Sly and the Family Stone created the blueprint for funk's direction in the late '60s; a sound dense, sophisticated, and complex on one hand, spacious and rhythmically elemental on the other, a style that seemed loose and open, yet demanded musical precision. In the early '70s, Sly left behind the churning, up-tempo anthems to brotherhood and positive thinking to develop a darker, more introspective sound that focused ever more intently on the subtle interaction of rhythmic elements. The result, as heard on 1971's THERE'S A RIOT GOIN' ON and 1973's FRESH, proved Sly's artistic apex.
Though lesser known than RIOT, and featuring cleaner, brighter production values, FRESH is no less astonishing than its predecessor. The first five tracks alone, including the shifting pulse of "In Time," the almost religious "Thankful N' Thoughtful," and the unendingly listenable "If You Want Me To Stay," are enough to make this disc a classic. Add to these the bubbling groove of "Babies Makin' Babies" and a definitive cover of "Que Sera, Sera," and FRESH becomes a document of meticulously constructed, high-minded soul music at its finest. Don't be misled by the corny, dated cover photo--this is one of the greatest funk albums ever.
- Genre: Funk / Soul
- Format: Vinyl
- Released: 11/29/12