The sound of a barking dog, often associated with Sublime, is a great way to start off Sublime’s arguably most popular album. The organic nature of the first track humbles the listener before Sublime breaks out in their classic upbeat sound in “40 Ounces to Freedom”, a song about a favorite topic of the band.
“40 Ounces of Freedom” is then followed by “Smoke Two Joints”, a song about a topic just as favorited as drinking. The simplistic groove of this songs attracts many listeners. The album then picks up the pace with “We are Only Going to Die” as the band reverts back to the sounds typical to the early punk rock bands as they cover Bad Religion. Sublime then goes on to provide their amazing interpretation of the Toots & the Maytals, “54-45 That’s My Number”, sexualizing it of course. The big hits on the offbeats around the three minute and three minute forty mark really drive home the groove and get you moving and feeling the song.
The next track, “Badfish” and the subsequent “Let’s Go Get Stoned”, brings the album back down to the relaxed “backyard party” feeling Sublime is loved for. In “Scarlet Begonias”, the drum machine sounding production of the percussion gives the song a unique, old school, feel. “Live at E’s” then brings out the hip hop element of Sublime but never gives up that grooving ska backbeat. “D.J.S” continues this hip hop style with a bumping bass to move along to this song slowly gravitates towards a Bob Marley style feel around the two minute ten seconds mark.
The band then moves back to it’s roots as they prefer the “garage” sounding production of the track “Chica Me Tipo” as well as the Spanish lyrics. “Right Back” is a more heavy track similar to the track “Seed” on their self titled album Sublime. They then experiment with a new semi-electronic sound in the appropriately titled “New Song”. The album then starts to come to a close with “Date Rape”, the most typically ska sounding song on the record and also one of the most popular on the record. But no album is complete without a combo acoustic-accapella mixed with a rap song. This acoustic feel rides out the rest of the album through the last track which is shout-outs to everyone who helped with the album.
40 Ounces to Freedom is less of an album and more of a collection of masterpieces. There really is not a bad song on the entire album. I’m am forever thankful that Bradley got to put out three albums before he died as they are all amazing.