Sound — 10
This is my review of Sublime's self-titled album. It was released in 1996, just days after frontman Brad Nowell died of a heroin overdose. In a bittersweet twist, this album was the most successful, memorable, and probably the greatest of Sublime's short career. It's eclectic mix of so many different music styles (chief among them are rock, punk, dub, reggae, hip-hop, and probably more). Sublime's musicianship here is more than excellent also. Brad Nowell's guitar playing shines more than usual with his solos on "Santeria" and "Seed". At times, they try to be hip-hop and it sort of gets annoying. The thing I love most about the sound is Eric Wilson's bass touch he provides us with. It gives the songs a little more groove. All in all I could say that Sublime's sound on this record is Bob Marley meets Bad Religion. It can be chill, but at the same time they thrash and show the punk side of them. It's a good listen.
Lyrics — 10
In most cases, the lyrics are just narratives that take you on a long ride through Long Beach, California. Nowell's considerable guitar skills and the skills of his bandmates create catchy, groovy, and awesome music to complement the lyrics. As far as vocal ability and talent goes, damn! Brad Nowell could sing very well. There are no complaints there. But, the thing I love most about this band is that they are not fake at all. They write about real situations that can happen to anyone. They write about cheating lovers (Santeria), being lazy (Burritos), or just breaking the law (April 29th 1992). Sometimes the lyrics take a hostile turn and there is indeed some cursing like in "Same In The End." It's all catchy and you will probably know all of the words to each song. It reminds me of a "punk sing-along."
Overall Impression — 10
Needless to say, Brad Nowell never got to see the success in the band he worked so hard to perfect. It may be a bit presumptuous for me to say it, but I think Brad Nowell's death was a greater loss to the music world than Kurt Cobain. I just preferred his style that more fervently, and there's no question as to who the more skilled guitar player was. But even if you're a huge fan of Nirvana (or Ice Cube, Less Than Jake, or NOFX, etc.), this album will still appeal to you. This is one of those albums that you can throw in the CD player during the summer and just kick back and enjoy it's greatness. I doubt I will ever misplace this album seeing as it never leaves my sight. This is definately my favorite in my CD collection and it will be a good addition to yours. I recommend every track on this album equally. I don't think one is better than another. It's all perfect in my mind.