The Gap Band

The Gap Band 8

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Their third LP for Total Experience, The Gap Band 8 wasn't nearly as good as the Gap Band's heyday material, but nevertheless proved that they were still a markedly popular commercial entity. With lighthearted and high-spirited songs, the band continued to incorporate eminently danceable music within a loose funk framework. Although, by the middle of the decade, the emphasis was off the funk and on to a popped-out dance ethic, still it was a winning mix that allowed the Gap Band to remain one of the funk genre's most viable 1980s acts. This LP has two high points, the effusive jam of "Big Fun" and the funky "Get Loose, Get Funky," a sparking, fiery blast which has been sorely overlooked. Mixing cunning vocals, horns, and a rhythm slow enough for smooth grooving, the song breaks in and out of time between guitar and vocals, bass and drums. Unfortunately, the rest of the album is a fast downhill slide, packed with balladic and light R&B filler. They're not bad; they just aren't anything that couldn't have been recorded, and probably better, by a dozen other bands at the time. Sacrificing style for commercialism is a sin, but The Gap Band 8 is probably best left behind by all but the band's most die-hard fans. There are much better ways to experience the Gap Band -- such as sticking with the early material.

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