Pharcyde fans remain divided over whether or not Labcabincalifornia is an underappreciated album or the reason why the group fell off. Either way, both sides can agree that it was no Bizarre Ryde II, lacking their debut's creative brilliance. Many years later though, don't you think it's time to be more generous to Labcabin? It wasn't perfection, but it did boast consistent, mellow sound (no doubt assisted by Jay Dee, who handled several of the tracks here) that seems ahead of its time. The biggest hit off here, "Runnin" still sounds great with its soft guitar melody and dulcet hooks. Same can be said of "She Says," kind of a "Passin Me By" sequel (though nowhere near as catchy). Other songs on the same vibe include"Y?" and "Groupie Therapy." Slightly more uptempo are "Somethin That Means Somethin," "Drop," and one of the best songs they ever released: "Devil Music." Again, this isn't as classic as Bizarre Ride, but it's better than many of us treated it when it first came out and fans of the genre just dust off the hate. This official reissue comes complete with gatefold cover, just like the OG.
- black double vinyl pressing
- gatefold sleeve
- original release year: 1995
- music label: Craft Recordings 2018
reviewed by O-Dub 10/2016