Funk is the thread weaving through the Neville Brothers' first album in five years.
Funk is the thread weaving through the Neville Brothers' first album in five years. Joining Aaron, Art, Charles and Cyril—the self-described "professors of the uptown funk"—are Aaron's son Ivan and Art's son Ian. To borrow from an old saying, good funk should leave you feeling like you've been rode hard and put away wet. The family does get down on the pulsating "Carry the Torch" and the title track. But overall, the Nevilles never seem to completely cut loose, leaving the listener begging to be funked up more. That's definitely the case with a couple of promising interludes ("Pepper Funk," "Middle Passage"). By the same token, the inspirational "Brothers" and "Rivers of Babylon"—showcasing the brothers' soothing vocals—call to mind their legendary R&B prowess more than any feats of funkdom.—GM