As an artist Damon ‘Dâm-Funk‘ Riddick has been uncompromising in his expression — a bastion of soul and boogie. He is to funk what Kevin Durant is to basketball, an old school game in a new school body; neither a characterization or replica, but the genuine article. His third effort, Invite the Light, is an extension of what he holds dear: pure, unfiltered funk.
The album is 20 songs deep (including bonus tracks) and features a stable of legends. It is successful in that it represents a state of mind, a funk revolution. The guests are down with the cause and add a level of flavor that doesn’t look to overtake the funk but instead honor it. Steve Arrington, Jody Watley and Junie Morrison hold court with Q-Tip, Ariel Pink and Snoop Dogg. The bridge connecting them is Riddick.
Riddick keeps the instrumentation tight, infusing each song with a medley of synths and breaks. It can get predictable at times, but he avoids stagnation by incorporating a variety of tempos and melodies. He doesn’t have your traditional x’s and o’s type voice, but it fits it in well as a complementary piece to the overall composition. A song like “Somewhere, Someday” is a proper representation of his state of mind, a place where he can shine a ray of positivity while still maintaining the groove: [LISTEN]
From a lyrical standpoint, Riddick does a good job of mixing it up, never adhering to the one note that most contemporary funk artists fall victim to. He inspires, enlightens, sympathizes and informs; bringing listeners back to a time when funk could capture every element of life, not just the party.
When it comes to breaking through to a larger audience there is no better ambassador than Dâm-Funk. There is, however, a novelty factor that’s hard to ignore. But for anyone who’s ever seen Riddick in concert knows that it’s not an act but a way of life, so you’re either on board or not.
Invite the Light isn’t the type of album that’ll leave a meteoric impact like it would have say 30 years ago, but it is proof that funk is not a fad. And on “We Continue” you can see exactly what Dam-Funk is getting at, and that’s what makes it a solid album, the ability to project and inspire without saturating the end product: [LISTEN]