Funkadelic, Maggot Brain

For as many choice moments as it offers this album's awfully hard to wrap your head around. Oh, sure, it starts out strong enough with Eddie Hazel's incredible guitar on the title track (notwithstanding George Clinton's grim musings of Mother Earth being pregnant for the third time ... by us), but then left-turns into pleasing but incongruous flower power gospel with "Can You Get To That" and then acid heavy funk in "Hit It And Quit It" (and we know what). Analogously on the flip side, I dig the Jimi vibes of "Super Stoopid" but I can't reconcile it with the dorkily appealing "Back In Our Minds" nor the scatological long-form "Wars Of Armageddon," clearly aspiring to the Beatles' "Revolution No. 9," except bereft of class, quality of production or any sort of internal structure. And then there's the gatefold itself: on the front the Afro-personification of allegedly knocked-up Mother Earth, teeth glistening and bared, either emerging from or sinking into the loamy soil (if the back is any indication, sinking), along with unsettling liner notes from no less than The Process Church of the Final Judgment concluding that "the tide will not ebb until all is destroyed." It's still worth a spin for all that, and the extended solo in "Maggot Brain" is not to be missed, but lurching aimlessly from amiable funk to menacing cacophany one does wonder whom, exactly, Geo. Clinton et amis considered their audience to be. (Content: adult themes and drug references, S-bombs in "Wars of Armageddon" and "Maggot Brain.")