Up For The Down Stroke

Not Rated

Parliament affects a studiedly bizarre persona. Graham Central Station on downs, if you will, or the Temptations with a token affection for S&M. "Testify," a remake of the mid-Sixties minor classic the group cut in safer days, flaunts a mélange of several separate, stoned voices in search of a groove but is carried along by characteristically close harmony and rhythm work once the pretense can be dealt with. The professionalism of the band shows through finally on all the cuts, though it's doubtful you will often want to weed it out. Parliament satisfies both the seeker of obscure truths and the diehard soul fan only sporadically and holds an even keel which ignores vocal and track-to-track variation and climax. The group seems to want to set the listener tripping on irrelevancies while the clear white light of R&B dynamics would furnish a more potent natural high.

From The Archives Issue 19: October 12, 1968
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