Tha Dogg Pound Cali Iz Active

The strength of "Cali Iz Active” — a twisted, low-slung slab of West coast funk — might’ve raised the bar a bit too high for Tha Dogg Pound’s new album of the same name. But if the rest of the record can’t live up to the title track’s staggering, staggered high watermark, it’s still a pretty refreshing listen. Despite the album’s artwork and lead single, Snoop Dogg doesn’t really have too much to do (though he might’ve helped attract the star-studded guest list, which includes Diddy, Nate Dogg, David Banner, Paul Wall and Ice Cube); this is Daz and Kurupt’s show, and that’s just fine. Though they haven’t recorded a proper album together in a while, their chemistry is left very much intact. DPG has pretty much got this stuff down, and despite the typical subject matter and inclusion of boring filler, Cali Iz Active is a breezy listen. Tha Dogg Pound’s days of innovation are probably over, but they prove here they can still put together an album that puts most of their gangsta peers to shame and, on its own merits, Cali Iz Active rivals DPG’s best work. (Detournement)