(c)2008 Suburban Noize Records
Sometimes you watch an action movie and you leave the theater feeling like a badass, humming the Mission Impossible theme, hoping your car’s transformed into a James-Bond-mobile. You know that feeling… I just had a Fast & Furious movie marathon, so it left me in one of those post-car-chase-movie moods. Had I been looking for a soundtrack to keep that “I’m a misunderstood rebel car guy from SoCal” feeling alive, I’d throw in the Kottonmouth Kings new disc, “The Green Album”.
I’m not a gangsta. I’m not from SoCal. I’ve never listened to the Kottonmouth Kings before, so I can’t judge this album, their 10th full-length, in comparison to any previous works. That said, “The Green Album” is a decent assortment of 20 tracks that start off like a road race street party but winds down to a backyard love fest.
This album is ripe with more contradictions. Peppered between the self-referential call-out tracks (Legacy, K.O.T.T.O.N.M.O.U.T.H Song, Puff n Tuff, What U In 4) are songs promoting global responsibility (Stand, Plant a Seed), highlighting the band’s pledge to donate a portion of the proceeds to environmental causes. “Where I’m Going” is a beautiful piece of remorseful retrospection, lamenting the state that aging slacker/stoners face, but it makes you question: How deep does the macho posturing from previous tracks “Don’t Give A F*ck” and “Happy” run? Despite a message of eco-consciousness in the packaging, the embarrassing “Sex Toy” promotes disrespect. (Side note to the ladies: if any boy says he thinks of you after hearing this song, punch him in the face. Hard.) Kottonmouth Kings are not my style of music, and while there’s a song I hate, there’s a song that I absolutely love that’s going on the Monday-Morning-Mix of awesome songs: pop-punk anthem style “Super Hero“.
If you’re already a fan, I doubt “The Green Album” will disappoint. As a newcomer, I was suitably impressed. Though the album has mood swings like my bi-polar great-aunt Mary, the wide range helps showcase their versatility as musicians. These kids seem pretty prolific, so maybe their next album will have tracks with a bit more balance and will seem like less of a dichotomy.