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Music Review: “Shwayze” S/T (Suretone/Geffen)

George Lang Published: August 26, 2008

Rating: 13 

If Shwayze’s self-titled debut is any measure, music biz kid Cisco Adler will always have more hits on than he ever will on Billboard — his post-Whitestarr project with rapper Aaron Smith is a toxic green haze of lazy rhymes, low aims and money-bred sleaze set to dime-store beats. It’s Sublime for the rich and brainless, except this high-gloss, high-dross collection of sunstroke anthems by two slack hacks perma-stoned on marijuana, mojitos and misogyny proves that Laguna Beach is light years away from Long Beach.

“Shwayze” has its dumb charms until the buzz wears off — in cold-sober light, this is 13 variations on the same song. It’s hard to tell where “Corona and Lime” ends and “Buzzin’” begins, mainly because they are both absent-minded mediations on getting bombed and getting lucky on the strength of Dad’s bank account. Smith says he’s “a genius — Bill Clinton with my speeches,” which doesn’t exactly rhyme or lend credence to his argument, especially when a minute later his “genius” is spouting what amounts to a hastily posted party flier.

“Flashlight” is not a Parliament-Funkadelic cover, and “James Brown is Dead” is not the L.A. Style club banger, and “Shwayze” is almost completely devoid of original thought — even on the song titles they did not steal. And it’s hard not to become a little angry listening to Smith and Adler prattle and blather over Garage Band rhythms, mainly because it’s the path of least resistance set to music. Poor Lou Adler: the guy who managed the Mamas and the Papas and produced Carole King’s “Tapestry” had a son who is squandering his inheritance on pallid pseudo hip-hop that can only earn street cred on Rodeo Drive.

George Lang

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