A quadruple pack of albums from The Bar-Kays – four records on two CDs! First up is As One, a record that definitely has the Bar-Kays definitely grooving as one – with amazing choppy guitar, bumping basslines, and brassy horns – all wrapped up with some wonderfully warm production! The group have come a long way from their fuzzier funk roots by this time, but they're still sounding great – thanks to a matured outlook on their music, one that has them fitting nicely alongside some of their Mercury ensemble funk contemporaries – but in ways that still make them stand out from the pack! Titles include "Body Fever", "As One", "Say It Through Love", "Open Your Heart", "Deliver Us", and "Take The Time To Love Somebody". Nightcruising is a tight little set! There's a key ear for a bassline and beat that keeps The Bar-Kays standing stronger than most of their contemporaries – a sense of rhythm schooled in years of indie funk that comes through even on the mellower cuts here – which themselves show an even better side of the group in this generation, one that comes across great here on a few slower numbers that have a sweetly stepping groove. Titles include "Nightcruising", "Freaky Behavior", "Feels Like I'm Falling In Love", "Touch Tone
", "Hit & Run", "Unforgettable Dream", "Traffic Jammer", and "Backseat Driver". Proposi
tions is a set that's light years away from the sound of their Memphis roots, but still plenty darn funky overall! The album's got a tight bass-heavy approach to the music – the well-forged ensemble sound that graced the later years of the Bar-Kays' career, with nary a note out of place, and a sweet blend of keyboards over the bass, giving the tunes a strong electric feel – gliding wonderfully over romping rhythms on the upbeat tracks, and stepping sweetly on the album's few mellow gems. Titles include "Tripping Out", "Proposi
tions", "Anticipation", "Do It (Let Me See You Shake)", "She Talks To Me With Her Body", and "You Made A Change In My Life". Dangerous has a tighter sound than before for The Bar-Kays – that lean approach to funky grooves that some of their contemporaries were hitting as the 80s moved on – yet still served up here by the full ensemble with a relatively fresh feel overall. Amidst the beats and keyboards, there's still lots of nice funky inflections on bass and guitar – often handled in a skittish mode that energizes things nicely, especially alongside the more electro-styled vocals. The vibe of the record is definitely in keeping with the cover – but in the best way possible – and titles include "Dangerous", "Dirty Dancer", "Make Believe Lover", "Freakshow On The Dance Floor", and "Sexomatic".