Friday, April 11, 2008

No. 449: The World Is a Ghetto

Band: War
Album: The World Is a Ghetto
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: War's third album sans Eric Burdon is the band's finest. Smart and funky, the album was a revelation in the early 1970s.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: I think I'm too young to see the import of the record. I guess I'm just desensitized to this type of music.
Best song: The title track is great.
Worst song: "So Good to See You" isn't great.
Is it awesome?: It's good, but I don't know if it's great.

I guess it's a testament to the times that a band made of many races of people playing crossover funk/rock stuff is boring to me. "The World is a Ghetto" is basically boring to me. Even the band's hits -- "Why Can't We Be Friends?" and "Low Rider" -- are more quaint than they are great.

At the time, the band was certainly seen as something. The album's lead single, "The Cisco Kid," was a funk song about the main character from a Hispanic TV show. The title track, not surprisingly, is fantastic and socially conscious.

Again, it's a nice record. I'm sure it belongs here in the mid-400s, but I am just not feeling it.


padraig said...

rj - oh, dude, I love this record. not that I don't understand what you're saying and I probably would've said the same thing but since then I've developed a minor funk addiction (thanks again, hip hop). it sucks that War is mostly remembered for novelty trash like "Lowrider", cause they put out a whole string of good to great albums in the first half of the 70s. not quite on the level of giants like The Meters or James Brown but right in there with the best of the next tier; Ohio Players, Rufus, etc. Plus I'm a sucker for both Funkadelic-style pyschedelic funk/rock and Latin-influenced* stuff but that's just me.

*I know it's probably not your thing, but on the Latin funk tip I cannot recommend a band called Mandrill highly enough

Anonymous said...