The Best of Blowfly: Analthology

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Reviewing a Blowfly album is a bit like discussing a porno film; you pretty much know what the dirty parts are going to be like at the outset, so the real question is: Does the work in question have any redeeming artistic merit? Clarence Reid, the semi-respectable creative mind behind the outrageously freaky persona of Blowfly, knows more than a little about making a solid R&B record, and once you get past the mega-filthy lyrics and titles like "Hole Man" and "Porno Freak," you can usually find some solid soul and funk grooves on the best Blowfly records. However, The Best of Blowfly: Analthology for the most part reflects the less-than-ideal state of old school R&B these days. While the original Blowfly albums on Weird World Records exuded the gloriously drunken ambience of an after-hours party gone nasty, Analthology consists of mid-'90s re-recordings of Blowfly's underground hits, with synthesizers and drum machines often replacing the live rhythm sections that conjured up the good groove behind Blowfly's classic albums (please remember "classic" is a relative term). Reid's performances are still enthusiastically filthy, and the jokes are just as funny as they've ever been (decide for yourself if that's good or bad), but the cleaner surfaces of the digital-friendly production make for a less-enjoyably dirty experience, sort of like the difference between a vintage adult movie shot on film and a modern porn quickie produced on videotape. Longtime Blowfly fans will be glad to hear the king of smut funk is still in solid form, but anyone looking for a real Blowfly greatest-hits disc ought to dig up The Worst of Blowfly, a collection of vintage Weird World material.

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