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Album Review: Busty and the Bass – Glam

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Busty and the Bass has been a big topic of discussion around the McGill bubble and the entire city of Montreal over the past year and with the release of their new album, Glam, it appears the band can do no wrong. Notorious for their charismatic stage presence, precise horn lines, and ‘expect the unexpected’ attitude, Busty and the Bass have created an album indicative of their live energy without sacrificing musicality.

Funk is a genre that has always thrived on live performance. From James Brown’s crowd work and dance moves to Parliament’s spaceship and Trombone Shorty’s circular breathing, there has never been a shortage of excitement in funk shows over the years. However, creating funk music in a tasteful, contemporary way has proven difficult for some bands in the past.  Glam has condensed the typical solo-filled, two-hour Busty show into a 28 minute album that subtly touches upon all of the fantastic elements of this band in the most artistic way possible.

What impresses me most is Busty’s ability to blend their sounds together. The album is certainly not minimalist and when you start to combine rapping, hip-hop beats, soulful singing, and intense horn playing you risk sounding obnoxious, but it seems as if the band knows exactly when each section has reached its peak and exactly what needs to come next. One of my favourite moments on the album is the short trumpet fill just after the first chorus in ‘The Real’. The song begins with a fiery horn introduction coming down into the first verse, which builds in energy into the first chorus. After this chorus, a perfect, four-measure trumpet line is used to come back down into the second verse. The subtly of this really impresses me.  Instead of creating space later in the song for a trumpet solo the band just has the trumpet player fill up space to make a song transition. This seems to Busty’s model throughout the album. Rather than spending big chunks of time showing off their rapper or having an instrumentalist solo, the band gives everyone a short moment to expose their talents and create smoother transitions.

The bottom line is Busty and the Bass is awesome. You need to download their album, get obsessed, and go to a bunch of their shows now because this band is going places and soon they’ll be playing the Bell Center and you won’t be able to afford the tickets.

-Review by Donovan Burtan