This may be the first time the words “Kottonmouth Kings” and “genuine” have been used together in a review, but there is something genuine about the critically reviled rock-rap group’s 18th studio effort, Sunrise Sessions. They may still be the unhippest thing after the Insane Clown Posse and there’s absolutely nothing here for the ironic mustache set, but this reggae-fueled effort finds the herb-friendly group aging gracefully and getting turned on to new -- to them -- things, like maybe the jam band scene. They’re really enthused about it too, as if they just returned from a good run of jammy festivals with the woozy “Stay Stoned” representing the late-night campfire singalong and “Great to Be Alive” skanking with that positive Michael Franti or Ziggy Marley vibe. Believe it or not, the album closes with a pleasing series of subdued numbers that are best taken cross-legged and with a slow creeping sativa. With the chill numbers outdoing the rap-rock anthems for a change, the skateboard-riding, bird-flipping faction of the group’s loyal following might not be as loyal anymore, but that’s their loss. Jam time suits the Kings, so think of Sunrise Sessions as a new dawn (and then wonder how the cliché-loving bandmembers themselves didn’t save “Wake n Bake” for this one).
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries