Tag Archives: Funkadelic

Anatomy of THE Groove: “Bop Gun (One Nation) by Ice Cube & George Clinton

O’Shea Jackson Sr, better known as Ice Cube, had hip-hop on his mind ever since he was a teenager growing up in South Central LA. After seeing the movie Straight Outta Compton,got to wonder if the man was inspired by listening to piles of 70’s funk,soul and jazz records. After being involved in many rap battles,he soon took some demos to the late Eazy E at age 16. And the rest was history. Cube went from being involved with gangsta rap icons NWA in the late 80’s to a vital solo career by the end of the decade. The first of which is now also iconic album entitled Amerikka’s Most Wanted from 1989.

He began an acting career parallel to his solo career in 1991 with a part in the now iconic Boyz N The Hood. Five years later,he co-starred in the comedy Friday. In 1992 he married Kimberly Woodruff and eventually became a father of four. His eldest son O’Shea Jr portrayed his father in NWA’s aforementioned biopic. In between these events,Cube released his fourth album Lethal Injection. In included a duet with George Clinton,produced by Quincy Jones III called “Bop Gun (One Nation)”.

This song is basically Funkadelic’s 1978 hit “One Nation Under A Groove” slowed down to approximately 100 bpm in tempo,and then reconfigured musically. In this case, the songs percussive laced drum track introduces it. Bernie Worrell’s synthesizer squiggles are slowed down and used as random accents. The main body of much of the song is still based around the rhythm guitars and synth bass of the original’s refrain.Clinton and Cube duet primarily on the choruses,which are left somewhat similar to the original in melodic content.

“Bop Gun (One Nation)” was something I heard on a mix tape in the late 90’s made for me by a friend of my dads who learned I loved P-Funk. Hadn’t yet heard the original yet. Listening to it now, its an example of early 90’s gangsta rap turning from James Brown to P-Funk as an inspiration for sampling and general attitude. Cube is basically pointing out that he’d rather drop real guns that kill and take up a metaphoric “bop gun” that gets people to dance and live in this song. And using 90’s West Coast hip-hop’s coarser language inspired by Clinton,this is a superb example of P-Funk hip-hop in the end.

 

 

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Tales Of Kidd Funkadelic@40: P-Funk Taking It To The People

tales-of-kidd-funkadelic

Funkadelic not only represented P-Funk’s rockiest side. They also represented their link to the late 60’s psychedelic scene from which it all began for George Clinton and company. Beginning as the backing band for The Parliaments before they shortened their name,Clinton revived the Parliament name in 1974-pursuing a more horn funk style under that name. In a couple of short years,a P-Funk formula of sorts began to emerge as the musicians within it exercised their most distinctive instrumental traits-especially Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell. 1976 was the key year for all of this to happen.

Tales of Kidd Funkadelic turned 40 just under a month ago. For me,it represents that transition from Funkadelic representing psychedelia and (as some P-Funk admirers have stated) becoming “Parliament without the horns”. Personally,the summer of 1996 was a time when I was going to Borders Books & Music in Bangor,Maine to purchase the then 2-3 year old Funkadelic CD reissues. I remember picking this particular one up while spending a weekend with my grandparents. It was with a warning I’d in a music guide that Tales Of Kidd Funkadelic was the bands least conceptually unified record.

Today,its to my understanding that the album was made up of material recorded at the same time as Funkadelic’s Capital records debut Hardcore Jollies. But Clinton was contractually obligated to Westbound to deliver them one more album. So lyrically,the songs didn’t follow a concept. What the Westbound label did do was give each side of the original vinyl a certain sense of musical unity. On a personal level,its probably the Funkadelic album I’ve returned to more over the years. And perhaps its the way its assembled that draws me to it so much.

“Butt-to-Butt Resuscitation” and “Let’s Take It To The People” could both be described as heavy funk/rock hybrids. At the same time,the emphasis is still on the stronger rhythmic complexity Funkadelic were developing. “Undisco Kidd” stuck out instantly because,from the bass to the vocal rap,it drips of Bootsy’s musical personality. It actually reminds me of something from Parliament’s Mothership Connection-especially with Worrell’s orchestral synth. “Take Your Dead Ass Home” is a thick bass/guitar built number with a really humorous take on 3rd and 4th base making out.

The second half of the album is another matter entirely. “I’m Never Gonna Tell It” is a P-Funk style mid tempo soul ballad-later re-done by Phillipe Wynn after he joined P-Funk. The title song of the album is a 12+ magnum opus centered on Bernie Worrell’s classically inclined jazz/funk cinematically orchestrated melodies. “How Do Yeaw View You” is actually one of my favorite songs on this album. Its a very rhetorically reflective song that has a slight reggae funk overtone. That essentially rounds this part of the album as being its “slower side”.

From the first song to the eighth, Tales Of Kidd Funkadelic stands to me as a model for funk albums released to fulfill a contract. Clinton offered Westbound songs that were not only solid and complete. But in my opinion,they were also funk jams that held together in terms of the sheer quality of song. If any of these songs had been singled out to lead off a fully conceptualized P-Funk album,they’d probably have all been amazing. As it is,its hard to hear that these songs are outtakes. So on its 40th anniversary,the most important thing to say about this album is that represented P-Funk’s major transition in the 70’s.

 

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Filed under 1976, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins, classic albums, classic funk, Funk Bass, funk rock, Funkadelic, George Clinton, P-Funk, synthesizers, Tales Of Kidd Funkadelic

Bernie Worrell: Rest In P (1944-2016)

bernieworrell

George Bernard Worrell was playing concertos at age 8,went to Julliard and the New England Conservatory Of Music and was a founding member of P-Funk. He wound up working with Bill Laswell,Fela Kuti and was a member of the expanded Talking Heads in the early 1980’s.  He died today of stage four lung cancer at age 72. The man was truly a musical genius who actually created whole new layers of solo and orchestral sounds on different keyboards. Here’s what I feel are some of his most powerful moments. I have nothing more to say. Listen and dance to the music!

“Atmosphere”/1975

“Tales Of Kidd Funkadelic”/1976

“Flashlight”/1977

“Dissinfordollars”/1993

“When Bernie Speaks”/2004

-Bernie you WILL be missed. Again,rest in P!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 2016, Bernie Worrell, classic funk, Funk, Funkadelic, Julliard, keyboards, New England Conservatory Of Music, P-Funk, Parliament, synthesizers

Andre’s Amazon Archive: ‘Connections & Disconnections’ by Funkadelic

connections & disconnections

With George Clinton’s increasing interesting in bringing in more and more newer (and often younger) musicians into his P-Funk musical empire? It was bound that not only would financial and generation clashes as well. This all came to play in the late 70’s when the core of George Clinton’s original vocal group Fuzzy Haskins,Calvin Simon and Grady Thomas abruptly re-emerged in 1981 with the name Funkadelic in hand and bought in a group of their own with Michael Williams,Billy Moms,Ben Powers Jr.,Johnny Quad Riley,Stan Thorn and Ken Blackmon and put this album out,as they announced at every chance possible,without any participation from Clinton.

“Phunklords” starts out the album with a brightly melodic layer of synthesizers of the plassic P-Funk “video game” sounding variety before launching into a straight up bass heavy,percussive keyboard sound with vocals that trade off very singable melodic lines as well as the call and response chants of classic style funkativity. This also extends into “You’ll Like It Too”,the title song and “Come Back” as well. All are very strong on that level. “The Witch” ends the first side in three parts: a low voiced vocal proclimation at the beginning,then onto a slinky new wave electric and synth bass driven slither on “The Infunktation” and ending on the rocking guitar groove of “The Cellfunction”.

“Call The Doctor” is a slow crawling,wah wah power deep voodoo funk groove while “Whose A Funkadelic” is led by a round synth bass pulse and a high pitched chipmunk style vocal rap with a sea of Eddie Hazel style guitars. Considering this album is led essentially the melodically inclined vocal end of the original Parliaments group of the 1960’s? Their barber shop style gospel soul leads and harmonies help beef up what is essentially a very uptempo funk oriented album that strips away the more eccentric elements of Clinton’s spin on P-Funk and concentrates on a very coherent sound that is incredibly rhythmic and melodically powerful.

It’s an excellent album that succeeds at being P-Funk which works as both a singers and a keyboardists/musicians album all at the same time. And despite the damage it caused to the whole of P-Funk to release this as it was? It’s a powerful album embracing the side of P-Funk that would help spearhead the smaller group,synth/electro funk of the early/mid 80’s that had arrived. Highly recommended!

Originally posted on December 31st,2014

LINK TO ORIGINAL REVIEW HERE!

 

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Filed under 1980's, Amazon.com, Calvin Simon, Clarence Fuzzy Haskins, elecro funk, Funkadelic, Grady Thomas, Music Reviewing, P-Funk, synth funk

Anatomy of THE Groove: “If You Got Funk,You Got Style” by Funkadelic

Bernie Worrell,P-Funk’s premier keyboard maestro was revealed a week ago to be living with stage 4 prostate cancer. With every major celebrity death of the new year having to do with some variation of this disease,it felt right to celebrate Bernie’s enormous musical contributions while he is still living. And that is also a key element of his talents as well. As a New England Conservatory Of Music and Julliard student who became drawn to the burgeoning sound of funk, he was able to bring his European classic training to the P-Funk mob just as the genre itself was in a crucial state of evolution. This made him key in the development of P-Funk’s first well known side.

Unsure if it was because they’d just moved from Westbound or not, but have always held mixed feelings for Funkadelic’s 1976 Capitol Records debut entitled Hardcore Jollies. Never seemed like an album that knew what it wanted to be: an exercise in funky serenity or the rock noisemaker. And the two musical elements were not particularly hybridized on this album. But of course the funk that was present was some of the strongest P-Funk ever made. Somehow it just occurred to me that this is the first time I’ve ever reviewed a Funkadelic jam on this blog. So now I’d like to present to you now one of the most powerful manifesto’s for the genre itself,”If You’ve Got Funk,You’ve Got Style”.

This is one those examples of funk that gets a stone cold start without any buildup or intro. And that’s great because it’s a heavy Brazilian jazz/funk drum provides the foundation for Bootsy Collins’ always intense duck face bass thump combined with multiple keyboard parts from Bernie. One of them is a high pitched,modulation filtered melodic line and the other is a thick Moog bass line. On the choruses, that higher keyboard line basically scales down with George Clinton’s vocal hook. On the rest of the songs refrains, the beginning theme of the groove is accentuated by some of the most powerful and ringing percussion parts I’ve ever heard on a funk number.

Funkadelic tended to be the side of P-Funk who had the most instrumental flexibility and adaptability. Especially early on even, their music didn’t particularly sound like funk at all as much as psychedelic bluesy rock grooves. By this time however,they’d locked the rhythm down a lot tighter and really allowed for the expansion of the one. What’s amazing is the the spot on ideal funk groove presented here dovetails right into the lyrical content. The basic ideas is “if you got funk,you got class/your out on the floor moving your ass”. So the more literal expression of the ideas that would shortly go into Sir Nose Devoidoffunk and the Bop Gun. This explicit statement of the funk is,for me anyway what gives the song and it’s accompanying album all of it’s musical might.

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Filed under 1970's, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins, Capitol Records, drums, Funk, Funkadelic, George Clinton, keyboards, P-Funk, Uncategorized

Anatomy of THE Groove: “Bang Bang (Stick Em Up)” by The Bar Kays

The Bar Kays have and will probably always continue to funk’s most enduring band for two important reasons. One is that they’ve continually recorded for nearly half a century at this point-always re-imagining the new sounds and grooves of each new time period. Another is that they survived all but two of their original members dying in the same plane crash that killed the singer they backed up: Otis Redding. James Alexander is the only one of these two still in the band. But these Memphis soul survivors have never failed in some way to give up the funk with verve and vitality. And the 70′ were a huge breeding ground for their burgeoning search of the perfect groove.

After 1975  the reformed band,who’d modeled themselves into something of a Southern version of Funkadelic,their original label Stax folded. This put them into a position of having to sign with Mercury Records. Since that was the home of fellow funkateers Ohio Players at the time? It was an excellent move. The Bar Kays first album for the label entitled Too Hot To Stop came out in 1976. There was no shortage of strong funk within it’s eight songs. And it was kind of hard to pick which one to talk about in all honesty. But there was one leaped out at me. One that carried a sound I’d never really heard come from any of their grooves before. It is called “Bang Bang (Strike Em Dead)”.

The band are calling out to each other in rough Spanish or Portuguese from the sound of it over the kinetic Brazilian drums of the intro-just before the Afrocentric percussion comes into play. On the main groove an acoustic piano,Clavinet and a bopping bass are all having one serious conversation as the horn section rises from below into the mix. On the choruses? There is a big descending synthesizer melody along with the wordless, harmonized vocalese of the band members. As the song progresses,the horns begin to take faster and more elaborate solos as the vocal chants and calls of the group members become a total instrumental element all their own.

Somehow the Bar Kays heavy Southern fried funk took on a whole different groove on this song. The thrust of this rhythmically is an Afro-Brazilian groove with somewhat jazzier flavors to the melodic construction,and the nature of the vocals. One thing it continues to carry over from the bands signature sound is it’s extremely high energy and fast tempo. And that’s one thing I’ll say about the Bar Kays. While normally a slower tempo music when you listen to it? The funk this band often came out with was very uptempo and fast paced. And the strong musical Afrocentrism of this percussion based jam really helped to calcify this bands way with strong,thick uptempo funk.

 

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Filed under 1970's, Afro-Cuban rhythm, Funk, Funkadelic, horns, Memphis Soul, Mercury Records, Ohio Players, percussion, Stax, synthesizers, The Bar Kays

Anatomy of THE Groove for 1/16/2015-Andre’s Pick: “Tea Party” by Nona Hendryx

One of the things that could be said for Nona Hendryx is that she constantly challenged just what a black woman had the potential to deliver in the music world. She had her beginnings with Patti Labelle and Sarah Dash of course. But she became the first black female artist to release a hard rock album on a major US label in the 70’s-something even Tina Turner didn’t do in the next decade.

After fronting her own progressive art/funk band Zero Cool and releasing a number of groundbreaking solo albums-recording with the expanded Talking Heads and working with Prince during the 1980’s? She was absent from music for 22 more years until her next album Mutatis Mutandis emerged in 2012. It was led off by the extremely appropriate number called “Tea Party”.

Beginning with a unison of horn and rhythm guitar fanfare from Jay Jennings and Ronny Drayton,the song goes into a classic Clyde Stubblefield style drum part with that percussive accent between the second and third beat. from Trevor Gale. Nona,Keyontia Hawkins and Keith Fruit provide the backup vocals as Nona rap-sings in the classic JB approach with Drayton coming on with an amplified Stevie Ray Vaughn style blues rock guitar on the refrains. Following  a hard grooving sax workout from Jennings,the song closes off a gospel drenched soul-jazz organ from Etienne Stadwijk.

Not only does Nona Hendryx pull off a wonderful funk groove that totally relates the funk structure provided by James Brown,the Southern Soul of the Memphis sound with soul-jazz and blues rock instrumentation? But brings the same level of social activist preaching she’s put into matters such as LGBT rights into a song that puts the hypocrisy and high level racism of the tea party-referencing it as represented the “castration of the nation” and being the “me party”-melodically referencing the opening vocal line from Funkadelic’s “One Nation Under A Groove”. It’s a wonderful total rebirth of the strong live band funk of many colors-“people music” that addresses an urgent human rights issue with a striking combination of wit,intelligence and humor.

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Filed under Funk, Funkadelic, James Brown, LGBTQ rights, message songs, Nona Hendryx, P-Funk, Prince, Talking Heads, tea party

Andre’s Amazon Archive for 1/3/2014: “First You Gotta Shake The Gate” by Funkadelic

Funkadelic

Somehow it took my good and oft referenced friend,blogging partner Henrique to point out to me that the sheer bulk of this three CD set consisted of 33 songs to represent the 33 years that Funkadelic have released any music. Just about anything connected to George Clinton and P-Funk is extremely complex. And that’s in both musical and legal terms as well. Considering George Clinton put out his (to many) long awaited autobiography to coinside with this release? This comeback itself was complicated. First it was released digitally,and than in a CD package that seemed to put up in different record stores at different times-at least to my own personal observation anyway. Of course the major fact is a lot of P-Funk’s key instrumental players have passed since the last released Funkadelic album Electric Spanking of War Babies. Among them are Cordell “Boogie” Mosson,Garry Shider,Glen Goins,Tiki Fulwood,Phillipe Wynne,Jessica Cleaves and of course Mister Maggot Brain himself Eddie Hazel. But the question on my mind remained how would Clinton,Bootsy,Junie,P-Nut and the few remaining original members make any sense from all this chaos?

“Baby Like Fonkin’ It Up” begins this album with a groove that sounds a bit off musically-very lowly mixed instrumentation and upfront vocal choruses. “Get Low” and “Not Your Average Rapper basically deal with a modern hip-hop/pop type dance number with a lot of programmed drum machines and on the latter a slower,slogging live drum beat. “If I Didn’t Love You”,with it’s spare bass and light keyboard harmony based instrumentation as well as stretched out improvised numbers such as “F***** Up”,”In Da Kar” and “I Mo B Ydog Fo Eva” are all very hi hat spacey jazz fusion oriented pieces. “Ain’t That Funkin’ Kind Hard On You” and “Radio Friendly” bring back that most popularly known P-Funk sound of blipping melodic “video game” style synthesizers. “Creases” has the slower end of that sound only minus the synthesizers. The title song is a very tribal African dance percussion type number while “Rollar Rink”,”Nuclear Dog Part II”,”Old Fool”,”Pole Power”,”Boom Here We Go Again” “Zip It” and “Catchin’ Boogie Fever” all keep that classic P-Funk danceable synthesizer oriented sound going right along.

On the rockier end of the album “Jolene” has a bluesier groove about it along with the guitars while “Dirty Queen” basically melds together edgy speed metal with a grungy guitar flavor. “Talking To The Wall”,”Where Would I Go” and especially my favorite of this area “As In” are all wonderfully instrumentally layered slow jams. “Bernadette” takes the Holland/Dozier/Holland Motown classic and reworks it in a manner that goes with the slow crawling blues/gospel style of the earliest Funkadelic albums-reflecting the songs George Clinton composed while working for Motown-with the long instrumental jam to close out. “Meow Meow” is a sexually charged crawl focused on a reversed rhythm/drum track. “The Naz” features a very deep bass/guitar driven groove powered by Sly Stone revisiting his classic DJ shtick in his elderhood. “Yesterdejavu”,”The Wall”,”Snot N’ Booger” and “Dipety Dipety Doo Stop The Violence” are all elaborate cinematic psychedelic soul numbers-all with heavy bottoms b but yet a modern production twist as well.

It’s difficult for anyone with as long a history with listening to P-Funk such as myself to be at all subjective about new releases from them. So I’ll just elect to say what I feel. After all,that is also what George Clinton’s vision is all about. The pluses of this album IS that there is a lot of music. It allows old and new Funkadelic members to be able to explore a pretty broad range of ideas and for George himself to both come up with new material. The minuses go with the fact this album has some material that doesn’t quite coincide with how Funkadelic fit into the P-Funk cannon. And it doesn’t even matter that many of these songs feature Fred Wesley,when the original Funkadelic didn’t generally have horns. A good chunk of these songs feature modern style grooves that I’d think George Clinton would consider “placebo syndrome”-many of them shamelessly using auto tune. Sometimes however? There are indications this is a massive musical satire-using a modern musical quality to prove a point against it. Conceptually it is also quite a bit sadder than most other Funkadelic I’ve heard. George and company seem to be of the opinion that art has become so reduced down to committee thinking that any expression of quality will have to remain underground for a time. As contradictory and lyrically dour as this album can occasionally be? Have to say it’s all worth it just to have Funkadelic back with more quality funk and other grooving hybrids than not.

Originally Written on December 29th,2014

Link to original Amazon.com review here*

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Filed under 2014, Amazon.com, Bootsy Coolins, Funk, Funk Bass, Funkadelic, George Clinton, Hip-Hop, Jazz-Funk, Music Reviewing, P-Funk, Sly Stone

Anatomy of THE Groove 11/7/14 Rique’s Pick : “All Your Goodies Are Gone” by Dennis Coffey featuring Mayer Hawthorne

My pick for today’s Friday funk song, Dennis Coffey’s 2011 rendition of the P-Funk classic “All Your Goodies Are Gone” is unique for several reasons. For one, Dennis Coffey is one of the great undersung artists of soul and particularly funk music, recording an out and out funk classic, “Scorpio” back in the ’70s. “Scorpio” earned him the distinction of being the first white artist to appear on Soul Train, and was a foundational record for both the Breakdancing and Locking dance styles. “All Your Goodies” has the distinction of being the second single George Clinton’s Parliaments released, follwing the major succes of “Testify.” It’s a part of the George Clinton songbook, and Dennis Coffey is a very interesting musician to reanimate it at this time because he, along with other members of the Motown “Funk Brothers” house band, performed on the original! Coffey actually used two P-Funk songs he played guitars for on his 2011 self titled release, this, and “I Bet You.” And he made a great choice of vocalist to voice it on this rendition, Detroit soulster Mayer Hawthorne, a young artist who’s career is based on updating vintage vibe.

“All Your Goodies Are Gone” is an early song from the P-Funk songbook that has been returned to by the band from time to time, including most famously on 1974’s “Up for the Down Stroke.” It’s a powerful, dark minor key soul song about a man with a flighty, unfaithful woman, who defiantly gets up and walks away rather than be one man in her crowd. Coffey’s rendition begins with his guitar having a conversation with the organ and voices, playing a phrase that gets answered while the drum pounds on all fours. The song breaks from that to a mean vintage late ’60s Motown groove, the darker kind that The Temptations (influenced by Sly Stone and Funkadelic) worked to such success. The key is minor and sinister sounding.

Hawthorne goes on to ably and soulfully sing George Clinton’s lyrics telling his flighty lover “Let Hurt put you in the losers seat”, a lyric that Clinton appropriated from a Hertz Car Rental Commercial. “Goodies” comes off as the dark twin or dark side of The Parliaments first hit, ‘Testify”, particularly when Hawthorne sings “Shame on me/for thinking that I could/possibly be/the exclusive one/of your choice/in this world infested with boys.” This vocal decleration is backed by the powerful rising riff for which “All Your Goodies” is known, which was focused on and brought out more in Parliament’s 1974 version. Hawthorne goes on to ably and soulfully sing a song of male hurt and damaged ego, which is one of Dr. Funkensteins great themes as a song writer. By the end of the song, the narrator has found the strength to cut his relationship off, unlike Bill Whithers character in “Use Me” who was so pleased by the sensuality of the situation he chose to put up with abuse, and also unlike Ronald Isley’s narrator of “Its Your Thing” who was unconcerned with what his friend with benefits did as long as he got his. The song vamps out with Coffeys guitar engaged in a call and response with the organ and the dark riff playing on and on and on.

“All Your Goodies” is a great example of George Clintons viewpoint as a song writer, Mayer Hawthornes skill as a vocalist, and Dennis Coffeys unsung band leading abilities. The song’s story plays out like a love letter with the protagonist discovering his lady was unfaithful, talking himself through a sad situation, and in the end finding the strength and self love to move on. All throughout, it displays the great rationality I learned from George Clinton. I always remember an interview where Clinton said he never took anything personally that people did to him because he always figured it was more about them than it was about him. The narrator of this song realizes he couldn’t keep his woman from straying in a “world infested with boys.” But even though he accepts the choice she made, he also makes a choice not to stay with her and take the punnishment and anguish. Dennis Coffey revisits a song he helped make in conjunction with the original Funk Brothers and makes it roar with authentic late ’60s funky soul vibe. As with all funky comebacks, Dennis Coffey’s should be supported to the fullest, and I hope he is appreciated even more now than he was back in his heyday!

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Filed under 1970's, George Clinton, Motown, Uncategorized

Anatomy of THE Groove 7/18/2014 Andre’s Pick: “Love Unleashed” By Joe

As long as we’ve known each other,the one common thread that my blogging partner Henrique and I have referenced is the rather emasculated attitude soul singer/songwriter Joe Thomas,mostly known simply as Joe,has regarding the romantic subjects of his songs. Not that he is any innovator or even the only artist of his kind with this sort of attitude or anything. But it was bought up in reference to the fact that,aside from lyrical content,the vast majority of his music simply wasn’t possessed of a great deal of instrumental vitality. Of course, instrumentalists with a strong sense of vitality were not exactly showcased very strongly on the commercial end of the soul/R&B spectrum of the mid/late 90’s in which Joe began his career either. About a month ago,Joe released a new album entitled ‘Bridges’. Aside from the albums many very surprising delights? It concludes with what I feel to be it’s most surprising ones-a song called “Love Undefeated”.

Starting off with an authoritative drum kick similar in flavor to Funadelic’s iconic “(Not Just) Knee Deep) before kicking right into a think “funk functioning as disco-dance music” type percussive rhythm with a thick,pulsing three chord bass tone matched up with an electric piano/clavinet sounding interaction for the keyboard part. Shortly after a string synthesizer brings in the melody and these joyous,harmonic horn charts come in and stay with the song throughout it. Along with some extremely James Brown/Prince type rhythmic guitar as well. Lyrically Joe sings a message to his brothers and sisters in the world to start right here,right now with their love of themselves to save the children of their generation. To “free us from the prison of our minds” as he puts it. By the time the song comes to its coda Joe is singing call and response style with the horn section singing “love undefeated/we can’t lose it if we got love”.

While admittedly I haven’t listened to an entire Joe album until this point? I personally have never heard him make any music of this sort before. As I stated i my Amazon review of the album? I felt that Joe,with his sense of compassion and thoughtfulness,would be more than capable of making some strong soul and even funk one day-that is if his romantic outlook were more well rounded and less self involved. So now not only has he delivered just that,but on the funkiest possible end-full of musically powerful keyboard parts,bass/guitar interaction and even exciting horn charts as well. The mixture of P-Funk and other late 70’s/early 80’s boogie funk elements such as “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” is also added to by the fact this is music with a message too. Joe is making “people music” here-encouraging the current younger generations not to resort to apathy and to express unleashed love. If Joe was ever going to make strong funk music? I cannot think of a much better way than this.

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Filed under Boogie Funk, Disco, Funk, Funk Bass, James Brown, Joe, Late 70's Funk, Prince