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Album Review | Reggae

Snoop Lion, ‘Reincarnated’

With this foray into reggae, the former Snoop Dogg is now a born-again ambassador of peace. But it takes more than slogans of harmony and (surprise!) weed to give his transformation credence. Certainly, the MC may have achieved an epiphany by availing himself of Rastafarian culture. The music, though, assures that the immersion was only toe deep. Instead of roots rhythms, Snoop opted for melodic, pop reggae with hints of dancehall, often expertly produced with dub flourishes by Major Lazer. Snoop sings with little gravity and stresses tolerance; the lyrics are broad enough for Facebook bromides (“Love is the cure and courage is the weapon you can use to overcome”). True Rasta spirituality or search for transcendence is absent. There’s no trace of a Marley but Miley, as in Cyrus, shows up sounding as if she just got off the yoga mat (“Ashtrays and Heartbreaks”). When Drake appears, any hope this effort was about reggae evaporates. Intentions may have been good, but the result smacks of carpetbagging. (Out Tuesday)

ESSENTIAL “Here Comes the King”

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