It's April 20, the day marijuana fans shirk more responsibility and smoke more pot than they otherwise might on a typical day. Also, by SHEER COINCIDENCE, it's the release date of new albums by music-making reefer aficionados Willie Nelson, Cypress Hill, and Devin the Dude. But if you're going to put down your pipe and drive to a music store on 4/20, you'll want to be sure that whichever CD you pick up is packed with tacky weed references. So which of today's new albums has the most?
Willie Nelson, Country Music
Pot References: Is this the same Willie Nelson who did Larry King Live high last week? There's lots of bluegrass here, but no grass. On a close listen, we detected not even a single oblique marijuana shout-out. Check out this tragic missed lyrical opportunity, from "Ocean of Diamonds":
Some people drink Champagne out under the stars,
While others drink whiskey leaning over a bar.
But all that I need, dear, to make me feel fine,
Is to know that your love will forever be mine.
Suggested alternate ending for the above verse: "... Is a huge bag of weed." (It's funnier if it doesn't rhyme.)
Score: Zero pot leaves.
Devin the Dude, Suite #420
Pot references: This morning, Devin told Vuture he'd been waiting six years for April 20 to fall on a Tuesday so he could release a date-appropriate pot-themed album, and he definitely made this one count. See that cover art up there? It certainly captures the feel of these laid-back tracks, most of which follow days in the life of pot-smoking Devin. Still, it's slightly unforgivable that "Ultimate High" is not really about marijuana.
Score: Five spliffs.
Cypress Hill, Rise Up
Pot references: Plenty on just about every track. Songs like "Light It Up," "Pass the Dutch," and "K.U.S.H." are as stupid as you'd expect, and practically every jam here features both vaguely metaphorical marijuana mentions ("How high can you get?" etc.) and completely literal ones for potheads too stoned for Cypress Hill's tricky wordplay. Best of all, Rise Up features interstitial banter from Cheech & Chong (who, by chance, have a movie out today).
Score: 10 million blunts. (Winner!)