.

By A.P. Delaney

1. Intrology - Featuring George Clinton

2. Think About It

3. Crazy - Featuring Nate Dogg

4. Vato - Featuring B-Real

5. That's That S*** - Featuring R. Kelly

6. Candy (Drippin' Like Water) - Featuring E-40, MC Eiht, Goldie Loc, Daz And Kurupt

7. Get A Light - Featuring Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley

8. Gangbangan 101 - Featuring The Game

9. Boss' Life - Featuring Akon

10. LAX - Featuring Ice Cube

11. 10 Lil' Crips

12. Round Here

13. A B**** I Knew

14. Like This - Featuring Damani, Soopafly, Bad Lucc, Latoiya Williams & Raul Midon

15. Which One Of You - Featuring Nine Inch D**

16. I Wanna Love You - Featuring Akon

17. Psst! - Featuring Jamie Foxx

18. Beat Up On Yo Pads

19. Don't Stop - Featuring Goldie Loc, MC Eiht, Kam And Kurupt

20. Imagine - Featuring Dr. Dre & D'Angelo

21. Conversations - Featuring Stevie Wonder
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Last Updated: 17 Dec 2007 19:13:31 PST home  |  about  |  terms  |  contact
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