Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

GALACTIC

YA-KA-MAY

2010-02-02

Galactic has become synonymous with modern New Orleans funk. Escaping the penchant of too many New Orleans bands to recycle the rich catalog that makes up the City’s musical heritage (really, do we need another "Hey Pocky Way" or "Mardi Gras Mambo"?) this disc features the band taking on an aggressive program of all new original material. With body slamming grooves that would make even your bed-ridden aunt Matilda shake her booty, the band joins forces with multiple vocalists to create a disc that veers wildly over the musical landscape. Irma Thomas and John Boutte work their soul magic around the bottom heavy groove of "Heart of Steel" and "Dark Water" respectively. Allen Toussaint takes a break from his normal jazz piano duties to add synthesized vocals to the spacey "Bacchus". Big Chief Bo Dollis powers his way through the rubbery "Wild Man" while Big Freedia checks in with a variation on hip hop known as bounce and Walter “Wolfman” Washington gets sinister to the ambient, moody, "Speaks His Mind". Elsewhere, Josh Cohen and Ryan Scully of The Morning 40 Federation lay down wise guy vocals over the Godzilla stomp of "Liquor Pang". While the guest vocalists get plenty of time to shine, the band doesn’t simply provide a backup groove: it jumps in hard on the instrumental tracks, "Boe Money", featuring Rebirth Brass Band, and "Cineramascope", featuring Trombone Shorty and Corey Henry both of which will warm the hearts of those that have been fortunate enough to see and feel the power of a brass band in action. Always striving to push the envelope, Galactic succeeds here with a disc that will find favor with those with a taste for edgy funk. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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