Chris Daly is smoking Optimos in Orlando.
Enter Cole Williams aka The Child of Lov, a 25-year-old Dutch musician whose age and location belie a musical kinship with everyone from George Clinton to D’Angelo.
With his eponymous LP out now on either Double Six Records or Domino Records depending on which side of the pond one hails, TCOL takes old school, Parliament-style funk and liberally updates it with hip-hop and dance floor sensibilities. Opener “Call Me Up” is a slowed down version of “Mothership Connection,” all blunt smoke and layered vocals, falsettos and deep bass rumblings percolating into bubbling mess of goodness. This shit is so funky you may well have to scrape it off your speakers between plays.
First single, “Heal,” ups the tempo and brings the groove to the dance floor, where all good funk parties must eventually delve. It also introduces the album’s first co-sign, in the form of Damon Albarn on bass. He shows up again on the very next track, “One Day,” with its obvious Gorillaz feel. “Living the Circle” has elements of dub, with its wonky wub-wub-wubs, but thankfully manages to avoid any bro-step pitfalls by remaining true to its own groove, its reverence outweighing any potential cheesiness. “Give Me” and “Go With the Wind” reignite the earlier, more lively vibe of “Heal,” but it’s “Owl” that stands out as the stand-alone gem here.
With tripped out, Middle Eastern sounding strings being plucked over even trippier vocals and dusty kick drums, none other than the masked man himself, DOOM, spits his familiar, chimerical rhyme schemes for one of the best tracks he’s guested on in a minute. “Fly” and “Warrior” jump back onto the overall groove, a mixture of last call jams and slurred vocals. Album closer “”Give It To the People” is the only real anomaly here, not because the track is in any way inferior to the others, but out of nowhere, the album goes from Dr. Funkenstein to David Byrne seemingly out of nowhere. Thematically, everything here fits fine with each other, themes of love and empowerment abounding. It’s just a bit of a musical departure is all.
As the Starchild once pointed out, funk used to be a bad word. With new torch bearers like The Child of Lov at the forefront of the funk rmovement, it thankfully looks to remain that way for at least the foreseeable future.