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Phat Phunktion: You and Me

Wisconsin-based Phat Phunktion has a horn-driven sound that draws inspiration from ’70s funk, and on You and Me (Liquid 8), the band’s first release on a national label, producers Tim Whalen and Al Falaschi demonstrate a talent for crafting strong, danceable tracks. “Rocco” is an infectious band jam powered by a bass rhythm so irresistibly funky that it’s practically impossible to listen to it and not move. The catchy “A Little Bit” is propelled by a loping groove and, in a change of pace, the slower, soulful “Always” features gospel piano.

Musically, the album is first-rate; vocally, however, it’s hit and miss. On the hip-hop tune “Red Carpet,” the rapper spits out an acerbic commentary on the music business with urgency and fury, which is well matched by the “machine gun” accompaniment, but weak, rhythmless rapping drags down the otherwise highly appealing “Untitled” and the title track.

Originally Published