Online since August 2002

Funky Ferrell

Reviewed March 2008

Semi-Pro: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Semi-Pro: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
By various artists

New Line Records: 2008

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.

This soundtrack from the new Will Ferrell movie could almost have been titled Vol. 6 from Rhino's now out-of-print "In Yo Face" series of funk's greatest hits. With some of the biggest hits of the 1970s by bands like the Brothers Johnson, Ohio Players, Sly & the Family Stone, War and Curtis Mayfield, the music here is enough to make you break out your bellbottoms and hang some fuzzy dice from your rear-view mirror.

Of course, what makes this funk collection stand out from others is the inclusion of Will Ferrell's "Love Me Sexy," sung in character as Jackie Moon, the one-hit wonder turned minor-league basketball team owner in the movie. On this track, Ferrell sings in the vein of Bill Cosby on his 1976 soul parody, "Bill Cosby is Not Himself These Days (Rat Own Rat Own Rat Own)" – not so much poking fun at the music as at his own personna. (And with lines like, "Let's fill the bathtub full of sweat," clearly he's not taking himself seriously.) It's got a catchy melody, Ferrell isn't a half-bad singer, and it's funny enough that maybe it will catch on with radio and revive the tradition of the novelty hit.

If the producers had included the original hit versions of "Shining Star" and "Tell Me Something Good," instead of second-rate covers, this might have been the best one-disc funk collection ever. Still, it's mighty good.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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