Funkadelic – Maggot Brain album review

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Note : On request from my good friend Chris Lindsay, who appears to never be wrong about music or anything else in life.
Second Review – Proven to be a bit more difficult but still a beginner, here’s to hopefully improving!

Track 1 – Maggot Brain
‘Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time for y’all have knocked her up’ are the words that are echoed out during the intro of this track, to which you are then going to be given 10 golden minutes of some of the finest guitar playing I have heard in a long time. The soft finger picking that underlines the track during it’s first minutes gives out so much emotion that captivates you as a listener whilst Eddie Hazel (guitar) pulls you in with such a strong solo that really makes you close your eyes and go to another place, a distant place where the most peaceful of lives are lived. From start to finish, Maggot Brain cannot be turned off or turned down, it can only be played and felt.
Rating – 9/10

Track 2 – Can You Get To That
Can You Get To That has a completely different vibe to Maggot Brain, it has such a feel-good sound to it. The music in itself makes you tap your feet and move your head to the rhythm of the song whilst the lyrical content is easy to follow making it get that hold of you where you’re singing it around your house, out in public, wherever you are. The vocals however on this track are that flavour every track needs, the harmonies work so tightly together, there is so much going on with them but done so simple so it doesn’t appear messy or over-powering. If this track was a person? Damn! What a fine person they would be .
Rating – 10/10

Track 3 – Hit It and Quit It
Hit It and Quit It has the same feel-good vibe to it as Can You Get To That, following off as if it the next chapter in one of the funkiest of books. The vocals yet again are simple but powerful putting some real soul into the track however Bernie Worrell (vocals and keys) really takes hold of the track by both hands and powers through with such an outstanding use of the Organ making it have that raw yet funk sound in. Eddie Hazel jumps back in for the outro of the track with another solo that captures the essence of Hit It and Quit It.
Rating 8/10

 Track 4 – You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks
This track is claimed to be the sequel to the previous song, showing ‘class conscious’ relations through the lyrical content. The vocals are now took over by Billy Bass Nelson who adds a sweet seductive feel to the song whilst the rest of Funkadelic create a sound that really helps add emphasis to the vocal line this time. The percussion/drums however on this track really have a fantastic swinging groove feel them which really keeps this track upbeat and full of the funk!
Rating 7/10.

Track 5 – Super Stupid
Once again, just like every other track on the record the vocals are switched over once again this time however by the genius behind the guitar, Eddie Hazel. This keeps the track in itself more guitar and singular-vocal dominated as opposed to anything else on the record where multiple vocal tracks have been delivered ect. It has more of a classic rock feel to it than the Psychedelic-Funk that Funkadelic go for. The guitar playing throughout the album seems too just keep getting better and Super Stupid proves that the way it works alongside the drums, keeping a fantastic feel to the song and leaving it’s mark on the album.
Rating 9/10

Track 6 – Back In Our Minds
Back In Our Minds is definitely one that is unusual in terms of musical abilities being made obvious through the use of the Jaw Harp. The vocals are drastically quieter in this track as opposed to any other however it works effectively as it gives the listener a calmer more chilled out vibe rather than the upbeat ‘funk’ side the band had been giving us during the rest of the album. It is creatively expressive and experimental which intrigues the listener in a positive way.
Rating 7/10

Track 7 – Wars of Armageddon
This track is a mixture of musical freedom and special effects being used together to create an abstract, bizarre yet clever ending to the album. There is a deeper meaning however underneath the bizarre sounds that Funkadelic give us with this track, listening to the vocalist, he demands freedom.
The musicians create such a fantastic blend of excitement keeping your attention drawn whilst the sound effects jump in, making sense and making no sense at all. It is definitely attention grabbing and interesting for the listener, in fact it’s that interesting and bizarre towards the end you’re not even sure what you just heard, you just know you liked it.
Rating 7/10

Overall –
Maggot Brain overall? Definitely weird, definitely interesting but definitely one of the greatest albums I have heard in such a long time. It is on such a rarity that an album can make you sit back and go ‘What on earth am I listening too?’ and ‘Oh my God! This is absolutely mind-blowingly amazing’ at the same but this album makes you do that. Unusual is fun, it’s exciting. Definitely a must-listen and a must-keep listening!
8/10

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About Jessica Howkins
Music Journalism and Broadcasting graduate, Editor-In-Chief for Distorted Sound Magazine and contributor for various publications.

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