Slightly Stoopid is a name we’ve all known for quite awhile: 17 years to be precise. For nearly 2 decades they have been carrying the torch, lit by their predecessors and mentors, Sublime, lighting the way for all of us weed-smoking, beer-drinking, SoCal-loving, beach-going, jam band-craving, reggae-seeking, rock-starving listeners. On their most recent studio effort, Top of The World, they deliver the genre-bending goodness we’ve come to expect from them, with a small dose of political consciousness. The 21-track album on their own label, Stoopid Records, features a handful of celebrity contributors and collaborators, which highlight the amount of respect this band has garnered from their peers of reggae, rock, & hip hop.

Watch the brand-new video from Slightly Stoopid: “Top of the World”

The band eases us into this opus of an album with something familiar and reassuring. The 1st track, which shares the name of the record (Click to listen to “Top of the World” on Earbits), is a groove-heavy, reggae influenced rock song with the band’s patented laid back southern California feel; guitars and horns providing the perfect counter melodies.  After taking us even closer to the beach with the reggae/dub song, “Don’t Stop“, Slightly Stoopid brings a bit of the funk with the 3rd track, “Devil’s Door“. The track (3:19) reminds us that a jam band can make pop music… and make it very well.

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Despite the years of hard work, DIY ethic, and off the charts musicianship, at the end of the day, Slightly Stoopid, at it’s core, is about a good time. Nowhere is this more evident than on the youthfully anthemic reggae-rock tune, “Drink Professionally“. For me personally, this song is the essence of a Corona commercial, in which I’ve “found my beach”. Not willing to be pigeon-holed, however, the band follow this up with the weightier tune, “Ur Love”, featuring reggae legend,  Barrington Levy and brilliantly sung, poetic lyrics, such as “Your love is taking the tone out of me”. The juxtaposition of these two songs on the album demonstrates the band’s uncanny ability to be taken seriously by the industry and their peers, while providing a summer soundtrack to the bleary eyed. They repeat these oppositions throughout the album, like on the lighthearted ska track, “Ska Diddy” (featuring Angelo Moore of Fishbone) being swiftly followed by my personal favorite collaboration on the album, “Just Thinking“. This track, featuring a killer vocal cameo by Chali 2na, ofJurassic 5, gets deep, dealing with emotion & passion, pleading with the audience to realize that “lovin’ ain’t enough to make the world go ‘round”.

The album is 21 tracks, but there is no filler. The obligatory love song on the album, “Mona June“, features longing & heart felt lyrics, soulful guitar licks and a guest vocal by Angela Hunte. The band can also be more optimistic than Jack Johnson, on tunes like “New Day” (clocking in @ 1:09), which boasts excellent acoustic guitar riff-age, and the best of Slightly Stoopid’s pop sensibilities. Also make sure to close your eyes when listening to “Marijuana” – you will think you’re in Jamaica with Don Carlos. On this 6th studio album, the band refuses to shy away from their roots, while incessantly expanding their sound, audience and list of talented collaborators. Top of the World is definitively a Slightly Stoopid record and a collage of the best of what they have come to represent over the last 17 years.

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