Family Affair: I would hope that everyone at least knows this Sly song, seeing as it's their most popular hit. And rightfully so, it's a great tune. I love the smokiness of Sly's voice on this one, it adds a great texture to the smooth feel of the groove. Everything about this groove is very subtle, which I think makes it really great. Great keys part, I wonder if it's Sly or Billy Preston playing. There's a lot of great play with rhythm going on here. Subtle funk, I love it. Such a solid tune.
Africa Talks to You "The Asphalt Jungle": Man, these cats were on some shit when they wrote this album. This song lyrically makes no cot damn sense, but who cares, it's funky and I dig it. Love all the different guitar grooves on here. Ike Turner gets guitar credit on this album, I wonder if his abusin ass played on this tune. I love the group vocals on this one, especially for "timber" - there's a great quality to their blend. Dig the organ part. Great vocal "wawa"s, love when vocals are used to emulate different instruments. My only issue with this track is how long it is. It's 9 minutes, which is pretty damn long, and even though there's a great build up when the vocals are present, there isn't much of one when it's just the band jamming. I think a better build up or a groove switch would have benefited this track. Still mad funky though.
Brave & Strong: I love that Sly starts so many of the songs with screams - really grabs your attention to the tune. I can't understand a single thing homie is singin, but it sounds funky, so that's good. Looked up the lyrics, and again, don't make any sense. Sounds like he's on drugs, which would not be too far fetched of an assumption. But hey, those were the times, I'm not hatin. Love that there are horns in this one, nice lil addition. Larry Graham is gettin nice n funky on the bass on this, and I dig it. Nice build to this one. Solid.
(You Caught Me) Smilin': This is one of my favorite Sly songs. It's so sweet and simple, and really makes you smile just based on the groove alone. I love the phrasing of "you caught me smilin...again" that space really does wonders to the melody. Great dynamics with the horns - they provide a really nice feel to the tune. Great overall build on this one, just to be brought down for the melody - so sweet. Lovin Sly's screams on this one, they contrast the sweetness of the groove. Such a good tune.