As another year passes, it is fun to look back at the music we loved and reminisce. Those songs were the soundtrack of our life and remind us of the good times we had. Especially when those songs were funky!
You probably loved a lot of music in 2019. But was it funky music? What makes music funky?
Funk is a mixture of soul, jazz, and R&B (rhythm and blues). Because it is a mixture of things, it is hard to define.
What separates funk from its influences of soul, jazz and R&B, as well as other kinds of music is a strong bass line, even a melodic bass line at times, with complex rhythms that combine to create a groove.
Groove is hard to define, too, because it is a feeling, or a vibe. Because of this emotional quality, you don’t think a song has groove, you feel a song has groove. And you know it when you feel it.
Here is a retrospective list of the six funkiest albums of 2019 that will take you back:
1. It Rains Love – Lee Fields & the Expressions
Lee Fields has been recording off and on since 1969 and the title song, It Rains Love feels like it came right out of the ‘70’s in a lovely retro way. He’s not afraid to use horns!
Another thing that attracts people to this album is that Lee Fields wrote the album on a theme of love, a love that elevates even the most mundane aspects of life.
2. Ventura – Anderson .Paak
Ventura is Paak’s first U.S. top 10 album, with lead singles “King James” and “Make It Better”, which features legend Smokey Robinson.
“Make It Better” is romantic and yet relatable. A romance is broken – how do you fix it?
Not only did people love this album, but it got critical acclaim as well.
3. Rito de Passá – MC Tha
MC Tha is Thais Dayane da Silva. She is a singer-songwriter born in Sao Paolo, Brazil. She released her first single in 2014, and really broke through in 2018 with her single, “Valente”.
She combines funk with pop, and the title track of this album, Rito de Passá, sounds a little like world music, sung in Portuguese and with distinctive rhythms.
4. Igor – Tyler the Creator
This album was produced entirely by Tyler. He teamed up with Solange for the single I Think, and what comes out is a fun song with happy beats.
5. Cuz I Love You – Lizzo
Anything Lizzo touches turns to gold, and deservedly so. Cuz I Love You isn’t an album that is all funk, but Crybaby has a bass heavy, funky touch.
6. Stolen Diamonds – The Cat Empire
The Cat Empire is a group from Australia that formed in 1999. In the title track, Stolen Diamonds you can hear a lot of Latin influence, and their sound is punctuated with brass, courtesy of The Empire Horns. This is an album that makes you move!
If these albums don’t deliver on funk, then nothing will!