Review Summary: Snarky Puppy release a decent album with superb musicianship and grooves but it lacks the fun of their other albums.
Chances are at this point all you know about Snarky Puppy is the name. They are a jazz fusion group and are one of the best in the genre. They have released 5 albums in total. This album for whatever reason has been their most successful.
The first song is probably the most catchy and accessible. This makes it a good opener because it helps introduce new listeners of the band to what the style is like. From here on out its apparent that they're a jam band and are trying to have fun. I say trying, though, because some songs feel tiresome and grow stale. I imagine people walking out of a show during these songs. However there is some saving grace, as the songs reward you staying as they are very complex and have great musicianship. Its just a question if if its worth staying" Usually a jam band should be sharing in a good time with the audience but Snarky Puppy here don't really seem to care.
One of the first things that really hit me when I first heard this record was the superb musicianship. Each member of the band is really on point here. There is some inherent fun in the way they play. The band seems to want to come together as a group to write music, but also they seem to desire to just be in the same room as each other. The drumming specifically is outstanding. It is very tight and rhythmic and it really glues the whole group together and brings them down to earth. I think on this album in particular the drumming is better than its ever been. Its a step in the right direction and a clear centerpiece.
Sometimes the passages get a little too long winded and there is little pop structure to go off of. This can make it hard for the average listener to enjoy. Much of the rest of the record is kind of just there though. And despite having what seems to be every member of their ever revolving live band on here, not a whole lot of the playing demands special attention. That being said the album is very energetic and fun, but a bit less than its previous albums. But this album clearly grooves hard. Its an album you'd play when you are in a great mood or have the day off. I think that is the atmosphere Snarky Puppy were trying to reflect when writing the album. All in all, as a fan of the band, I really do like this album. I would just wouldn't recommend it as a first listen, which makes me surprised that this might be their most popular album. Its highlights are clearly the best of their work though, so check out the recommended tracks.