1974, Music

Rufusized (1974) by Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan

I know so little about Rufus or Chaka Khan that I thought, by the attribution, that this was a Rufus album on which she had guested. So I guess that means you should take what I say with a grain of salt.

Rufus seem to specialize in a slick, catchy form of funk that one might be tempted to call “pop funk” only we know what happened and it’s clearly one of the stepping stones between funk and disco. (I wouldn’t be surprised if their entire oeuvre was an essential part of that evolution.) Khan is such a dynamic performer that it’s easy to just think of her and not the rest of the record. So you understand why the attribution is the way it while feeling for the other band members.

The songs are quite catchy and, though I don’t recognize any of them, I recognize parts of a few of them meaning I must have heard some of them at some point, or samples of some of them. (For example, part of “Somebody’s Watching You” sounds really familiar but it’s not the chorus.) So if you’re put off by hardcore funk because it’s not catchy enough, rest assured, this is catchy enough.

But this is a slick brand of funk, and it’s one I have trouble with. There are songs which are leaner and relatively free of overdubs, which work better for me. And Khan’s voice sometimes moves the songs towards the rawer end of the spectrum. But there are other tracks which are just basically funkier Philly Soul, and that doesn’t do anything for me at all.

If Khan wasn’t such a dynamic performer I would probably be harder on this, even with the catchy songs. I just don’t like this kind of funk music, no how well made it is. It very much feels like it it is polished past the point of sanity, and feels half way (if not more) to disco.

6/10

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