Kool & the Gang – Perfect Union (screening) (review)

Kool & the Gang – Perfect Union (screening) (review)

  • Post category:news

Kool and the gang – perfect union

Kool & The Gang have been through more ups and downs in their five decades of music than most bands dream of. From their original incarnation as a mostly instrumental funk band to their days as a commercially conscious R&B/pop group with vocalist James “JT” Taylor delivering memorable melodies, the ensemble fronted by brothers Robert and Ronald Bell has survived. to a myriad of trends while preserving their core as a tight rhythm section with dynamic horns and engaging hooks.

The 2020 death of Ronald Bell may well have convinced founding stalwarts Robert “Kool” Bell, Dennis Thomas (who sadly passed away days before this review was published), and George Brown to throw in the towel. Instead, they chose to honor Ronald’s legacy with the release of their first new album (barring a 2013 Christmas CD) in over a decade. Ronald was the driving force behind writing and producing much of what includes perfect union, a collection of stylistically sound and mentally fulfilling tracks that will dispel any doubt about the continued validity of Kool & The Gang in the 21st century.

The opener “Pursuit of Happiness” conveys messages of universal love and togetherness that have become the symbol of the Kool brand since the worldwide success of “Celebration” in the 1980s. midtempo melody concerns about the state of humanity. Sentiments are delivered eloquently, and Keith Murray contributes some notable rapping. The overall number, however, is not among the strongest picks on Perfect union. With Anderson at the helm, there are a handful of uptempo entries that further embody the underlying funk factors the band is revered for, while grabbing the ear faster with sonic vocal hooks and instrumental punctuation.

“Leave It on the Dance Floor” opens with fast-paced verses that reference Kool classics and the sound of JT Taylor while bristling with a fresh beat and infectious energy. Anderson sees the gripping groove through, and the story line builds in tandem with the kinetic arrangement. The disappointing part comes when the cut ends abruptly after just three minutes. This is also the case with the catchy “The Weekend”. A few notches slower, but equally bump-inducing, the previous single, “Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours)”, thrives on well-crafted phrasing brought to the fore with Anderson’s charming falsetto vocals.

The second half of perfect union keeps the momentum going with a fluid blend of jazzy tones and hip-hop sensibility on “ROYALTY,” with fiery, proud lyrics and vibrant horn lines complementing a slightly Usher hook and swinging beat. On a slightly softer edge, the uplifting “Hold On” subsides with soothing guitar work alongside the retro chorus charged with faith and perseverance. Afterwards, “Good Time” ups the party mood one last time with subtle hints of past hits before the final edited version of “Pursuit of Happiness.”

The perfect union the main imperfection is the brevity of its tracks. While this may be the case due to the perceived short attention span of a small-sized society, traffic jams here are just too tight to end so quickly. How about a Extended perfect union see the celebration through to the end? In the meantime, the album stands as a clear confirmation that Kool & The Gang haven’t lost an ounce of their rhythmic talent and the finesse of their songs. Recommended.

by Justin Kantor

#Kool #Gang #Perfect #Union #screening #review