O.G. Funk

Out of the Dark

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In contrast to the multiple side projects that involve Parliament-Funkadelic alumni (such as Slave Master and Hardware), O.G. Funk is actually a P-Funk project through and through. Some of P-Funk's most legendary graduates -- Bernie Worrell, Billy "Bass" Nelson, Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey, and Gary "Mudbone" Cooper, along with such collaborators as Grandmaster Melle Mel and Bill Laswell -- construct a sound that's very close to mid-period Funkadelic records such as Let's Take It to the Stage and Cosmic Slop. The music ranges from the "Maggot Brain"-like epic "Music for My Brother," an instrumental tribute to Eddie Hazel, to the thundering funk-rock of "Yeah Yeah Yeah" (which recasts the intro to Funkadelic's "Music for My Mother") to "I Wanna Know" (a reworking of "I Wanna Know If It's Good to You"). Unfortunately, such borrowing does highlight the album's one noticeable flaw -- frequently, it seems that Nelson and Brailey are simply resting on their laurels by rehashing their earlier, more successful Funkadelic songs. It is certainly true, though, that Worrell, Nelson, and Brailey have every right to reaffirm their connection to a past they had a big part in creating. (It doesn't hurt that the musicianship is top-notch.) The album also has enough original tracks, such as "Don't Take Your Love From Me" and the title track, to be worth one's while. Out of the Dark should be required listening for P-Funk fans, but even newcomers will find plenty to enjoy here.

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