March 26, 2003
Har Mar Superstar : You Can Feel Me
Scandalously funky sex-obsessed party tunes from a perverted genius
9 / 10
Bow your head, NME reader: The Funk is dead. Worse yet, its memory is being sullied by pretty much all those who try to revive it, and its most successful current exponent, a clueless multimillionaire buffoon with apocalyptically bad taste in hats called Jason Kay (Jason? SO not a funky name), makes matters worse by attempting to address matters ecological and pop-spiritual within The Funk, when The Funk should only, EVER, be about sex. The UH! of it, the GODDAMN! of it, the grind and dirt and nastiness of it. Either that or the shaking of one's ass, which is the same ballpark anyway.
Now raise your head up once more, because the revival of The Funk starts here and Har(old) Mar(tin Tillman) Superstar is the man working the defibrillator. Looking like an extra on a 1970s porn set (as should always be the way) and getting down like James Brown's distinctly pasty adopted heir, Har Mar inhabits a world where you are never far from a lascivious suggestion, be it one spoken by the Superstar himself or merely intimated by yet another genital-tingling libidinous bassline. It's no exaggeration to say that the last artiste to funk this dirtily was Prince in his prime - and he didn't do too badly for himself.
You can hear the echoes of Minneapolis' funkiest in Har's ludicrously self-aggrandising intro (thanking us all for his swish new car) and then we plunge into a gleeful mess of electro, hip-hop beats, bad-ass rhyming, Vocoder madness and handclaps (his and yours). 'Power Lunch' is the closest pop music has come to cramming an entire porno movie into three minutes, 'You Can Feel Me' is belligerent sex-electro that should be enjoyed "from the backseat of your car to the (perfectly judged pause) bedroom floor" and, in a sane world, will be, millions of times over. And in 'Elephant Walk', Har invents and imparts to us all a new dance wot he done invented - when was the last time Starsailor did THAT?
Complete and utter filth from start to finish, and that's as high a compliment as we can bestow on an album. If your ass fails to shake to its numerous high times, then something is wired up wrong back there. The Funk is dead. Long live The Funk.
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