As the Gap Band's star power rose, they continued to dominate the R&B charts, even when their material didn't necessarily earn that honor. This is certainly the case with their 1984 LP, Gap Band VI, which patters across a set that is surely slick, and wonderfully sophisticated at times, but ultimately lacks the punch and fire listeners had come to expect from their earlier material. Even the guest vocals of fiery Brides of Funkenstein diva Dawn Silva couldn't add a spark. With quiet storm balladeering tempering pop, the most interesting song on the album, "Video Junkie," saw the band open with a snippet from the "Dragnet" theme -- the Art of Noise wouldn't electronically co-opt the song until 1987 -- before zeroing in on some of the decade's more lithesome electronic antics, including synth drums and flashy guitar licks. It's surprising the song didn't chart. That honor went instead to "Beep a Freak." The song has some nice funk elements, and does highlight the '80s version of the cell phone, but it's just too sluggish to ever really catch fire. Elsewhere, two short, Eastern-inflected instrumental interludes preface the closing "The Sun Don't Shine Everyday." It's an elegant song that, while occasionally sounding like the Gap Band, looked toward Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" for inspiration. It is nevertheless one of their better ballads, quietly allowing empty space to carry emotion as surely as the vocals do. With several outstanding moments, then, Gap Band VI surely earned its number one spot, with the filler simply filling in as passable pop.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Amy Hanson