Album Review: Tha Funk Capital Of The World by Bootsy Collins
Satisfactory, Based on 4 Critics
The Guardian - 80 Based on rating 4/5
Nine years on from Bootsy Collins's last new material, the P-Funk pioneer is back on a typically cosmic journey that sees him commemorating the past and energising the present. Opener Hip Hop @ Funk U is a fun-filled knees-up featuring Chuck D, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, while JB – Still the Man is an authentic homage to his old boss James Brown, and features a stirring portrayal by the Rev Al Sharpton. Mirrors Tell Lies has Collins finally collaborate with his hero, Jimi Hendrix, through musical samples and mystical soundbites, while Collins's guitarist brother, Catfish – who died during the making of the album – appears with a rasping, passionate Bobby Womack on the wonderful Don't Take My Funk.
Thinking big, Bootsy Collins’ 2011 effort is a conceptual trip, a funky history lesson brought to life by the P-Funk veteran, his rock-solid band, and a slew of guest stars, ranging from rapper Ice Cube to professor Cornel West. In between, there’s funk-rock shredding from freaky and frequent collaborator Buckethead, some psychedelic storytelling by way of an old Jimi Hendrix interview, plus better-than-expected prose from both Rev. Al Sharpton (on the cultural magnificence of James Brown) and Samuel L.
Bootsy Collins‘ music is at its best when he’s letting loose with his unique, over-the-top brand of unbridled funk insanity. The good news for disciples of P-Funk is that Collins’ singular madness shines through on the best tracks of his new album; the bad news is that it’s too often buried under a heavy coating of cheesy cameo appearances that bog down Collins’ own contributions to his record and prevent Tha Funk Capital of the World from being a great album. Though he’s kept busy with a long list of side projects, including funk-metal supergroup Science Faxtion, Rock the Vote campaigns, and the online music school Funk University (as well as releasing one of the most entertaining holiday records of all time in 2006’s Christmas Is 4 Ever), Collins’ Tha Funk Capital of the World is his first studio release proper in almost a decade.
Bootsy sets about waking up a new generation to funk’s heritage. Daniel Ross 2011 A quick glance at the staggering guestlist on this umpteenth solo album from the one-time Parliament/James Brown bass wizard is enough to get any fan of Bootsy Collins’ most funky work excited. Snoop Dogg, Chuck D, Bobby Womack, George Clinton (Bootsy’s old boss), and even spoken-word contributions from Samuel L.