Bar-Kays

Grown Folks

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Technically an EP, this set finds the legendary Bar-Kays updating their sound a bit with contemporary keyboards, vocal processing, and guest spots from George Clinton, DJ Paul, Three 6 Mafia, and Eightball, but the group doesn't entirely abandon its patented funk sound of earlier years as much as stretch out the R&B side of things. Produced by Jazze Pha, the son of Bar-Kays founder James Alexander, Grown Folks shows that the 21st century version of the Bar-Kays is broader and deeper in scope than a band built to get people up, out, and shaking it on the dancefloor -- but don't worry; they can still do that. The title song, for instance, is a wonderful piece of sensual old-school R&B all shined up for a new century. It's romantic, warm, and familiar without feeling shopworn -- a description that also fits the Bar-Kays as they cruise and groove into their sixth decade as a band and a trusted brand.

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