It's been a long time since Bootsy was vital, and when news of an all star collaboration started to permeate my consciousness, I started to worry for the funkmeister general. After all, Carlos Santana managed to make one of the worst albums of his career when he did the same (although I am reliably informed the new, unheard by me, Santana is even worse - shiver:-). So how has Bootsy Baby coped with an influx of Snoop Doggs, Fat Joes, Rosie Gaines, Fat Boy Slims, Rosie Gaines (yes!), Bobby Womack (yesser!) and Lady Miss Kier (yessest!). Well, he's made the album Prince hasn't made since the glory days of Diamonds and Pearls, the finest Bootsy album in 25 years, and a strong contender for one of the albums of the year. For once, the star guests don't overshadow the main man, and when the funk hits dead centre ("Groove Eternal"), you suddenly remember why you bought those dancing shoes in the first place. Of the 12 real tracks, at least nine are instant hits, a fairly remarkable strike rate in this day and age. The old timers amongst us, who remember Dee-Lite with a great deal of fondness, will leap with joy at the two Lady Miss Kier numbers, with "I'm Tired Of Good, I'm Trying Bad" slipping in slightly ahead of "All Star Funk". Hell, even the dreadfully named "The Bomb" with Fat Boy Slim manages to pass muster. Top mars, however, go to Sly & Robbie for "Soul Sista" and the divine Rosie Gaines for "Don't Let 'Em".
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