Bootsy Collins / Bootsy's Rubber Band

Bootsy? Player of the Year

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Released in 1978 at the height of Parliament-Funkadelic mania, Bootsy? Player of the Year finds Bootsy far from short of quality material despite his affiliation with the numerous P-Funk-affiliated projects being churned out at this time. In fact, this album finds Bootsy at his peak; his previous two albums may have their share of brilliant moments and were no doubt filled with great ideas, melodies, and funk, but here he seems to have perfected his songwriting. There really isn't a dull song on Bootsy? Player of the Year. The up-tempo songs -- "Bootsy?," "Bootzilla," "Roto-Rooter" -- rate as some of the most exciting P-Funk material ever released, each song clocking in over five minutes and chock-full of elastic basslines. On the other hand, the abundance of slow jams -- "May the Force Be With You," "Very Yes," and "As In (I Love You)" -- helps maintain a good balance, providing a breather from the sweatier moments. Then there is "Hollywood Squares," a song that teeters somewhere between a dance song and a ballad, sometimes picking up the pace, other times slowing it down to a strut. Along with Stretchin' Out in Bootsy's Rubber Band (1976) and Ahh...The Name Is Bootsy, Baby! (1977), Bootsy? Player of the Year rates among the most enjoyable P-Funk albums ever. Unfortunately, it also marks the end of a glorious run. By the following year, 1979, it was clear that the P-Funk army was running out of fresh ideas, and Bootsy was no exception, as he'd struggle creatively for a couple years to come. This makes Bootsy? Player of the Year seem all the more special in retrospect, because it was among the last of the great P-Funk releases.

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