by YDload USER (16 Reviews)
January 18th, 2005 | 86 replies

Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

This is my review of Sublime's self-titled album. It was released in 1996, just days after frontman Brad Nowell died of a heroin overdose. In a bittersweet twist, this album was the most successful, memorable, and probably the greatest of Sublime's short career. It's eclectic mix of so many different music styles (chief among them are rock, punk, dub, reggae, hip-hop, and probably more!). The narratives in the lyrics take the listener on a journey through the LBC, and it's quite a ride. Nowell's considerable guitar skills and the skills of his bandmates create catchy, groovy, and awesome music to complement the lyrics. A song-by-song review explains these tracks in more depth.

1. Garden Grove (4:21): The first song starts off with a kind of acoustic/reggae rock sound, with some turntable scratches here and there. It's pretty neat, but I have a hard time thinking of it as "memorable." 4/5

2. What I Got (2:51): Signature song alert! It's a great song, with a jumpy, hip-hop drum beat in the beginning and some great acoustic work by Brad. More of his semi-rapping/ reggae vocals and turntable scratches are found here. A widely-played song that deserves it. 4.5/5

3. Wrong Way (2:16): Another famous song by them, with an almost-ska feel, especially with the trombone in the bridge. Great bass line that's always fun to play, and good lyrics make this a solid song. 4.5/5

4. Same in the End (2:36): If you've ever caught yourself or someone else singing "Wrong Way," and you or they immediately end the song on a pause, and then start singing "Down in Mississippi where the sun beats down from the sky," then I'm sure one of you have heard this song before. It's really fast-paced and awesome, with some great riffs. 5/5

5. April 29, 1992 (3:53): I usually skip this song because it's more of a gangsta rap/ reggae song than what you might expect from the last few tracks. I used to not like it very much, but I've become hooked on the bassline and the smooth-yet-angry style of the song. This one has definitely grown on me, and I'll give it a better rating from now on. 4.5/5

6. Santeria (3:03): One more radio single for this album, and it's a great ballad-type deal. Probably the second-best guitar work on the album, after a rather-overlooked track to be discussed later. Don't forget that bass! All in all, a beautiful tune with lyrics that become rather threatening. I think of it as a tropical island with storm clouds in the distance: a little unnerving, but easily ignored and benign. 5/5

7. Seed (2:10): This song is on the playlist for the "Tony Hawk's Underground" video game, and I had almost forgotten how great of a song it is. It alternates between fast-paced punkness and a little bit of reggae stylings, and a really neat solo too. Don't miss this one. 4/5

8. Jailhouse (4:53): This is a really mellow song, but like "Santeria" it has some really uncharacteristic lyrical content about sodomy and whatnot. Kind of creepy, and I don't listen to it a lot. Probably because it seems pretty long without any major style changes like the other songs. But hey, at least there was that little guitar solo in there. 3/5

9. Pawn Shop (6:06): This is the longest song on the album, and I don't usually listen to it, but let me say this: It's definitely a unique song. An abrasive guitar riff in the beginning that turns into a sort of distorted solo, with a groovy bass line and a reggae-style keyboard riff. I actually kind of like it, but I guess it's usually too long to sit through. Foolish me, this guitar stuff is so neat! It's not exactly the best guitar on the album like I told you I would discuss back in "Santeria," but I guess I should have listened to it first anyway. Awesome song, as it turns out. 5/5

10. Paddle Out (1:15): A short, fast song about surfing. I am not familiar with surfing at all, but its a pretty good description anyway. This song review will be short in honor of the song's length. 3/5

11. The Ballad of Johnny Butt (2:11): A short reggae-style song that's nothing really special. At least "Paddle Out" had solos! Move along, there's more to come and this track is skippable! 2.5/5

12. Burritos (3:55): I never understood why this wasn't a single, perhaps the pro-laziness content is just too much for Clear Channel" No, but it's still a great song with plenty of mainstream appeal. A ska-style number that celebrates not wanting to get out of bed, and has solos too! 4/5

13. Under My Voodoo (3:25): All right, here is the real reason I did this review. I feel that this song is seriously underrated, and of course the first review of this album represented that in my mind. THIS is the best guitar work on the album, and probably my favorite song too. The verse is practically one long extended solo of the lyrical melody, with Brad singing and playing each note simultaneously. There's an actual solo, then it goes out on a reggae beat. Don't skip this one, you fools! It's too awesome. 5/5

14. Get Ready (4:50): This is a song about killing cops and narcs. That's about all there is to it, and of course there's a reggae beat to accompany it. Oh well Brad, at least there's one drug that didn't lead to your death! Enjoy the song, which isn't that bad. Just a little long. 3.5/5

15. Caress Me Down (3:31): A very graphic, sexy song, that ends up being sung in Spanish toward the end. Which I happen to know a little of, except for the naughty words. The drum beat sounds like one of those synthesized drum machines, which it may be. In fact, there aren't many non-synth instruments audible in this song, but what the hey. 4/5

16. What I Got (Reprise) (3:01): No, this is the same song. I think they use this one on the radio more than the other version, but it's not really that different. Just be done, cursed album! Rating: whatever I gave the first one.

17. Doin' Time (4:12): This is also a popular radio tune sometimes, but it's too hip-hoppy for my liking. It's also from another song that was sampled here, but I'm not that interested in it. 2.5/5

All in all, a great album that anyone can get into, due to all the styles. It may be a bit presumptuous for me to say it, but I think Brad Nowell's death was a greater loss to the music world than Kurt Cobain. I just preferred his style that more fervently, and there's no question as to who the more skilled guitar player was. But even if you're a huge fan of Nirvana (or Ice Cube, or Less Than Jake, or NOFX, etc.), this album will still appeal to you. It's just perfect in my mind. 5/5

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Comments:Add a Comment 
January 21st 2005


I know I already discussed this in the old format, but I havent commented yet in the new format. So Im testing it out.

Great review for a great album. Santeria is in my top five tracks of all time!

smilie test: :thumb:

February 1st 2005


How many of those songs are covers? Do you even know?

February 1st 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

I love this album.

February 20th 2005


Well i think doin' time should've gotten a better rating, but besides that good review.

February 21st 2005


Album Rating: 5.0


How many of those songs are covers? Do you even know?[/quote]

None of the songs are covers. Some of them may use samples though.

May 28th 2005


What i got was not guitared by brad, it was by miguel happalt, long time friend of nowell/band who produced 40oz to freedom/stand by your van / second hand smoke / Jah wont pay the bills (demo cd that got them on the map). But i agree that the song is flippin incredible... really tells a story 'bout brad

June 2nd 2005


this cd is definitely better than 40 oz to Freedom. seed is one of the best songs, its like rock steady. going from punk to reggae in a song is very impressive. seed, and doin time, garden grove, and jailhouse. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHO MADE JAILHOUSE? the album says it is unknown

July 15th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

Good review man, covered that shit nicely.

I bought 40 oz. to freedom before I bought this (I love date rape, it's just a great song), but once I got this I was saying to myself, 'what the fuck was I thinking?'

Heh, what I found interesting about your review was, the 2 songs that you said you used to skip over all the time (April 29, 1992 and Pawn Shop) are my favorite songs on the album. What I like the most about those songs are the lyrics in 1992, and the catchy pinch harmonic riff in Pawn Shop. Definitely the best Sublime album without question.

September 9th 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

This cd was my life in 7th grade.

September 9th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review for a nice album. I think Pawn Shop has some nice guitar work on it, you didn't really mention that. Overall though your review was good.

What? Yeah I did! Pawn Shop has an awesome guitar riff and I want everyone to know that! Fun to play too.

October 2nd 2005


Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Damn good album. Doesnt really matter what kind of music you listen to, this is quality stuff. Good review too, I agree with you on nearly everything. "Pawn Shop" is pretty lengthy for me too.

October 2nd 2005


One of my top five albums of all time.

October 9th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

Great review for a great CD.

October 10th 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. I love this album, but a lot of songs on the second half are a bit lacking.

November 1st 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

i've just downloading santeria on several reccomendations....woah. what a great tune! a song that always makes me happy. now i'm gonna have to go and buy this now....I love sublime!

November 1st 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

^^^The funny thing is "Santeria" is a song that gets me all depressed, I don't know why it just does.

January 20th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

One of my favorite albums ever. I live in Long Beach and it's great here. You must really like geetar solos.

January 25th 2006


Doooooooooooooooooooown here at the _______Shop.
Is it the Pawn Shop or the Porn Shop?

January 26th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Don't be ridiculous.

Also, since when is Sublime a ska band? I wrote the review before Sputnik was a site, so I didn't choose that genre. In fact, I doubt i COULD choose a genre for this band. Maybe put them in punk just to be safe, but even reggae would be closer.This Message Edited On 01.26.06

January 26th 2006


This is an awesome cd, but I think that Jailhouse, Ballad of Johnny Butt, and Doin Time deserve 5/5. But thats my opinion.

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