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The Inbox

The Inbox: Snoop Lion, Phoenix and More

by Rob Harvilla

The Inbox: Snoop Lion, Phoenix and More


Various Artists

Welcome to The Inbox, a recurring feature in which we take a spin through the week's hottest new releases (along with a bit of Napster's own reviews) and pair each album with the weirdest, coolest, (sometimes unintentionally) funniest stuff we can find on the Internet. Enjoy.

Big-Time Indie Pop Grandeur for Summer Mega-Festival Patrons Who'll Spend Most of 2013 Rocking Out in Between Trips to the Mustache Rides Booth:

Phoenix, Bankrupt!
On Bankrupt!, Phoenix maintain that signature mix of fizzy and dreamy electro-pop that titillates as innocuously as a cold soda on a hot day. But this time they sound more on par with brethren Daft Punk: synths packed in tight and injected with caffeine, like on the early-Madonna-esque "Trying to Be Cool" and the sprawling title track. [Stephanie Benson]

A Ludicrous, Awesome Reggae Transformation From a Dude Who Really Oughta Consider Collaborating with Ras Trent:

Snoop Lion, Reincarnated
What would Snoop Dogg, the Crip-walking gangsta, think of Snoop Lion, the Rastafarian convert who sings on "Tired of Running," "This gangsta life ain't no longer in me"? Reincarnated may signal the weirdest evolution in rap history, but this "reggae" adventure means cheery world pop instead of rude boy dancehall, thanks to Miley Cyrus, Drake and Akon. [Mosi Reeves]

The Best Delightfully Cheeseball Club Pop Album Ever Made by a Dude Who Was Once Rendered in Holographic Form on CNN:

Will.i.am, #Willpower
Will.i.am seems to have the best intentions. After all, what part of EDM-hop dance beats, mega-star guests and #Britneybitch doesn't sound like one hell of a party? And yet, like those hashtags, so much of the lead Pea's solo album feels like it's trying way too hard, its best intentions and potentially good jams steamrolled by all the #trendiness. [Rachel Devitt]

Scuzzy Bad-Vibes Punk Radness to Remind You That America's Most Beloved Indie-Rock Label Isn't All Soothing M&Ms Commercials:

Various Artists, Sub Pop 1000
Fans of Iron & Wine and Fleet Foxes will surely run for the hills once they sample Iron Lung's grinding throw-down "A Victory for Polio"; the same can be said of Soldiers of Fortune's "Money": soul-blues discoid nonsense featuring hot lix and some dude howling about his messed-up mind. [Justin Farrar]

Joyful, Profoundly Romantic Latin Pop Sweet Talk from a Dude Who Looks Like a Cross Between Richard Marx and Fabio:

Carlos Vives, Corazón Profundo
Is it the rollicking, frolicking roll of the vallenato that makes Carlos Vives sound so joyful? Or has the man himself just settled into being a downright jolly ray of sunshine midway through his illustrious career? Either way, it's working for the sweet-talking Colombian. [Rachel Devitt]

Expert R&B Slow Jams from Hands-Down the Coolest-Named American Idol Winner Thus Far and Here Is the Least-Coolest-Named AI Winner:

Fantasia, Side Effects of You
Her raison d'etre is slow-cooked ballads with just enough youthful spark to keep them on the rap and R&B charts; oddly, she packs the best two at the end, "End of Me" and "In Deep." Other highlights include "Without Me," a sassy trio with Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott, and the swinging old-school soul of "Get It Right. [Mosi Reeves]

More Shock-Metal Jams from the Alt-Rock-Survivor-Turned-Big-Time-Horror-Movie-Director, Still the Most Impressive Music-Career Transformation of the Century, at Least Until Vanilla Ice Goes Amish Premieres:

Rob Zombie, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor
He's mainly in heavy techno-garage mode, keeping punch-outs short and simple like Pussy Galore and ratcheting up cartoon-trash hooklines: "I'm so hazardous/ My name is Lazarus," "They call me a pentagram Peter Pan," "69 in the county morgue." He also pretends to be a howling radio DJ, intercepts sundry grade-Z horror signals and mixes the cowbell really high when he covers Grand Funk. [Chuck Eddy]