22 septembre 2009 2 22 /09 /septembre /2009 12:50
Cameo are not only one of the GREATEST classic funk bands but they kept the groove (and the spirit) alive during a time when the whole 70's concept of funk was being beseiged. Well there is no heavy handedness here-it was 1982,their was still a music industry recession but to hear the enthusiastic groove of Cameo you'd never knowing. This album is brimming with energy from every direction.And it's amazing how many musical ideas pass in and out of this music as the band jams away. The first half of the album is a SERIOUS funk party. Having paired Cameo down to a quartet Larry Blackman,the bands frontman suddenly gives Charles Singleton,master guitarist and underheralded force in the band a chance to really strech out not only on his axe but on keyboards as well. The new-wave/electro funk influece of later Cameo masterpieces such as Word Up! really begins here,even as the influence of 70's funk (and quite a bit of rock) still prevail. "Be Yourself" really starts out the affair encompassing all of this-baaad beat,serious bass lines and an empowering lyric celebrating funky exestentialism in all it's glory. "Soul Army" has the same "funky soldier" mentality of Funkadelic's Uncle Jam Wants You,only the groove is more upfront and it is FIRMLY on the one-another in a series of neglected funk masterpieces.Many of us have heard "Flirt" before-now THIS tune just KILLS!Just stripped down drums,bass-somewhat hip-hop in it's execution but totally forward thinking for Cameo.Not only is it pretty far from the the glorious if somewhat older school horn funk of Cameosis two years earlier but with it's short,heavily pitch adjusted synthesizers puncuating the beat it's part of the "new wave" funk vanguard led by the likes of Prince and Rick James at the same time. Now none of this is to say Cameo have no pop savvy;the positive thinking catchiness of "Enjoy Your Life" is also out the box funky as well-one of the reasons why funk AND pop listeners like this band so much in the first place. The title track is where things really get interested;it's presented here,in all it's B-52's-like funk/new wave hybrid glory with the totally gospel soul ballad of "Secrets Of Time",showing not only that Cameo can put off such a lyrical AND musical transition from song to song perfectly-a quality often more noted in progressive rock bands. Of course the music of the song is also very much in the art rock vein too. "I Owe It All To You" is actually,for this time frame,very retro 60's/Motown/Chicago Vee Jay styled R&B-very short,very doo woppy but with Cameo's funk over it-it may well be the best funk/doo-wop hybrid sicne Graham Centeral Station's 70's work in that somewhat unexplored genre."For You",the only ballad "slow jam" on the album does have a period adult contemporary sound about it but,even if it's not high in the mix,the bass line is just KILLER all the same.The best part is:ALL OF OF THIS IN JUST 30 SECONDS OVER HALF AN HOUR!!!!!!This is not only proof that being on the one doesn't necessarily mean one has to be long winded,but that Cameo had (and still has) a lot more to offer a lot more musically then just a great groove. Their musicality and yes-great sense of melody and humor is something I hope will resonate into musics future because BOY this still sounds great!