Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Funk Box [Hip-O, 2000]
Praise UniMoth from whom all blessings flow. Thanks to the corporate consolidation that unifies MCA's and PolyGram's holdings, as well as the corporate cooperation that frees WEA to share Aretha and AWB, here's the rare box that makes sense (and music) of tracks you could never hear (or stand) rather than diminishing ones you cherish into generic or hero-mongering oblivion. Roy Ayers? Patrice Rushen? Billy Preston? The Fatback Band? Fatback? With their basslines pumped and their best tricks set off by the deeper tricks of betters from JB on down, all jam like jam bands oughta and Uncle Jam said they should. Stretching over four CDs as expansive as the world music they encapsulate, these 55 tracks are worth your 50 bucks no matter how many you already own. Scrooge option: the same label's 12-track Love Funk. A