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KUMD Album Review: Stay Good

Brooklyn Funk Essential
Brooklyn Funk Essential

    Brooklyn Funk Essentials - Stay Good 

Stay Good is the fifth studio album from the New York City collective Brooklyn Funk Essentials. Following their 2015 release, Funk Ain't Ova, the band spends 56 minutes bass slapping, drum filling, and synthesizing that statement into truth. While many will see the seventies and eighties as the prime era for funk, this well-constructed album proves that the spirit of funk is still alive. 

One of the most impressive elements of this album is its ability to accurately represent a time. As technology advances, many artists try and add bells and whistles to their music, to varying degrees of success. Many artists, such as Tame Impala, Daft Punk, and Metronomy, use computer production and effects to create a futuristic twist on bygone genre trends that sound simultaneously retro and techonlobical. BFE takes a different route. Their funk sounds more "analog” as opposed to the more tinkered sound common in the modern era. It sounds like they used just their hands, their instruments’ tone dials and maybe just a little bit of compression and reverb to achieve their sound. It leaves the listener with the impression that if you sat in on a session, or saw them live in concert, they would deliver the same quality as their recordings. 

And what a quality it is! The band delivers almost an hour of tight, nearly perfect musical landscape. From the pairing of full-throated organ and wispy synthesizer on “Keep the Love,” to the sultry jazz cornet solo on “Miss Mess,” this album is rife with electrifying instrumental performances. The collection prominently features vocals from Allison Limerick, who will sound pleasing to any listener familiar with Erykah Badu or Jill Scott. From tracks like “Breeze on Me” to “Y Todavia La Quiero,” the Brooklyn Funk essentials deliver swaggering, bold performances from the beginning of the record to the end. 

Try this album if you like: Funkadelic, Menehan street band, James Brown, Krhuangbin, Vulfpeck 


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