Brainstorm

Funky Entertainment

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It's often been said that if an R&B act didn't have a lot of dancefloor appeal in the late '70s, it could forget about being commercially successful. That isn't necessarily true; Frankie Beverly's Maze, just to give one example, was never a dancefloor favorite -- and yet, all of its late-'70s albums went gold. Nonetheless, having disco appeal certainly didn't hurt. When Brainstorm's second album, Journey to the Light, failed to sell, some people reasoned that it was due to a shortage of up-tempo material. So with its third and final album, Funky Entertainment, the Detroit band decided to go for maximum disco appeal and make up-tempo songs a top priority. While Journey to the Light was primarily an album for listening, Funky Entertainment is very dance-oriented. In fact, the ballad "You Put a Charge in My Life" is the only thing on the LP that isn't aimed at the dancefloor. Obviously, Brainstorm was hoping for another "Lovin' Is Really My Name" -- nothing on this LP is in a class with that hit, although exuberant tunes like "Popcorn," "Hot for You," and "A Case of the Boogie" are mildly catchy, if unremarkable and contrived, examples of late-'70s disco/funk. Funky Entertainment wasn't a big seller, but it did enjoy some exposure in dance clubs. At the same time, there were die-hard Brainstorm fans who felt that by neglecting ballads, slow jams, and quiet storm material, the Motor City residents were selling themselves short creatively. And, to be sure, Funky Entertainment is the least-essential and least-memorable of Brainstorm's three albums.

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