Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Ultra Wave [Warner Bros., 1980] B+

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Ultra Wave [Warner Bros., 1980]
Though the Rubber Band was the only P-Funk spinoff to sell through, distinguishing it from the parent organization quickly became problematic. Conceived partly as bait for Warner Bros., it did serve the special interests of subteen Geepies for a while, not to mention the special interests of Bootsy, certainly the most charismatic Funkateer save the Dr. himself, but before long Parliament was making kiddie moves and the Starman was fizzling. So on the one hand this is a welcome return to form, and on the other it's interim P-Funk--from the "Shortnin' Bread" intro through the "unenjoyment line" protest through the jump blues tribute all the way to the climactic "Sound Crack," which after several dead-end tangents returns all space travelers to the ineluctable One. B+