Something about California always appeals to music fans. Whether you're looking to make it big and live your dream or live to enjoy the scenery, there's always something for you there. Murs seeks to really embody the realities of living in California, both good and bad, in his tenth album Captain California.
There's so much gratitude in this record. The big instrumental of 'GBKW (God Bless Kanye West)' that praises the rappers that set up the rap seen as it is today above a combination of rap-rock and big verses. Later on the record is 'Another Round' featuring Krizz Kaliko and its darker message. It's a song that channels the darker side of California and living in struggle. It's a sweet song, but it has a powerful message that comes with it that offers up a still familiar Californian vibe to make the song both strong and sweet.
The record, like any modern hip-hop record, does have some banging tracks in it. Most pop hip-hop records have tired instrumentals and used lines, but everything on on Captain California is clever and modern. 'Lemon Juice' featuring Curtiss King opens the record on a very modern and fresh vibe that makes the album feel very young and sweet, the groovy vibe pairing with the warm sunlight of California that we all long for. 'Shakespeare On The Low' with Rexx Life Raj is similar with its great melodies and very sweet and groovy vibes.
Despite all the "carefulness" you may think this album may have, there are plenty of tracks that really let loose and have a good time, specifically as the album begins to conclude. Bigger, more upfront songs appear as the album goes along, even though the big brass of songs like 'GBKW' and 'Colossus' at the beginning of the record really do set a powerful tone. There are more "party" like tracks at the end of the album, like 'Ay Caramba' with a truly interesting synth and percussion instrumental. '1000 Suns' has a more poppy sound with a feel good vibe, as well as old-school rap vibe in the hook that makes the track more approachable in a different way.
Murs' new album is like an ode to California, but by looking at all the aspects of life rather than just the dreamy front we all see it as. All the same, he celebrates the dreams that can come true there. Murs embodies the west coast in Captain California with a lot of gratitude and passion, and for that you can't fault it.
Favorite Tracks: Lemon Juice, GBKW (God Bless Kanye West), Ay Caramba
Least Favorite Tracks: Wanna Be High, Xmas and Thanksgiving
Rating: 76 / 100
Buy or listen to Captain California here: