Slightly Stoopid

Closer to the Sun

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Slightly Stoopid create a soothing, folksy-cum-reggae feel on most of this album. Whether it is the relaxed, laid-back Jack Johnson-like vibe on "Intro" or the ensuing subtle yet rich "Babylon Is Falling," comparisons to Marley would be likely. Thankfully, they keep several of these songs within a pop framework, most clocking under three minutes as the basslines propel them along. "Somebody" is more radio-friendly, with its faux hip-hop feeling mixed with a basic beach groove à la Jason Mraz or a funk-filled John Mayer. The imagery of cannabis is ever-present, especially on the enjoyable and infectious hook on "Fat Spliffs." It's not quite dub reggae, but has a similar punch. However, "Bandelero," the lewd "Till It Gets Wet," and the extremely mellow "Older" tend to stray too much into a cute and almost manufactured reggae flair like Inner Circle or a poor man's Sean Paul. There are moments when they show you a completely polar opposite musical side, with a hardcore punk romp during "Nothin Over Me." But it is more an aberration when listening to the rap-meets-reggae of "This Joint." About halfway through the album, one feels they are starting to run out of ideas musically, thus beginning to painfully repeat similar arrangements and melodies. Highlights include the acoustic-tinged "Don't Care," featuring Billy and Prof Most, and the bizarre yet entertaining "Righteous Man," which is a punk song that opens like a classic Santana tune. The sleeper pick, though, could be the underplayed "Up on a Plane," which UB40 would be envious of with its piano accents. There is a fine winding instrumental entitled "Zeplike," which has Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald complementing each other nicely.

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