Thursday, 31 May 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #199 - Cameo, "We All Know Who We Are"

Back to Peel as they've moved on to E now and I'm still on the Cs. And I couldn't find a new album quickly enough as I'm working against both clock and calendar to get to number 200 by midnight. And I'm curious to hear what Cameo were up to eight or so years before "Word Up".

The opener "Inflation" is more the bells and whistles funk that I might've expected, none of the sleek futurism or red codpieces of the mid-Eighties. A bit of tongue-somewhere-near-the-cheek social observation over the top. Quite Ze Records. "C On The Funk" sounds a wee bit dated, they call it "Formaldehyde Funk" apparently or "the dead boogie". Hmmm. Then there's a bit of romance on "Why Have I Lost You?" and I'm feeling a little desperate: there's some lyrical clunk on the scale of Trapped in the Closet.

Some rattle-arse left hand keyboard on "Stand Up", which picks it way out across the street with all full strut activated and everything clicking and pumping. So, good. I seem to be spending the whole time trying to extrapolate Word Up from the album rather than actually listening to it. But I guess those are the chips when you pull that out of the pocket, eh?

The title track is in that, like, spiritual mode with soulful brass stabs and profound bass licks and aspiration leaking from its pores. I quite like it, especially the vocals. And the sentiment. "It's Serious" is exactly the kind of workout that sounds serious. An African feel on the underneath that pushes it, swinging from side to side for eight minutes. Then "It's Over" is a bit more sultry and closes it all off.

I apologise for the childish nature of this appraisal.

Rating: How'd They Get Word Up out of This?

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