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Snarky Puppy - Culcha Vulcha / HOTPress review

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Snarky Puppy will have you barking with joy. A vehicle for Texas jazz graduate Michael League, the project is multifaceted. They are frighteningly prolific. Snarky Puppy have already won a brace of Grammys (for best contemporary jazz and instrumental albums) while Culcha Vulcha is their second long-player in six months. It is brash and forceful, brimming with winning melodies and endlessly sophisticated in its breakdowns and interludes. Yet so much is going on here that it can be initially overwhelming, with the listener sent pinging between decades and genres with an enthusiasm bordering on manic. Cumulatively the effect is akin to attending a dinner party with a headache; everything is that bit too loud, too bright, too overbearing. Culcha Vulcha's conundrum, in the end, is that it cannot decide whether to sidle alongside the listener or cudgel them into submission. Less of the latter might have been a better option...

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