“My god this song is terrible,” was my initial reaction to “California Roll,” a just-released song from Snoop Dogg’s upcoming full-length “Bush.”
And after a couple listens, that’s still about where I stand.
But with super-producer and “Voice” judge Pharrell Williams producing and R&B legend Stevie Wonder singing back-ups, how could Snoop go so wrong?
The new track has some Pharrell trademarks, including the choppy, rhythmic introduction and his cooing vocals. But as these legends gathered together and added a throwback R&B vibe to the entire production — most likely to complement Wonder’s familiar vocals — they ended up creating something that already sounds painfully dated.
Oddly, “California Roll” is an anachronism before its official release.
An example of the song’s ridiculous lyrics: “Baby, you can be a movie star (in Los Angeles), get yourself a medical card (in Los Angeles). ‘Cos that’s how California rolls.”
When Snoop attempts to sing, “Not talking ’bout the view/I’m talking ’bout me and you,” it’s a teeth-gritting moment — like listening to a past-his-prime legend strain, unsuccessfully, for relevance.