Jamyz Bee and the Deep Lounge Coalition Sub Urban

Sigh. It should have been pure ironic bliss, with Toronto lounge kingpin Jaymz Bee taking on the urban charts, morphing overly serious crunk into muzak with a wink and a smile and a gin’n’juice martini. Alas, the whole mess collapses under its self-consciously "hip to be square” weight. "Independent Woman" works, perhaps because Jennifer Valentyne deadpans Beyonce's anthem, offering up a jazz croon that lets the stylistic juxtaposition do all the work. Unfortunately, save the cocktail-perfect "Ride Wit’ Me," Bee overplays his hand, doing a spoken-word delivery on "Nuthin’ But a G Thang" and turning "Ms. Jackson" into a grotesque carnival number. I can't believe I’m giving them props but for a real bizarro take on urban music (that doesn't condescend), go download the live Phish version of "Gin And Juice," you'll quickly realise that regardless of genre, it's not easy being Snoop d-oh-double-g. (Oglio)