Having revisited their 1960s landmark Odessey and Oracle a few years back, Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone here revive The Zombies as a going concern, with a new album that repositions the band within the sonic lineage of Steely Dan.
For his follow-up to 2009's Grammy-winning Potato Hole, Booker T Jones has hooked up with The Roots, whose drummer Questlove co-produces. He's no fool: the result is an even more potent clutch of instrumentals, punctuated with the occasional vocal from Sharon Jones and some surprising male singers, including The National's Matt Berninger and Lou Reed, who croaks arthritically about how "The Bronx gets its flavour from the streets". Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" gets turned into an instrumental, while the classic funk groove of opener "Walking Papers" actually sounds closer to The Meters than The MGs, with crisp drums, striding bassline and hanging rhythm guitar beneath Booker's soulful organ. Elsewhere, the chief value of "Progress" ironically lies in its refusal to leave the basic groove and progress in any way.
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