Apparently learning from the mistakes of its debut, Mandrill crafted a follow-up with fewer stylistic detours than the first record, but much more energy and greater maturity. The two singles, "Ape Is High" and "Git It All," are unhinged performances from all involved that have the sense of musical invigoration so key to a funk band -- and so sorely lacking on this band's debut. "Children of the Sun" is a somber, flute-led piece, much more assured and better-conceived than anything on its first record (it also showed how well Mandrill could've done soundtracking a blaxploitation film). The guitars are much more prominent on Mandrill Is; in fact, both "Git It All" and "Here Today Gone Tomorrow" have passages almost reminiscent of metal's heavy riffing. The first two compositions from Claude "Coffee" Cave are big successes, "Cohelo" being a traditional Latin form and "Kofijahm" a tribal funk piece. Not everything works, however: the spoken-word piece "Universal Rhythms" is a tad over-ripe, with a raft of unpoetic, pseudo-mystical nonsense over backing from an angelic choir.
AllMusic Review by John Bush