Bootsy's Rubber Band / Bootsy Collins

This Boot Is Made for Fonk-N

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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier

Following three straight masterworks that balanced hard funk workouts with laid-back bedroom jams, This Boot Is Made for Fonk-N ditched the balancing act, offering up straight, relentless hard funk. This is great for those who just want the sweaty workouts Bootsy Collins had proven himself well capable of delivering on his own as well as with Parliament-Funkadelic. In fact, if that's what you're looking for -- hard-hitting, unrelenting funk -- look no further, for This Boot Is Made for Fonk-N is absolutely teeming with it. However, the lack of slower, softer material can quickly lead to weariness if you're not ready for a nonstop dance party. Endurance is required here, make no mistake. "Under the Influence of a Groove," "Bootsy Get Live," and "Jam Fan (Hot)" are all standouts, reflecting the kookiness of "Bootzilla" from the year before. But without slower songs à la "I'd Rather Be with You," This Boot Is Made for Fonk-N is just too much for anyone who's not a hardcore funkateer. Consequently, the album isn't as easily recommended as Bootsy's past few, and really is of primary interest to P-Funk aficionados. With so many excellent P-Funk albums released throughout the 1970s, it's easy to pass over this one, as it certainly features some first-rate hard funk but is relatively short on ideas, with an absence of new ones altogether. This shortage of new ideas would lead to the varied degrees of experimentation that would characterize Bootsy's subsequent albums, Ultra Wave (1980) and, especially, The One Giveth, the Count Taketh Away (1982). Granted, those albums weren't as successful as This Boot Is Made for Fonk-N -- just as it wasn't as successful as its predecessors -- but they're more interesting for their experimentation and their eccentricities. In comparison to their flights of fancy, as well as the balance songwriting of Bootsy's first three albums, This Boot Is Made for Fonk-N seems unmemorable in retrospect. It's a wild, heart-racing listen while it's playing, yet afterward leaves little impression otherwise.

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