Release Date: Jul 17, 2015
Record label: Provogue
Genre(s): Rap, Jazz, R&B, Funk, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Southern Rap, New Orleans R&B, Underground Rap, International, Brazilian Traditions, Samba, Forro, Carnival, R&B Instrumental, Jazz-Funk, Deep Funk Revival, MPB
The first collection of new studio music from the relentlessly inventive New Orleans funk-jam unit since 2012's Carnivale Electricos, Into the Deep arrives after a well-received trio of Mardi Gras-centric outings. As per usual, Galactic is joined by an all-star roster of guests, including Macy Gray, Mavis Staples, JJ Grey, Ryan Montbleau, David Shaw of the Revivalists, Maggie Koerner, Brushy One String, and Charm Taylor, and while they may have ostensibly left Fat Tuesday behind, they certainly haven't abandoned their penchant for second-line swagger, as evidenced by the parade route-ready, brass-and-drum-led opener "Sugar Doosie," which wastes little time getting the party started. More song-oriented than ever, Into the Deep does a nice job showcasing both the band and the guest vocalists.
GalacticInto the Deep(Provogue)Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Most bands try to create a unique, easily identifiable sound, one that anchors their music even if they push boundaries around it. But for the past decade (out of a 20 year career), New Orleans’ veteran quintet Galactic has fought against that model, not just by peppering their groove, jam oriented approach with different styles, but by employing multiple vocalists (no one in the main group sings) to further muddy the waters of who they are. While that seems like career suicide to most outfits, the group continues to thrive.
New Orleans-based jazz/funk collective Galactic have been around long enough for their career to approach the double-edged status of “legendary”. Typically, when a band has slogging around for more their 20 years, talks about their careers take up the form of a rough draft for a Behind the Music episode. Galactic, on the other hand, never lost sight of the fun.
New Orleans party band Galactic has hit on a smart formula by releasing albums that showcase multiple vocalists spanning numerous genres, with jammy instrumentals providing extra sauce. Its newest dish of sophisticated gumbo features Macy Gray on the title track, JJ Grey of Mofro on the Neville Brothers-like “Higher and Higher,” and the sassy Ms. Charm Taylor on the Amy Winehouse-style “Right On.” The legendary Mavis Staples brings a soulful Stax/Volt feel to the breakup song “Does It Really Make a Difference,” and Boston’s own Ryan Mont-bleau stars on the funky “Domino” (not the Van Morrison song).