Bootsy Collins: “World Wide Funk” Album Review

Written By: Sam Marshall 

Funk Master shows how it is done.

Originality: (5 / 5)
Vocals/Flow: (5 / 5)
Lyrics: (5 / 5)
Production: (5 / 5)
Average: (5 / 5)

Last month the funk legend known as Bootsy Collins released his first album in 6 years. World Wide Funk is an astoundingly eclectic, feelgood musical masterpiece from one of the greatest funk masters.

World Wide Funk is a really impressive piece of work. Across 15 songs, and pulling in artists from all over the place, such as Mr. Talkbox and Big Daddy Kane, Bootsy Collins (et al.) puts together a masterpiece of funky goodness, which is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.

What is really striking about the album is the styles and musicians that are drawn into it. It goes without saying that World Wide Funk is majorly funk-driven, but it is all of the additional artists that add so many extra dimensions to it. There is a techno-swing presence throughout the album, and at points you get 90s R&B as well. The opening of “Bass-Rigged-System”, for example, injects a cool techno-swing edge, and also a slightly biting political edge before heightening the funk about a minute in. It is worth mentioning that there are some pushes towards a heavier rock sound as well, but they all really work. All 15 tracks meld seamlessly from one to the next, and the infusion of different styles works magnificently.

The use of samples on the album has to be noted, but again, it works. Looking at Collins’ life and output you know that he is loving everything on the album, and fully playing up to the image that he is portraying on the record. Even looking at the album cover-art you see this musical master elevated as a cartoon funk-god, and you just want to meet him. He doesn’t shy away from maintaining his character either, as some artists of his age do. In “Ladies Nite” or “Hi-On-Heels” the overt sexuality of the music really shows, and you just want to slutdrop to the sounds all night long.

 

I can’t think of an album since Major Lazer’s Peace is the Mission that unites such diverse artists in such a consistently good way. Credit must be given to Collins for his embracement of other styles, and the way that they are exploited on the album. Undoubtedly, the production team must be given a lot of credit, because the production is sublime. You can certainly hear the likes of Snoop Dogg on tracks like “Hi-On-Heels”. Emotionally, though, “A Salute To Bernie” really hits hard. Bernie Worrell, who Collins formerly played with but died last year, is given a tribute and track title (Collins uses actual recordings of his playing on the track) and the song is really heartfelt. Stick it on and feel the World Wide Funk!

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