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RECORD RACK

Light and breezy 'cause fans like it

June 24, 2008|Mikael Wood

G. Love & Special Sauce

"Superhero Brother"

(Brushfire)

* * 1/2

It's unlikely that anyone's more surprised by how long G. Love has managed to stick around than G. Love himself. The funky Philadelphian (born Garrett Dutton) first appeared on the national radar in 1994 with the MTV hit "Cold Beverage" -- a laid-back fusion of blues licks and hip-hop beats -- and since then, he and his backing band, Special Sauce, have built a devoted audience. .

On "Superhero Brother," the third album he's made for his pal Jack Johnson's Brushfire label, Love seems determined to reward his devotees with more of what attracted them in the first place. This is unapologetically breezy stuff, long on strummed acoustic guitars and shuffling rhythms. Most of the tunes emphasize the value of having a good time; several go into more detail, such as "Who's Got the Weed?"

As with Johnson's records, there's a temptation here to wonder if Love is running some kind of cynical musical experiment, a sort of how-low-can-I-go operation. But every time you start to doubt his sincerity, Love busts out a guileless little gem like "Wontcha Come Home," where he tells a lover, "There's no need for looking when you find what you need."

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-- Mikael Wood

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Albums are rated on a scale of four stars (excellent), three stars (good), two stars (fair) and one star (poor). Albums reviewed have been released.

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