First released in 1974, by which time the name Sly Stone had become a byword for missed shows and drug dependency, SMALL TALK nevertheless contains some sparks of life. The album's sound is very much in the FRESH mold, with tightly recorded bass and keyboards to the fore, while Stone's vocals, though increasingly wasted-sounding and bolstered by the Little Sister vocal group, still have moments of authority..
As evidenced by the cover picture, and song titles like "Mother Beautiful" and "Time For Livin'," this is one of the artist's mellowest sets, and his gift for assembling uniquely funky tracks is evident on the vintage-sounding "Loose Booty" and the sing-song "Can't Strain My Brain," which carries echoes of FRESH's "If You Want Me to Stay." There's also the fine doo-wop-era throwback of "This Is Love," with Little Sister's vocals recalling a more innocent era, and though the title track's attempts at cutesiness sound a little creepy, there's still enough of the old Sly in these grooves for diehard fans to latch on to.
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Funk / Soul
- Released: 5/30/2016