The sound of walking footsteps leads to music in the background, a door opens and you feel like you are walking into the studio with The Brooks, however you are really entering into a funk house party. You are instantly hit with a jazzy instrumental, self described song, Funkyshit; highlighted by the keyboards of Dan Thouin,
Alexandre Lapointe’s bass lines are like a thumping heartbeat of hurt on the emotional title track, Pain and Bliss. Alan Prater is a legend for a reason. He just doesn’t have a great smooth soulful vocal, he makes you feel what he’s singing. Check out his emotional cry out of not understanding a foolish woman playing foolish games or the line of “I got pa-a-a-in in my heart.” Alan literally calls out the horns of Hichem Kalfa (trumpet) and Sebastien Grenier (saxaphone).
So Hard opens as a rocker with vocal effects. After funky bass and drum beats there’s a call and response with the background vocals “Hey baby got a funky way” It’s at this point you realize The Brooks have a funky way and so much more.
Drummer Maxime Bellavance has his beats up while Phillpe Look’s phasing guitar riffs out on the brilliant, Mama. Percussionist, Marc Bell has a percussion solo with Blouin’s building keyboards and the quickness of the horns. You can once again feel Alan’s falsetto on missing Mama who taught him “I’ll be okay.” The song construction is perfection.
There are several quick snippets of songs Don’t Worry, Let’s Meet Her or Funk-A-Lude that are so good we can only hope they receive a full treatment on a future album. Two other complete songs are The Last Chance, a soulful plea to make a good impression and Play the Part, another up tempo number.
“Get me back to time when music felt so so good.” opens Funklife, a 70’s vibe that does feel so so good and is downright funky. With shout out’s of “Remember that soul.” “Remember that funky time?” “Get funky. This is the funk life.” It sure is indeed. The album ends as it began with the door opening and footsteps walking away.
Overall The Brooks deliver a full on 70’s infused funk fest jam. Their musical agility raises the bar of musicianship to a whole new level. I can literally see James Brown and Prince looking down and nodding their approval that The Brooks are now carrying on the flame of soulful funk.