The Fatback Band

On the Floor With Fatback

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On this 1982 album, Fatback continues in the funky electronic vein they established with Tasty Jam. This time out, the songs are paired off into two distinct suites: "Hot Funk" and "Mellow Madness." The songs in the "Hot Funk" arena are the ones that fare best. Each tune from this side smoothly integrates a steady stream of carefully orchestrated hooks with plenty of tasty synthesizer riffing: "On the Floor" keeps the listener hooked with its effective combination of a spacy electronic soundscape with a catchy chorus, while "U.F.O. (Unidentified Funk Object)" turns what could have been a silly and cartoonish space funk outing into a diverting slice of cosmic fun that is full of intriguing synthesizer sound effects. The songs on the "Mellow Madness" side go for a more straightforward R&B approach and come off as less interesting as a result. For instance, the slickness of "She's My Shining Star" cannot overcome the song's mundane, clich├ęd love song lyrics and the mellow atmosphere of "Do It to Me Now" is undone by a lead vocal that is too forceful for its relaxed musical surroundings. "Hip So Slick" is the only song from this side that truly shines, yet it feels misplaced because its danceable beat and forceful bassline make it sound like it belongs on the "Hot Funk" side. Despite these problems, On the Floor With Fatback serves up enough potent funk tunes to make it a worthwhile purchase for the Fatback collector.

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