Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Digital Underground

  • Sex Packets [Tommy Boy, 1990] Choice Cuts
  • This Is an E.P. Release [Tommy Boy, 1991] A-
  • Songs of the P [Tommy Boy, 1991] ***
  • The Body-Hat Syndrome [Tommy Boy, 1993] A-
  • Who Got the Gravy? [Jake, 1998] ***
  • Playwutchyalike: The Best of Digital Underground [Tommy Boy/Rhino, 2003]

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Sex Packets [Tommy Boy, 1990]
"The Humpty Dance"; "Doowutchyalike" Choice Cuts

This Is an E.P. Release [Tommy Boy, 1991]
There's no "Doowutchyalike" or "Humpty Dance" here, but those aren't true album cuts anyway; there's also no "Gutfest '89," the frat-boy fantasy about girls in cages that put the rest of Sex Packets beyond my ken until these remixes sent me back to compare and contrast. The hectic dissonances underneath the original "Sex Packets" jar the senses nicely, but I'll take the slick byplay of this laid-back in-your-face, which sets out to prove that funky dooesn't mean hard. Nor is "Same Song" a novelty, baby brutha. And in case you're worried they're going quiet storm on you, Humpty Hump gets chicken grease on a young thing's pantyhose. A-

Songs of the P [Tommy Boy, 1991]
you can wear out the hard and the brother-brother-brother, but you can't wear out the cosmic slop ("The Dflo Shuffle," "Kiss You Back") ***

The Body-Hat Syndrome [Tommy Boy, 1993]
After three tries, here's the P-Funk album of their destiny--tasteless, compassionate, uproarious, private, cultural. Given their frat-boy tendencies, maturity suits them--if you're going to tell tales on that special friend who ate peanut butter out of your asshole, it helps to compensate with sad, shocked reports from the front. The key is "Doo Woo You," in which a smooth freaky brother talks a woman into his bed and a white guy into his head simultaneously. A-

Who Got the Gravy? [Jake, 1998]
imparts new flavor, if not flava, to the word "lubricious" ("Who Got the Gravy?" "Wind Me Up," "The Odd Couple") ***

Playwutchyalike: The Best of Digital Underground [Tommy Boy/Rhino, 2003]
See: Recyclables.

See Also