Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, R&B
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Well Well What Do We Have Here?Fatback At A New Ground Zero!
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 11/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As odd as this may sound it's helpful for me to look at Fatback as the Rolling Stones of funk. They started during the golden age of the genre just as it was maturing and even during very hard times for funk's commercial success they stayed durable and rolled right along.The early 80's were an especially hard time when all too many horn based funk groups such as Cameo,The Ohio Players and even The Bar Kays were having trouble staying current and either had to adapt or break up. Not only did Fatback survive this completely intact but unlike many they elected to modernize and updat their sound without sacrificing their horn section. But rather learning to integrate it into their new sound.On the previous album Tasty Jam Fatback introduced electronics to their sound in a heavier way but by the time of 'Gigolo' the band had learned where their comfort zone was in the respect.As a result the production and music on this album is very contemporary for 1981 audiences but still holds true to Fatback's tradition of live instrumentation. Considering the well known fact that Fatback actually hit the charts with the first rap record in 1979,that aspect really helps the first cut on this album,the compulsive "Rockin' To The Beat" which would not even be out of place on an early hip-hop album,considering how many of them featured pure funk songs on the album cuts."Rub Down" doesn't really change a lot except for maybe that there is more of a pop song attached to the groove.What makes 'Gigolo' stand out is the variety it gives you and on "I'm So In Love" it shows in full effect that Fatback,like EWF and to some extent the Commodores have a great grasp on how to write a catchy,singable slow jam-something that was many funk band's achilles heal.Now "Higher" is the real surprise-remember that Rolling Stones comparasin?Well that tune actually might have WORKED for the Stones.It actually rocks out,even without the rock n roll guitars the inspiration of Sly,Jimi Hendrix and even the little known Mother's Finest is DEFINATELY there!"Do It" (Til The Feelin' Runs Out") shows Fatback haven't lost their grasp on the stripped down,drum-and-bass synth sound that gave them their classic "Backstrokin'" the previous year. The title track shows that P-Funk also had a strong influence on their sound as well as the tight,burning track progressess. The album ends with Fatback reinventing both the Chi-Lites classic "Oh Girl",this version having of course far more soulful grit both musically and vocally then the breezy original.This album ends with the amazing "Na Na,Hey Hey Kiss Her Goodbye";wheras Steam's original had a poppy Motown feeling this version is done up in a surprisingly jazz-funk mode,with the highlite being George Williams trumpet solo that,while fast has a very slight Miles Davis like phrasing (jazz snobs may deny it but as a huge Miles fan I hear what I hear lol). So with 'Gigolo' we find Fatback entering into yet another highly productive era.And one thing they did share in common with Miles is that Fatback did have a number of distinct periods and for sure this is the beginning of one of them!"