On it’s 10th studio album, Superhero Brother, Philadelphia’s brightest musical sons, G. Love and Special Sauce, want to save the planet — one shaken-not-stirred booty at a time. 
    G. Love (aka Garrett Dutton) and his band of merry hipsters know that the true power of music has nothing to do with brokering a peace accord between Russia and Georgia or solving the Palestinian problem; no,  while G. Love may want to shine a klieg light on what’s going on in this mixed up, shook-down world, he mainly wants you to boogie down as the whole geopolitical outhouse burns down to the ground — invoking change and changing attitudes in 3/4 time.
    Never a political band in the vein of those oh-so-serious rockers from Ireland, U2, nor documentarians of the brutality and horrors of the ‘hood like the late, great NWA, G. Love and Special Sauce have always been content to stir up a musical stew of rock, folk, pop, hip hop and blues to feed the mind, not guilt you into breaking the piggy bank to feed the starving bellies of a million Ethiopians.
    {mosimage}This we-know-the-world-sucks-but-what-can-we-do attitude is reflected perfectly in the title track, in which G. Love sardonically references the glut of comic book heroes that have recently ruled the cinemas like leotard-clad saviors of society: “Well, if they called on my name don’t you know I’d do it/shine my signal over Gotham, I’ll be true/ It’s my distinct pleasure to come down from my grass/get off my front porch and save all your asses.”
    Yeah, I’ll do my part, raps G. Love over the beat of a bluesy acoustic guitar and wailing harmonica, promising to “solve the economy, the homeless problems, save what’s left of the environment/create jobs for everybody doin’ somethin’ that they wanna’ be doin’”; but in the end, G. Love knows he’s got about as much chance to save the world as Christian Bale’s Batman or Toby Maguire’s Spiderman as he sings “Well, it seems kinda’ hard but it really ain’t nothin’/all you gotta’ do is get bit by a spider or somethin.’’
    Every song on Superhero Brother percolates with this message of partying on while the ship goes down, especially on the impossibly upbeat “City Livin’”, which should jump to the top of the charts... should and would if there was any justice in a Top 40 landscape ruled by silicon- and collagen-injected pop princesses with mental problems and wannabe gangstas who grew up in comfortable middle class homes playing Grand Theft Auto instead of actually living the game.
    Another feel-good standout on Superhero Brother is “Peace, Love and Happiness.” As backing band Special Sauce simmers, harmonizing and styling with steady beats and bongos, G. Love whips out hot guitar leads and sings about surviving and striving and somehow keeping a smile on your face. It’s such an infectiously happy song that you almost don’t notice that G. Love is telling you that while you need to party like it’s 1999, you also need to keep your mind wrapped around what’s going on around you, reminding the listener “how can we eat this daily bread/when so many people starving?”
    More subliminal messages can be found in the reggae-imbued “Woncha’ Come Home Now,” which, though ostensibly written for a lover on the lam, could very well be rededicated to our soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan with lyrics like “Darlin’ I’ve been waiting while you gone and done your changin’/but you know I don’t got much time/still everywhere I go I see people waiting just like me/waiting for you to come on home.”
    Like the very best champagne, Superhero Brother bubbles along merrily while imparting a kick you really don’t notice until you stop dancing long enough to notice the room’s spinning faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than a locomotive.

Tim Wilkins, Associate Editor
COMMENTS? 484-6200 ext. 105 or
tim@upandcomingweekly.com

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