Various Artists

Solid Gold Soul: 80's Rhythm & Grooves

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As with most popular music in the '80s, soul and funk were given plenty of sparkle and glitz to better capitalize on a market going video. Unlike many of their rock and new wave contemporaries, though, most of the R&B acts featured here produced grooves that have better weathered the two decades since (thank hip-hop's recasting of the funk catalog in part for this). True, some of these cuts are best left to weddings and sporting events ("Celebrate," "Rhythm of the Night"), but the majority (Cameo's "She's Strange" and Rick James' "Super Freak," for example) still pack a sizable share of dancefloor integrity. And so it goes, as the disc leaves you flat one instance with the flaccid ways of Deniece Williams, Rockwell, and Midnight Star, only to slap you with the bass synth alchemy of a Gap Band or George Clinton. If Top 40 soul is what the party needs, then this is the disc to get.

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