We’re almost through the week, LemonWire readers, and it’s been a hot one. We’ve been dealing with the heat so far this week by bringing you a collection of songs to help jump start the summer. And seeing as how the weekend is right around the corner, we figured we’d end on a good note (no pun intended).
So far this week, we’ve looked at a few songs that will fit perfectly in any summer playlist you stick them in. On Monday, we listened to Beck’s upbeat summer party jam, “Up All Night”. Tuesday, we heard The Black Keys’ new blues-filled, fuzz-infused single, “Lo/Hi”, and yesterday we did a throwback to Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah’s classic, “Lake Shore Drive”.
Today, we’ll be keeping the throwback going with a fresh infusion of funk that’s perfect for outdoor barbecues and pool parties. “Flashlight” is a classic, funkadelic jam from none other than Parliament.
For those youngsters out there who aren’t familiar with one of the greatest funk bands in music history, you’ve probably heard a song or two from them and never even knew what you were listening to. But that’s okay. We forgive you. We understand there’s a lot of internet out there, so we’ll cut you a break and give you a quick rundown.
Parliament is a funk band that formed in the late 1960s, headed by George Clinton as a part of his Parliament-Funkadelic collective. Parliament drew on science-fiction and elaborate performances in their work and live shows. The group is responsible for a number of hit singles including “Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)”, “P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)”, and “Mothership Connection (Star Child)”.
Parliament recently reformed in 2018 and released “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’Me”, which features rapper Scarface, and was the first new Parliament release in 38 years. The same year, Parliament released the album, “Medicaid Fraud Dogg”.
The first time I remember hearing Parliament’s “Flashlight”, was while I was just a kid watching the 1999 film “Muppets From Space”. The song comes in at the end of the film [SPOILERS], when the Muppets are celebrating with Gonzo’s long lost alien family.
I don’t think there’s a single negative thing that I can say about Parliament’s “Flashlight”. It’s everything that it’s trying to be, which is just a really catchy, groovy song that is almost impossible not to dance to, or sing along with. It’s a song that focuses on the groove and the music more than the lyrics, which are pretty repetitive, but that’s fine. It just makes singing along even easier, which I imagine was intentional.
As far as the lyrics go, we do get a few references that are relevant to our summertime theme.
“Everybody’s got a little light under the sun
Shinin’ on the funk
Shinin’ on the funk
Most of all he need the funk
Help him find the funk”
While it isn’t super specific to the summer, at least we get a reference to the sun itself. It’s a good, communal song that everyone can join along too. And if you don’t want to sing along to some classic funk while enjoying the nice weather, what are you even doing with your life?
For the sake of your Thursday, let yourself unwind a little and cut loose with some good old fashioned funk. Even if you don’t think you’ll like it, just give Parliament’s “Flashlight” a chance. If you have a single shred of rhythm in you, you’ll be moving to the beat in no time.
That about wraps up our discussion for today. Next week, we’ll be back with even more songs to help you get through the work week.
Now go, listen to the funk. You gotta have that funk.