CD Review of Superbad Soundtrack by Various Artists

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Superbad Soundtrack
starstarstarstarno star Label: Lakeshore
Released: 2007
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The problem with being a funk fan today is that they ain't no new funk: it’s evolved into jazz, lighter weight hip-hop, sampled rehashings of the original powerful 1970s grooves, or playing more of the same old stuff you've heard now for the last 30 years. There will never be another Kool & the Gang's "Hollywood Swinging." "Flashlight" by Parliament was a one-time happening. Graham Central Station shuttered their shop long ago. Bootsy and Bernie are sideshows.

Until now.

First, the record-makers in charge of this playlist didn't pick obvious funk chestnuts, but instead off-radio grooves from the Bar-Kays ("Too Hot To Stop"), Curtis Mayfield ("P.S.: I Love You"), and Rick James ("Bustin' Out"). Score points for that.

Then, instead of injecting between those songs a bunch of ass-bad filler tracks, the appropriately named guitarist Lyle Workman busted his ass and took his job of writing a goshdarned dir-r-r-ty funk soundtrack to Superbad super seriously, and it's a work of funk art. Then he went and signed up some funk dinosaurs to execute his ripped-from-the-'70s charts with gusto. Even people who think the movie's merely a tedious story about a couple of tedious honkies scoring booze -- not the funny coming-of-age tale that a lot of others think it is -- will appreciate this music, with an all-star guest list of some of the greatest funk names in history: Bernie Worrell, Clyde Stubblefield, John "Jab'o" Starks, Phelps "Catfish" Collins, and of course the wild and wacky Bootsy Collins. New music, new grooves, in a lovingly loyal 1970s style that will definitely please the funk fan in you pining for another "Jungle Boogie." It's glorious, groovalicious stuff that will transport you back to Chocolate City, dig? Like we're back tuned in to George Clinton's fictitious radio station, WEFUNK.

And we haven't yet brought up the tasty Roots rap cut, "Here I Come," which is a little bit funky, a little bit industrial, and very catchy. Bottom line: If you like the movie, get the record. If you love funk, don't miss out.

~Mojo Flucke, PhD