So here we are on a Sunday Afternoon and I’m posting a review of ALL ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON, the new album from the SUGAR FREE ALLSTARS. Yes, the timing is intentional, though this review was actually keyed into The Rock Father’s somewhat-evil supercomputer several days ago and set to post at 12:01pm CST, so that technically it would post after noon – by a minute. Set for release this Tuesday on Wiser Music, ALL ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON may not be a record for everyone, hence, I must ask you a question: Do you like Funk?
To understand the roots from which the SUGAR FREE ALLSTARS sprout, you need look no further than the eighth track on the album, where Motown, James Brown, and Stax Records all get name-dropped on the “Love Train” (which features Keller Williams), as does late SOUL TRAIN host Don Cornelius and the O’JAYS.
That said, the family-friendly grooves crafted by Chris “Boom!” Wiser and Rob “Dr. Rock” Martin are closer to DR. TEETH AND THE ELECTRIC MAYHEM than BOOKER T. & THE MG’S, and that works well for a duo that easily matches the sound of a much larger band. If you answered “No” to my question regarding funk, then you will most certainly not enjoy this album, and for that I feel bad for you.
Summer-y (“Ice Cream Truck”) and informative (learn what makes a hiccup “Hiccup!”), ALL ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON plays smooth from start to finish, highlighted by solid jams like “Put ‘Em Away” (nice percussive accents from the Doc, here), which is one of the more inventive “pick up your toys” songs that I’ve heard. I can almost see Jake Blues highlighted in a blue glow while dancing between pews as the band hits the 3:09 mark on “99 Questions,” and while I’m not a big on “church,” this song certainly seems to have been conducted by the Reverend Cleophus James.
The album is complimented by a 40-minute live DVD that features songs from this and previous releases from the SUGAR FREE ALLSTARS, and while the music doesn’t sound quite as robust as it does in the studio setting, you can tell from the reactions of the kids in the audience (or the kids in your living room) that these ‘ALLSTARS really do hit a home-run in the eyes of the children.
The Rock Father Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
FTC Disclosure: A copy of this album and it’s accompanying DVD were provided to The Rock Father for the purpose of review consideration. All opinions noted are that of James Zahn and take into account the reaction of a toddler. Choose to agree or disagree at your own discretion.