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Album review: Bootsy Collins' 'Tha Funk Capital of the World'

April 26, 2011 |  5:46 am

Bootsy_240 Bootsy Collins has called his new studio album a “musical biography,” and insomuch as it outlines the influences that helped shape the flamboyant singer-bassist's creative worldview, “Tha Funk Capital of the World” lives up to its billing: Throughout this cameo-stuffed 17-track set, Collins and his pals (including Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Bela Fleck and Samuel L. Jackson) waste no opportunity to describe the formative impact of such funk-scene forefathers as James Brown and George Clinton, both of whom Collins famously backed. In “Mirrors Tell Lies,” he even creates music to accompany a scratchy sample of Jimi Hendrix answering questions in a press conference.

The characteristically festive result is generous to a fault: Collins triggers warm memories but leaves us with only a shallow sense of how precisely his four decades in the business have affected him as a man. “Real stars have no names,” he insists near the album's end, which isn't true at all (as the rest of “Funk Capital” demonstrates). One real star is named Bootsy Collins. Wouldn't it be great to learn something new about him?

— Mikael Wood

Bootsy Collins
“Tha Funk Capital of the World”
Two stars (Out of four)