The Waiting Room (Shaman Work)

The warm weather may have just begun, but if you're like me you're already mapping out the soundtrack for this season's procession of barbecues, swimming pools and lazy days, and with The Waiting Room, Los Angeles-based hip-hop group Emanon has offered up the first real entry. From the reggae-toned "Count Your Blessings" (which deftly samples Sister Nancy's summertime classic "Bam Bam") to the soulfully slinky title track and the spare and sweet "More Than You Know," Waiting Room's production, courtesy of Exile, has a loose, SoCal vibe that belies its meticulous construction, seething sunshine and sticky puffs of THC. With a wispy, left-coast flow and a tendency for plain-spoken socio-conscious lyrics ("Politician" and "Pseudo"), Emanon MC Aloe Blacc has a thoughtful tone that provides a nice counterpoint to Exile's relaxed production. But in the end it's the album's fat grooves and head-snapping beats that'll have this collection bumping from car speakers and backyard boomboxes come June.

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