Album Review

Beat Funktion sizzles with funk and jazz on new album

Beat Funktion - Green Man

The ease in which Beat Funktion unwrap their confectionery can make some oblivious to the tightly-knit skills it needs to cook them. The Swedish band soars to new heights on their latest album Green Man, stirring together another electrifying, feet-pumping collection of funky jazz. This group has absorbed everything that is fabulous and freaky about '70s funk and injected it with Afrobeat, disco, jazz, and soul.

The riveting "Steampunch" encapsulates the Beat Funktion sound. Daniel Lantz' swirling keyboards provide a lush, slinky undertow as Pal Johnson's vigorous bass lines and Johan Oijen's torrid guitars deliver a killer rhythmic attack. As an opening cut, it's absolutely exhilarating, especially for anyone who has never heard Beat Funktion before. This is a group that truly finds joy in playing together and expressing that untainted happiness in their infectious grooves.

The fetching "Paper Girl" is among the catchiest songs on the record. Beat Funktion aim for incandescent pop on here and fully achieve it. Guest vocalist Adée delivers equal amounts sexiness and swagger; she injects a contemporary R&B touch to Beat Funktion that flows incredibly well. "Paper Girl" reveals how flexible the band is, perfectly capable of incorporating modern influences, too. Johnson's deep bass, Jon Eriksson's robust drumming, and Olle Thunström's scorching sax deliver the kind of soulful boogie that is so difficult to find these days.

Beat Funktion refuse to repeat themselves on Green Man, constantly letting their talents explore various sides to their artistry. For example, "Lorelei" is a gorgeous slow jam, not something expected from a group that is relentess on the dance floor. It is moody and atmospheric, a portrait of perhaps lost love emotionally heightened by sultry saxophone and a moving guitar solo.