Review #360: One Nation Under A Groove, Funkadelic

Karla Clifton
3 min readMar 14, 2023

#360: One Nation Under A Groove, Funkadelic

I published my first Funkadelic review nearly two years ago: Maggot Brain, #136. I hate reading through my early reviews, because it took me a while to find my voice with these. But I guess there’s no need for me to be, since it’s just proof that I’ve gotten better… right?

Regardless, Funkadelic’s tenth album is just as good as their third. Quick reminder: Funkadelic is one-half of the collective Parliament-Funkadelic, helmed by George Clinton. According to RS, the difference between the two is simple: “Funkadelic for guitars, Parliament for dance beats.”* (Also thanks, RS, for teaching me the name of Funkadelic’s second album: Free Your Mind… and Your Ass Will Follow.) So pay attention to the guitarists on this album, or as George Clinton calls them, the Throbbasonic Funkgeetarists. They’re funky throughout, but they span plenty of genres — see the headbanging rock song “Who Says A Funk Band Can’t Play Rock?!” and the decidedly heavy metal “Lunchmeataphobia.”

Guitars may be the driving force, but there are plenty of other movers and shakers in George Clinton’s second band. This is the Funk’s first record with Walter “Junie” Morrison, keyboardist whom Clinton himself called “the most phenomenal musician on the planet.” Morrison had a hand in writing nearly every song on this record, including title track “One Nation Under a Groove,” which begs us all to Dance our way out of our conscriptions. (And I just watched All Quiet On The Western Front, so I’m fully onboard with that sentiment.)

Who else? Twelve delightful vocalists, whom are billed as Funkadelic Blamgusta Vocaloids (Voices For Da Nation!). The ensemble chorus works on songs like “Groovallegiance,” where they declare themselves allegiant to The United Funk of Funkadelica, sounding like a nation unto themselves. And I can’t tell who the beautiful man with the low-ass bass voice is on “Into You,” but what I wouldn’t give to find out.

Lyrically, Funkadelic spans from the profound to the shitty. Literally, in the case of “Promentalshitbackwashpsychosis Enema Squad (The Doo Doo Chasers),” which had my absolute favorite lines — Our mouths are neurological assholes, Bringing you music to get your shit together by, and of course, A musical bowel movement designed to rid you of moral diarrhea. (So why would they delete all those great lines with the instrumental version, “P.E. Squad/Doo Doo Chasers”?)

That’s because thematically, this record is open-minded exploration of all things, but especially music. I think that “Cholly (Funk Getting Ready To Roll!)” puts it best: its main character, Cholly, as a person who considers himself a great fan of all kinds of music. Then Cholly suddenly runs into the right friend, who tells him there was so much more/ Find the void that you missed there is plenty to explore. And no matter how much music I listen to, that’s the one thing that’s always been true. There’s always more to explore.

*Note: According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Parliament and Funkadelic are “essentially the same entity recording for different labels.” What’s the truth, Rolling Stone?!?!

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