Art of Groove

Remember The Family? Yes, that Family, the one formed by Prince in the 1980s. A funk and soul unit put together to be the thunderclouds behind the Purple Rain. They lasted one album before collapsing and now, the Family has reformed as fDeluxe – and frankly, we’re not sure if it was such a good idea.

What you’re looking at here is bog-standard funk with some soul vocals and the odd ballad. It’s all very competent, pleasant and well-produced. It’s also about as exciting as discussing the merits of different carburettors down the pub.

The beats themselves aren’t too bad – drummer Jellybean Johnson in particular shines, especially on cuts like Over The Canyon. But vocalists “St Paul” Peterson and Susannah Melvoin have zero chemistry – really, none at all – which means that Gaslight is, sadly, very dull indeed.

It’s a curious position to be in. There is so much outstanding funk available, and something this formulaic just isn’t worth bothering with. Diehard Family fans will enjoy it, but there’s little to keep your attention.


Rob Boffard