They formed new sounds and were one of the very big names in funk music – the best about Kool & the Gang is that they are still active. Even they lost one of their founding members this year, the album Perfect Union is their first publication for about a decade. The release date is 20th August 2021.
Kool & The Gang – About The Artists
The roots of Kool & the Gang are back to 1964. The two brothers Robert Kool and Ronald Bell formed the band together with Dennis Dee Tee Thomas, Robert Spike Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown and Ricky West. Their home town is Jersey City. Kool Bell and George Brown are still part of the band, who lost Ronald Bell and Dennis Thomas in 2020 resp. 2021 as active members. Other band members today are Michael Ray, Curtis Fiz Williams, Shawn McQuiller, Kevin Bell, Tim Horton, LAvell Evans, Jermaine Bryson, Walt Anderson, Ravi Best and Shelly Paul. Going through the whole band history, in which Perfect Union is the 25th studio album, blows the capacity of this review.
The biggest song of the combo definitely happened in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. In this time, the band released global hits like Ladies’s Night, Celebrate or Something Special. Kool & the Gang won two Grammys and seven American Music Awards. They sold 70 million albums worldwide.
Kool & The Gang – Perfect Union – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 36 minutes. Pursuit of Happiness is included on the album in two versions.
1. Pursuit of Happiness
To me, this song is something like the title track and core of the album. A great, catchy song with a lot of reference to the American Declaration Rights, freedom rights – and freedom fighters
And I wanna live in a world full of peace
The color of skin, it just don’t matter
Let’s get along and let’s get better
I want a life, full of love, full of peace
Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness
2. The Weekend
While the opener had a lot of sound how I would expect a Kool & The Gang song to sound like in 2021, The Weekend is more like a modern R&B song with rap episodes. The song has a cool groove, though, including the almost lavish instrumentation. Nice.
3. Leave It on the Dance Floor
Leave It on the Dance Floor made me dance from the very first second. There is so much funk in this track. Kool & The Gang just make me move – like they are doing since decades. Great song, which will receive a lot of love from the 1970’s / 1980’s fans of the band.
Wow, that’s a Latin dance rhythm. High comes with a rhythm which just catches you and just does not allow anything else than enjoying the track. Melodically, the chorus is definitely the best part of this song. Not as good as the songs before – but extremely magic and catchy – however these guys do it.
5. Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours)
If you mix R&B with funk… you simply get Kool & The Gang. And that’s what this song is about. This song is simply Sexy – one of the best ones of the album.
6. All to Myself
Even though the band is using very similar elements to create their songs (like harmonic vocals, brass, Latin music style rhythms, each song comes with a very own character. All to Myself feels cool, laid back, but does have not have a that strong funky presence like for example Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours) before. Nice!
The seventh song is one of these songs which feel extremely modern. You just would not guess that this guess is active since the 1960’s (with some original members). The song also has a lot of potential to allow interacting with the audience.
8. Hold On
The eighth song is having a rather easy chorus, which may be cool to party or when these legends are on stage.
9. Good Time
Good Time is somehow the last song of the album, apart from the second version of Pursuit of Happiness. It feels so familiar, so much like a song by this band. Love it!
10. Pursuit of Happiness (Rap Version)
Pursuit of Happiness is like a musical frame around the other songs of Perfect Union. The Rap Version is shorter than the opener (by some two minutes).
Kool & The Gang – Perfect Union – Spotify
Here is Perfect Union on Spotify:
Kool & The Gang – Perfect Union – My View
Thanks guys! So cool to hear some new tunes by Kool & The Gang. Their sound in 2021 is just still good and a great listen. Happy and thankful for Perfect Union.
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