Tuesday, 20 August 2019

The Undisputed Truth - Cosmic Truth (1975)

What kind of funny cigarette is that I'm smokin'....

  

Released in 1975

Running time 39.05

This album saw The Undisputed Truth changing their emphasis once again, having gone from psychedelic soul to easy listening soul, they now came powering back with a largely contemporary, George Clinton-style spacey funk format. It is a sort of Funkadelic meets Earth, Wind & Fire sound. This sort of funk was very de rigeur in 1975. It must have been a bit of a shock to the system to those who had enjoyed the group's earlier albums, but group like The Isley Brothers had moved in a similar direction. Just check out that rear cover image, though!

TRACK LISTING

1. Earthquake Shake
2. Down By The River
3. UFOs
4. Lil' Red Riding Hood
5. Squeeze Me, Tease Me
6. Spaced Out
7. Got To Get My Hands On Some Lovin'
8. 1990
9. (I Know) I'm Losing You                                      

"Earthquake Shake" is a wonderful, vibrant piece of the afore-mentioned spacey funk, full of searing guitar, pulsating rhythm and an almost nineties-style thumping dance beat. It is presented here in full, extended form. "Down By The River" is a slow-burning, chilled-out, churchy organ-driven number. It is, of course, a cover of Neil Young's late sixties song. Here it is given a buzzy guitar sound very reminiscent of Ernie Isley's style. That guitar subsequently appears all over the album. "UFOs", was predictably spacey, utilising some keyboard sound effects to that effect. It has an intoxicating, deep bass line and the lyrics exploit the contemporary obsession with space, aliens, ufos and the like, warning us about those freaky lights in the sky.


"Lil' Red Riding Hood" is a rumbling, pounding slow funker of a track. It is again enhanced by some searing guitar and accompanying chunky riffs. "What kind of funny cigarette is that I'm smokin'..." goes the lyric leaving no doubt as to the vibe it is conveying, man. "Squeeze Me, Tease Me" has a deliciously fuzzy guitar backing and an infectious groove from the first minute to the last. Gone are the gospelly male/female vocal interplays of the previous alums, here they are replaced by predominantly male, gruff, uber-funky voices. "Spaced Out" is a heavy funk workout. It is full-on funk rock and not as spacey as you might expect.

"Got To Get My Hands On Some Lovin'" is in the same style as most of the album - solid, muscular funk with heavy rock guitar interspersed throughout. "1990" was also a Temptations song and it fins the group going overtly political about "trouble in The White House", pollution and urban poverty. The guitar solo on this awesome. Another mighty Temptations cover closes the album with the group's marvellous take on "(I Know) I'm Losing You". This is a throwback to The Truth's earlier psychedelic soul outings, but it includes their current guitar sound and some terrific vocal/bass/drum/piano interaction. There are even some jazzy piano passages on it too. Great stuff. This is an album that should have been given far more credit than it ever got. It is up there with the great funk/rock/soul albums of the seventies.

B

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