Weapon of Choice

Color Me Funky

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Call it NUT*MEG music all you want, but the children of George Clinton cannot be fooled, and we know recycled P-Funk when we hear it. Not that there's anything wrong with that, at least in theory; Lonnie Marshall's Weapon of Choice collective has been treading this particular ground for about 12 years now, and they certainly do have that groove thang down cold. The problem is, that groove thang is about all they've got, and after the fifth or sixth minute of groove one does start wondering when an interesting melody or intelligent lyric -- or even a noticeable chord change -- is going to come along. (It should be noted that this was not a problem with the real P-Funk.) Bootsy Collins may not be much of a singer, but at least he's fun to listen to; Marshall's just plain tiresome, and although the two reggae-derived numbers ("Peakin' at the Apex" and "Just 'Cuz She Was Nice") are both kind of fun, neither one packs enough wallop to make up for the surrounding pedestrian fare. The other bright spot is a surprisingly tuneful ditty called "Whoopin' of Choice," which finally manages to balance a hot, elastic funk groove with a vocal worth paying attention to. Not recommended.

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