Wanna Be Your Man


Stones Throw Records, 2018


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Talk about a comeback.

Prophet, an under the radar funk musician from San Francisco's Bay Area, released his first album, Right On Time, way back in 1984. Only now, 34 years later, does he follow it up with this effort where the always impressive producer, singer-songwriter Mndsgn lends his vast talents to the boogie-friendly, retro-fun of my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Wanna Be Your Man. 

“Insanity” gets the listen off to a nostalgic-soulful start with a firm beat and playful electronica, and “Wanna Be Your Man” follows with spirited boogie, and a darker setting of shimmering pop ideas. Further along, plucky bass lines invade the ever so cautious “Ooo Wee Yeah,” while “Party” could indeed soundtrack a party with its festive atmosphere and funky rock where backing vocals complement the good time.

The second half of the album offers us the loud and vibrant “Tonight,” where Nite Jewel adds her inimitable vocals, the R&B influenced “Really Turn Me On,” and the synth-fueled “Right On Time,” where Prophet's falsetto really shines. The album ends with the pensive “I Do,” as Mndsgn lends backing vocals as spacey sounds and an ambient environment exit the listen

This album only came to life after a chance meeting at a record fair between Prophet and the Stone Throw CEO Peanut Butter Wolf. It's no doubt that Prophet was ahead of time, often being called futuristic back in the '80s, and the fact that this sophomore album doesn't differ all that much from his work three decades ago is further proof that he was paving new roads. There are actually two tunes from his 1984 album present here with a fresh coat of paint, though, really, they all seem like they could have been from his previous LP and they are just as relevant today as they were then.

Rating: B+

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