Various Artists

The Wash

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More than just another rap soundtrack, The Wash actually functions more as a Dr. Dre album. The West Coast don not only executive produces the album but also produces a few tracks and even raps on three. And the tracks that don't feature him no doubt reflect his influence -- most of the producers here clearly studied at the Dr. Dre school of beatmaking. It's perhaps not a surprise, then, that The Wash sounds an awful lot like Chronic 2001. Dre and Snoop Dogg anchor the album and perform on the album's best songs, including the title track, which consciously references "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" with not only its lyrics, but also its beats. Furthermore, like Chronic 2001, The Wash features a large cast of performers, most from the West Coast and several relatively unknown, big-name exceptions being D12, Bilal, Xzibit, Busta Rhymes, and Bubba Sparxxx. Of the unknowns, two singers/rappers in particular get the spotlight: Shaunta and Knoc-Turn'al, both signed to Dre's Aftermath label and both making their debuts here. The soundtrack's highlight comes on "Bad Intentions," one of Dre's most club-oriented songs ever. Overall, The Wash could use a few more standout moments. The D12 and Bubba Sparxxx songs are impressive but unfortunately out of place on such a West Coast-centric album. More than anything, though, it's worth giving this album a listen even if only to hear Dre's changing sound -- his trademark production sound is all over this soundtrack.

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