Nothing Like Home Is Right
In a twenty year span, G. Love & Special Sauce has stayed consistent genre-wise. The lineup has had its changes, but for the first time since the group started, it’s back to square one. The original trio has released their latest album, Sugar, and has stayed true to its roots. The same hip-hop and blues fusion found on the first recordings lives on in this album.
There is little to no variation between the different tracks on the album– each are the same mid-tempo blues groove with an addition of G. Love’s vocals. He doesn’t sound spot on rhythm-wise, but he does add a uniquely lazy delivery of lyrics and, love it or hate it, it’s always been a defining aspect of the group’s sound. It’s almost nonsensical until you realize it is intentional.
The lead single of the album, “Nothing Else Quite Like Home,” fits with the idea of the original trio being back together. “Oh no / There’s nothing else quite like home.” It’s simple enough with the trio plus a little shock from the guitar and harmonica that keep you on your toes, a straightforward jam with just a little kick. “One Night Romance” stands out not because it features Merry Clayton, but because Clayton holds her own with G. Love’s sloppy vocal delivery. They complement each other in a way that seems strange, but the song uses bare instrumentals versus their precise, yet unorganized delivery. “One night romance / Baby, get up let’s dance.”
Clearly blues influenced, but with an attitude that’s based in hip-hop, G. Love’s delivery makes up for the sparseness in the music. If you’re looking for the standard blues songs with “blues” in the title, the album does boast two of those. G. Love and the band do what’s worked for them in the past. It’s more uptempo and features more of a partying attitude than your typical blues album, but in the end, it’s a nice melding of the two genres.