Monday, 27 May 2019

The Isley Brothers - Get Into Something (1970)

If he can you can....

  

Released March 1970

The third in the excellent run of post-Motown Isley Brothers albums. This one has the old "side one" being largely comprised of brassy, horn-driven funky soul, while "side two" serves up some slower pace ballads. This practice of having two distinct ambiences to each side was something that would be continued on their albums in the mid/late seventies as funk mixed with sweet soul.

TRACK LISTING

1. Get Into Something
2. Freedom
3. Take Inventory
4. Keep On Doin'
5. Girls Will Be Girls
6. I Need You So
7. If He Can You Can
8. I Got To Find Me One
9. Beautiful
10. Bless Your Heart                        

"Get Into Something" is a seven minute funk workout, the first real sign of the direction the Isley Brothers' music would take as the seventies progressed. Yes, they had done shorter funky songs before, but this was an extended groove. It features a killer drum solo bit at the end and a bit where they say "let the bass come in..." and it duly does, rumblingly. "Freedom" has a jaunty, swinging brassy rhythm to it and a jazzy feel to it. "Take Inventory" is a superb slice of bassy funk. Just wonderful. This is the Isleys at their funkiest. Actually, just as cookin' is the thumping "Keep On Doin'". For 1970, this is ground-breaking in its funkiness.

The funk comes to an end, unfortunately, with the slightly throwaway, cheesy "Girls Will Be Girls", despite its lovely deep bass sound and uplifting brass. It improves as it progresses, to be fair. Now for the change in pace as the ballads come in. "I Need You So" is a nice one, but I am missing the funk already. Hold on a minute! Is that a wah-wah guitar I hear? Indeed it is, and we get a bit of Sly & the Family Stone-style stuff in "If He Can You Can". This is a great track. "I Got To Find Me One" is back to the ballads, as is "Beautiful", although the latter has a catchy little backbeat to it.

"Bless Your Heart" is, however infectious it undoubtedly is, a blatant re-write of "It's Your Thing" from the previous year. No matter, this has still been a stonker of an album, although one of two very different halves.

B-

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