Multi-instrumentalist Joseph "Amp" Fiddler served one of the best apprenticeships available in black music with a stint in Funkadelic, going on to apply George Clinton's formula of future-funk with a firm grasp of its roots to his own solo debut, 2004's Waltz of a Ghetto Fly. That album's retro-funk stylings are further extended on this superior follow-up, where Amp comes on like the gifted love-child of Sly Stone and Chaka Khan on tracks such as "Funky Monday" and "You Could Be Mine". His tribute to his hometown, Detroit, "Seven Mile", draws together the various strands of the city's musical heritage, from Motown to the techno innovations of Derrick May and Juan Atkins, while elsewhere he applies a surface lacquer of jazz-funk horns to "If I Don't", with the climactic clarinet solo as the cherry on top. The only sour note is struck by "Empower", a ghastly blob of self-assertiveness cliches intruding on an otherwise light-hearted, high-living, low-riding cruise around Amp's neighbourhood. "Faith is what you need to have," he suggests in the opening track, and judging by the way he keeps the faith here, he has plenty to spare.
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