Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Funky Stuff: The Best of Funk Essentials [Mercury, 1993]
The Funk Essentials series doesn't just overreach, it blares mediocrity--not only will it convince the unsuspecting to reserve the slow ones for Chic, P-Funk, and Slave, it might make them doubt the infinitude of the offbeat itself. As a restorative, I prescribe this best-of-the-best-of. Even as it invites a dock by compelling "Word Up" fans to buy the entire Cameo disc, it does Con Funk Shun and the Bar-Kays more solids than I'd thought they deserved and adds stray strokes from Leon Haywood, Bohannon, and the mysteriously MIA Gap Band. Less than you hoped for, as much as you need. A-