Snoop Dogg reconnecting with Pharrell Williams, who produced one of Snoop’s best late-career hits, “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” seems like a great idea to put the hip-hop icon’s inconsistent career back on track. So what went wrong with this forgettable foray, which fails to build on the MC’s recent work with Dam-Funk? First, all of the things that made Snoop Snoop — his effortless, laconic flow, clever wordplay, and narrative skills — are almost completely absent. He frequently sings in a key only a dogg can hear (“This City,” “Edibles”), or flips rudimentary rhymes over familiar, user-friendly grooves. Pharrell dusts off riffs from his own closet (“California Roll”) or cobbles together ideas from the collaborators’ many influences (Clinton, Gap Band); “So Many Pros” nods to Cameo so insistently, it should come with a red codpiece. Strong contributions from T. I. and Stevie Wonder add color, and there’s a breezy, backyard-barbecue charm (“Peaches N Cream”) to some tracks. But others, like “R U a Freak” (as dangerous as a PTA meeting) teeter toward parody. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Peaches N Cream”Ken Capobianco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.