As country continues to slowly shift into this new realm where it can meet with pop and hip hop, Diplo somehow was able to secure arguably way too many big names in country, pop and hip hop for an amalgamation of ideas that never gel in the way that they should. It's about as directly pop as it can get, and not in the progressive and artful way but the obnoxious and radio-tailored way.
The greatest failure of Snake Oil is complete blandness. Nothing is memorable, different, or interesting. It's just a collection of already accomplished ideas thrown into a mainstream pot, stirred up, and sold to the listener like it's something to be enjoyed. The beats are boring and generic, the lyrical quality and vocal performances are disingenuous, and nothing comes together in a listenable manner.
I don't generally say this, and haven't said it since Ed Sheeran released his collaborative album, but every member of this album has lost points in terms of respect just by being featured on something so tasteless and uninteresting. It's such a parallel to that album, honestly, in its ability to take major names within a genre, throwing them together, and failing miserably. This is a major disappointment for a name like Orville Peck but a pretty unsurprising feat for most of the other names associated with this project.
If you're unfamiliar with what snake oil is, it's a euphemism for something that is marketed to cure what ails you when it actually provides no medicinal value. This is the perfect embodiment of that very thing; the only difference is that usually snake oil is disingenuously marketed, whereas Diplo was as upfront as he could be that this product had no real worth.
Favorite track: On Mine