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RECORD RACK

Sock It Mtume

August 31, 1986|STEVE HOCHMAN

"THEATER OF THE MIND." Mtume. Epic. James Mtume seems to believe he's the latest in the line stretching from James Brown through Sly Stone and George Clinton, but this album lacks those artists' muscle and genius, and is at best just evocative of their spirit. "I Don't Believe You Heard Me" is billed as a tribute to Brown and borrows his trademark repetition, but its funk is mighty flat. "I'd Rather Be With You" was written by Clinton and P-Funk alums Bootsy Collins and Gary Cooper, but despite an interesting, ultra-spare treatment, the song is pure fluff. At other points, failure to generate convincing Family Stone-like communality and an absence of P-Funk's essential lasciviousness leaves a lot of nothing.

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