Sly and and The Family Stone are back with There’s a Riot Goin’ On. I found his previous album to be mediocre so I can only hope this one is a bit better. Between the last album and this one the group released a couple of singles for an EP that did not materialize. I think both songs “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” and “Hot Fun in the Summertime” were better than the album Stand!.
Sly brings the funk on this album, at least on side one. “Luv N’ Haight” is pure funk. I am not sure what he is singing about since the lyrics are under the music. I know Haight is reference to Haight-Ashbury, which was a popular hippie community during this time period. I do not know what has happened to that region of San Francisco since its hippie days. I imagine the yuppies took over.
Without a doubt “Family Affair” was the best song from the album. It has been used by Madonna and Janet Jackson for inspiration and sampling. Jackson used it on “And On And On”.
Madonna’s “Keep It Together” Her performance is incredible.
At times, it seems the point is the music and the feeling more than the lyrics. I am all about the lyrics. I like to know what is being said and why.
Another album that falls apart on side two. I think some of the songs on side two are a bit goofy sounding, especially the female vocals. “Runnin’ Away” sounds good musically, but lacks great or even good vocals and lyrics.
This is a better album than Stand!, but I wish the focus would have been on making the message clearer. I think they are great musically. The funk is strong in this one. 7/10.