Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"Nine years on from Bootsy Collins's last new material, the P-Funk pioneer is back on a typically cosmic journey that sees him commemorating the past and energising the present. Opener Hip Hop @ Funk U is a fun-filled knees-up featuring Chuck D, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, while JB – Still the Man is an authentic homage to his old boss James Brown, and features a stirring portrayal by the Rev Al Sharpton. Mirrors Tell Lies has Collins finally collaborating with his hero, Jimi Hendrix, through musical samples and mystical soundbites, while Collins's guitarist brother, Catfish – who died during the making of the album – appears with a rasping, passionate Bobby Womack on the wonderful Don't Take My Funk. Ignore the dodgy ballads and wallow in Bootsy's genre-defining bass and irrepressible spirit – this is as close to the Mothership as it gets."-The Guardian
Down Beat (p.74) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[This is] his most alive-sounding disc in nearly two decades....Here, Collins steps into his role as a living musical institution..."
Billboard (p.32) - "[E]pic in scale, from its 16 mostly woofer-shaking tracks to the generation-spanning guest list."
Personnel: Bootsy Collins (rap vocals, guitar, keyboards, drums, drum programming); Phelps "Catfish" Collins (vocals, guitar); Adrian Hall, Candice Cheatham, Nick Arnold, Linda Shider, George Clinton , Zion Planet 10, Olvido Ruiz, Chrissy Dunn, The Bootzilla Choir, Razzberry White, Pastor Cooper, Li'l Diamond, Musiq (Soulchild), Penny Ford, Tony Wilson , Bobby Womack (vocals); Danny Ray, Tom Joyner, Ice Cube, Jimi Hendrix, Phil Ade', Faith Daniels, Rev. Al Sharpton, Xavier Styles, Khrys Styles, Snoop Dogg, Samuel L. Jackson, Dr. Cornel West (rap vocals); Buckethead, Garry Shider, Shawn Steele, Ronni "Racket" Jennings (guitar); Béla Fleck (banjo); Jerald Daemyon, Paul Patterson, Casey Driessen (strings); Hal Melia, Randy Villars, Brian Hogg (saxophone); Gary Winters, Mike Wade (trumpet, flugelhorn); Fred Wesley, Marck Fields (trombone); Joel "Razor Sharp" Johnson, Morris Mingo, Bernie Worrell (keyboards); Frankie "Kash" Waddy, Steve Jordan , Dennis Chambers, Shelia E (drums); Oui Wey Collins (drum programming).
Recording information: Bootzilla Re-Hab; Germany; LA; Lench Mob Studios, Los Angeles; The Institute of Audio Research, NYC; The Terrordome, Strong Island, NY.
Photographers: Michael Weintrob; David Carlo; Mark Alexander.
Thinking big, Bootsy Collins' 2011 effort is a conceptual trip, a funky history lesson brought to life by the P-Funk veteran, his rock-solid band, and a slew of guest stars, ranging from rapper Ice Cube to professor Cornel West. In between, there's funk-rock shredding from freaky and frequent collaborator Buckethead, some psychedelic storytelling by way of an old Jimi Hendrix interview, plus better-than-expected prose from both Rev. Al Sharpton (on the cultural magnificence of James Brown) and Samuel L. Jackson (on how the funk era was a Renaissance for the hood). Underneath it all, the P-Funk jams pop and stroll with that same old swagger, while Bootsy himself beams down his wild bits of Mothership wisdom, including "It's recess time, so put a smile on your mind" ("Don't Take My Funk") and "If you wanna lead the orchestra, you're gonna have to turn your back to the crowd" ("Siento Bombo"). The album is a bit too fat to be considered classic, but there's a casual charm to this free-flowing, reminiscence party which could have just as easily been an elaborate mess. A tribute to the late P-Funk guitarist Garry Shider and an appearance from Bootsy's older brother Catfish Collins -- who died before the album saw release -- add poignancy to this rich and funky success. ~ David Jeffries