Bootsy Collins - 'World Wide Funk'

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Bootsy Collins - 'World Wide Funk'

This album will make you dance, make you smile and make you glad he is still doing his thing.

'What's Bootsy Doin'?' he once asked us. So much is the answer... so, so much. Since adding that fat bottom bass to George Clinton's amazing Parliament and Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins has been keeping the Funk more or less pure with his Bootsy's Rubber Band work as well as his "solo stuff". This new album, on a nice large label, is seen as very important.

There's fifteen tracks here. It's possibly too many, but Collins loves his work. His pleasing and seductive voice is still here, but he uses other voices to keep it interesting too, including Dru Down, Musiq Soulchild and veteran bass star Stanley Clarke. You will find some stupendous Funkateer workouts here, some seriously squelchy and sexy songs.

The title track opens proceedings with a Stax style and world-weary narrative, that off kilter feel, Trouble Funk-vibe and a couple of lovely Raps with wig out solo to end; it's just a great party. Perhaps 'Bass-Rigged-System' is the closest to his previous employment, elastic feeling with a de rigueur Chic guitar, whereas 'Pusherman' gives us Prince whilst the bass becomes subterranean, allowing Down's voice to shake the rafters. However, Collins also gives us stuff he's done before, stuff that sounds like it'll do, these include the likes of 'Thera- P', 'Heaven Yes', a soporific 'Hi-On-Heels' and the insipid 'A Salute To Bernie', but there aren't many like this.

Instead, there's the beautifully messy Disco of 'Snow Bunny', the Daft Punk-inflicted 'Hot Saucer', some wailing guitar and a gorgeous Rap in closer 'Illusions', the James Brown precision of 'Come Back Bootsy' (featuring Eric Gales) and his description of his lady leaving as "unsportsmanlike conduct" in the R 'n' B ballad and lead-off single 'Worth My While' (featuring Kali Uchis).

This is just a little of the brilliance. Is your mind freed by this ballsy bass? Then, as Clinton tells us, your ass will surely follow. This is what Collins hopes when he tells us he was looking to create a "mystical monster... which automatically smelled fishy and funked up". That is undeniably achieved here, and even if that wasn't the P-Funk that Parliament and Funkadelic were into, he still keeps the flame alive.

This album will make you dance, make you smile and make you glad he is still doing his thing. He's such a class act; Bootsy Collins proves he still "got a little light under the sun".

Steve Swift

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