Saturday, August 13, 2011

Funkadelic - Standing On the Verge of Getting It On

Standing On the Verge of Getting It On (1974) ***1/2

So, these guys did some drugs.  Did I say some drugs?  As if you couldn't tell from the cover, which looks suspiciously like some pothead's doodling while on acid, but just wait till you drop onto the first few seconds of the album itself:  an Alvin and the Chipmunks voice sputtering very, very obviously stoned gibberish about picking boogers ("that's a gross motherfucker") and giggling about it, as well as the memorable couplet, "If you were a dog and I were a tree, I'd let you pee on me."  Songs entitled, "Jimmy's Got a Little Bitch in Him," are only conceivable if we assume that they were written and recorded on drugs, though it's reassuring that Funkadelic are tolerant of queerness even if they can't help giggling about it (I blame the marijuana).  This, their fifth or sixth album under the Funkadelic banner (who can keep track; my reviews of the band's discography are going to follow as haphazard a manner as the works themselves) is their hardest rocking, with guitarist Eddie Hazel dominating the fretworks.  The album gets off rock solid with two DY-NO-MITE! rockers (say it in that Good Times voice!  You don't remember Good Times?  Kids today, sigh....) "Red Hot Mama," and the even better, "Alice in My Fantasies," which you can tell are great just by the titles.  Unfortunately, those are followed up with over seven minutes of the slow doo-woppy, "I'll Stay," which is followed by the not-much-better "Sexy Ways," which adds up to over 10 minutes of the album consisting of a boring waste smack in the middle, seriously throwing out of whack any possible flow of goodness that the band had been building up to.  Frustrating.  Frustrating, frustrating, frustrating.  Especially that the next song is the titular track, which ranks up there as one of P-Funk's catchiest funky-groove chants EVAH - yeah, YOU just TRY to get that chorus out of your HAID!  Finally, this platter closes with "Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts," which is practically an identical twin sequel to "Maggot Brain," consisting of little more than Eddie Hazel soloing like Jimi's long-lost kid brother.  Like most sequels, it's somewhat inferior to the original, but in this case, only somewhat - it's great!  Thus, we have yet another frustratingly inconsistent P-Funk LP:  four GREAT songs and three THAT SUCKS songs.

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