Fact is, James Brown said he was back in force on Live at the Apollo 1995, and several of his Scotti Bros. studio albums are of Nineties vintage. But the Godfather can get away with calling his new one I'm Back because he knows he's taken for granted. And the fact also is, Brown is correct to act as if he's put recent helpmates like Dan Hartman, Full Force and Narada Michael Walden to shame. Instead of bowing to electrobeat fashion, Brown and collaborator Derrick Monk create a dozen classic funk tracks squarely in the founder's definitive tradition. Three mixes of "Funk on ah Roll" reclaim Jimmy Nolen chicken scratch for the engine of life it is; "James on the Loose" collages him cunningly; and the relaxed "Kare" makes love not noise. Fact is, Brown released plenty of Seventies albums far less memorable than this one.
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