Review - Funkasm

Artist: Big Shirley

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Orlando's Big Shirley realize that funk is more than just music -- it's a way of life. From their contagiously hip optimism to their Fat Albert duds, Big Shirley treats every day like one long dance party. "Funkasm," the band's second album, mixes their trademark high-energy grooves with some slower-tempo soul.

Frontman Al Cheek's smooth vocals are supported by aerobic bass lines, frisky guitars and a hearty horn section. "Bleed" builds off a nasty, slow-grinding guitar, while the George Clintonish title track bubbles with a jumping bass riff and bleating trumpet.

The album's best moments are when the band churns at top speed, as on "Revival" and "Burning Mattress" -- whose horns proclaim and plead more than a Sunday preacher. "Funkasm" assures us that Big Shirley will be livin' large for quite some time.

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