What differentiates the Kottonmouth Kings' Cloud Nine from the rest of their huge discography isn't the subject matter -- it's still weed, rebellion, weed, and weed -- but the general feeling that about a quarter of the songs here are more influenced by the Cali alt-rock of Sugar Ray and Smash Mouth than ICP, even though the evil clowns do show up for the "blaze your own trails" anthem "Think 4 Yourself." There are still those punk numbers that sound like the Beastie Boys if they never grew up and some good, hard-hitting hip-hop, like when guest Tech N9ne shines all over "City 2 City," but "One Day" is a surprisingly bright and dreamy number that perfectly suits a bunch of punkish stoners growing old. The reggae light of "Pass It Around" would play fine at any all-inclusive resort, and the laid-back "Proud to Be a Stoner" sounds like it was found stuck between the seats of a 1972 hippie van. If there's any reason to worry about this mellowing, it's that sometimes the production sounds too button-up for the punk and rock-rap numbers, although "Loadies" gets it just right thanks to some gutsy fuzz guitar. A few fans might fall off, a few fans might jump on because of the group's ever-growing love of chillin' and sunshine, but this otherwise straight-up-the-middle Kings album won't surprise or sway most.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
Track Listing - Disc 1
feat: Insane Clown Posse
feat: B Real
feat: Sen Dog