Monday, 28 October 2019

The Undisputed Truth - Higher Than High (1975)

Boogie bump boogie....

  

Released in 1975

The spacey funky groove of the same year’s Cosmic Funk is continued on this release from later in 1975. There is a bit more of a return to the group’s essential soulful, driving funk/soul feel in places, though. There are definite snatches of the classic albums from 1971-1973. The tracks are shorter, with less extended workouts than on some previous albums. It is a different album from those early Temptations-influenced psychedelic soul albums but it is a good one, a really good example of funky soul.

TRACK LISTING

1. Higher Than High
2. Poontang
3. Life Ain't So Easy
4. Boogie Bump Boogie
5. Help Yourself
6. I'm In The Red Zone
7. Overload
8. I Saw When You Met Her
9. Ma                                                               

Higher Than High is a pulsating, lively piece of horn and electric keyboard funk to kick off the album with. Check out that funky brass part near the end and the Sly Stone-ish vocal. Poontang has an infectious, rhythmic slow beat and a very Parliament/Funkadelic psychedelic funk vibe to it.

Life Ain’t So Easy has a slow, under-cooked, quite intro that takes nearly two minutes to kick in, but when it does it is a super piece of gritty soul with a sad message to it. The shared vocals are wonderful, full of hard-hitting urban soul pedigree. Even in this latter period of the group’s career, they could still seriously cut it. This is a great track.

The funk is back on the copper-bottomed spacey funk groove of Boogie Bump Boogie, with its typically mid-seventies funk vocals, sci-fi keyboard sound effects and searing guitar. The funk is so hot on this track it hurts. Help Yourself is a rhythmic funker full of great fatback drum sounds and sharp guitar interjections. Those drums really cook on this one, as does the big, throbbing, rubber-band bass.



I’m In The Red Zone has some seriously buzzy funky guitar breaks and a big, strong, soulful Temptations meet Edwin Starr vocal. Overload also sounds like Edwin Starr and has the group bemoaning various things about contemporary life over a frantic funky beat. I Saw When You Met Her rumbles with a deep, soulful feel and the vocals are superb, as is the backing. Proper funky soul.

The album's longest track is its only Temptations connection, a cover of Ma from their 1973 Masterpiece album. The Truth deal with superbly, with some great vocal harmonies, interaction and killer drums that pound right out of your speakers. There is more great guitar all over it too.

This is a little-mentioned but really impressive album with excellent sound quality as well.

B

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