This is far and away my favourite Parliament album and I’m inclined to say their best, but I’m biased. (I.e. I greatly prefer Funkadelic.)
For me, that’s probably because it really feels as though Funkadelic has really filtered in (back in?) to Parliament’s sound. Though this band is definitely still more about dancing and partying than crazy guitar solos, it feels like the aesthetic has bled over more than it has on any album since the debut. (And that is basically just a Funkadelic in Parliament’s name.)
Maybe I’ve just listened to them enough at this point but, for me, everything here works better than it does on earlier or later records. The goofiness, the gang vocals, the obsession with singing and saying “funk” ad infinitum. Usually I get exasperated with Parliament at some point on the their albums but not here.
Add to that this is their strongest material. Sure there’s “Give Up the Funk” (you know it as “We want the funk”), but the rest of the material is mostly just about as catchy at their most famous track. (Even when Collins is speaking, they actually have catchy melodies to go along with that for once.) It’s just so consistent compared to their other records. It’s easily their best set of songs.
And, like basically any Parliament-Funkadelic record, it still sounds great all these years later. That’s never been an issue for me, even before I got over my aversion to the repetition of the word funk. One thing you basically cannot criticism George Clinton for is the sounds of his records he made in the ’70s. To be able to have so much going on and have such clarity is a real skill.
Anyway, it’s their best album and I don’t know that it’s close.
David Booie? Ha.