A new Sly Stone album! Well, kinda. His first new release since 1982 is basically a Sly Plays Sly tribute album, in which the reclusive funk genius pairs up with classic-rock “friends” (Ray Manzarek, Ann Wilson) to rerecord his greatest hits. The results are spunky, if unnecessary: Why bother with Sly and Jeff Beck‘s remake of “(I Want to Take You) Higher” when you can listen to the torrid original? Of prime interest are three new songs – a brass-and-organ-driven take on the gospel standard “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” and two originals: the gutbucket funk of “Plain Jane” and “Get Away,” a gorgeous soul vamp with a refrain – “Keep singin’ that melody!” – that whets the appetite for a full-fledged Sly comeback.
Listen to “(I Want to Take You) Higher” feat. Jeff Beck: