James Brown

It's a Mother

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It's a Mother is everything its title promises--the individual songs seem like extended passages in one infinite, diamond-hard groove. The organic evolution and spontaneity of the performances suggests they were improvised in the studio, with James Brown barking orders and directing traffic more than he sings, at least in any conventional sense; the band follows his directions with the blind faith and respect of soldiers following a veteran general into battle, time and again summoning even greater intensity to ratchet the music to another level. Not quite yet funk, It's a Mother is nevertheless beyond soul music altogether--another brand new bag to bide the time until the next one comes along.

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