Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Kool and the Gang: Celebrate [De-Lite, 1980]
It says something for these funk pioneers that unlike James Brown, George Clinton, and the Ohio Players they've adapted painlessly, nay profitably, to disco: a number-one single leads their Deodato-produced album into the top ten. What it says is that their funk was as bland as you suspected. Even the number-one single is disco as transformed not by funksters (cf. "(not just) Knee Deep" or even "The Original Disco Man") but by bizzers (cf. "Fame" or even "Guilty")--disco without a cult, which means without a loyal audience either. C-