Corona & Lime - Shwayze
The self-titled debut by Malibu "chill-hop" newcomer Shwayze is the aural equivalent of an episode of Entourage. Obsessed with babes, blunts, and beaches, it's relentlessly and proudly shallow, content to promote no agenda beyond having a good time with the brahs. It's a snapshot of a lifestyle that's envied by some and hated by more, which means the burden is on Shwayze to prove he's worthy of admiration. Unfortunately, Shwayze is remarkable only in how unremarkable it is. More of the blame for the album's mediocrity falls on the production, which comes courtesy of Cisco Adler, who's known more for the skanks he's boned (and perhaps for the MTV reality series Buzzin', starring him and Shwayze) than the music he's produced and made with the band Whitestarr. Shwayze has an appealing, laid-back delivery, and while his rhymes aren't revelatory, they're perfectly suitable for poolside lounging or backyard partying. However, in his quest for a "chill" aesthetic, Adler has burdened Shwayze with beats that come across like G. Love lite. The album-opening "Roamin'" sets a promising tone with its simple, piano-laced hook and bouncy beat, but quickly devolves into an amorphous blob of acoustic guitars and Adler's own feeble warbling on the choruses—a sameness epitomized by the nearly identical tracks "Buzzin'" and "Corona And Lime." Sometimes the formula works, as on "James Brown Is Dead," but more often, it's just inane and boring—much like the lifestyle it so halfheartedly espouses.