Trouble Funk, In Times of Trouble

A solid if unexceptional effort from one of the better go-go acts out there. This is not nearly as tight as Drop the Bomb, and too much funk at the time (including this one) was succumbing to the more synthesized feel embodied by Bootsy and other such contemporaries, but it'll still get you moving almost just as well. "Spintime" is the synth-heavy lead in, but it's got an amusingly tricksy beat and the beat don't quit either there or in the title track immediately following, a bit more of a party jam with stronger vocals and brass. (That one-two punch is then followed by the pleasant "Share Your Love," old-school and conventional yet still satisfyingly smooth.) On the other hand, "Good Times" is funky but not all that special, and "Say What" doesn't get off the leash enough for a good go-go going on; plus, the track that really had me scratching my head was "Freaky Situation," Dyke Reed trying for a weird Lou Rawls-Barry White feel making references to his lover's smell (!) and saying she could be "my X-rated movie star, because I know how freaky you are." After that kind of creepiness it's good that "Funk N Roll" is there to close out the album, the hardest-edged track of all but the one with the best melody line and some witty commentary on changing music trends. This might not be the funk I'd reach for in my times of trouble, but while there are better examples of go-go out there (even from this very band) you'll still get good mileage out of this one. The CD reissue adds the instrumental backing of "Funk N Roll" but also two live show jam recordings apparently abridged from their Saturday Night Live live album. I usually find live bonus tracks tedious, and the recording quality is poor, but while they take a little while to get cooking they're actually rather fun for a party atmosphere and aren't just retreads of the earlier cuts. (Content: adult themes on "Freaky Situation.")