A lot of diluted, post-Parliament funk has emerged with America's seemingly recovered infatuation with this genre. Drawing heavily for fan bases on frat boys and sweet hippies, musicianship has taken a back seat to marketability and popularity. Enter 5ive Style, a four-member band consisting of Tortoise member John Herndon, Bill Dolan, LeRoy Bach, and Jeremy Jacobsen. This collective of inventive musicians has created some powerful, invigorating music that captures the spirit of freewheeling abandon their predecessors forged in the late '60s and '70s. The album begins with one of the greatest kicks in the ass ever recorded (perhaps comparable to Bob Dylan's "Play f*ckin' loud" uttered before the "Like a Rolling Stone" from Manchester Free Trade Hall). One hears the exclamation "Come on!" and the band launches into "Deep Marsh," a jubilant, thumping melody, and one of the record's highlights. The band continues this relentless attack with "Outta Space Canoe Race" and "Waiting for the Eclipse." There are some more exploratory moments in "I Told Ya" and "Sure Is Hot," but for the most part, the album is upbeat. This album draws more on the influence of the Meters as opposed to Parliament, and the tight quartet creates what might be the emerging face of new funk. It is music certainly influenced by the electronic age, but the aim remains heartfelt and sincere. There is no corporate mask or image being upheld by this band. Anyone tired of popular music's stale ethic should pick this album up.
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AllMusic Review by Marc Gilman