12 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A deeply felt collection of early-’70s soul, What’s Going On is a current-events chronicle that could get by on its burbling groove alone. The title track, “What’s Happening Brother,” and “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” are laden collages of supple post-funk rhythms and despairing urban mood that barely even need words to get their message across. Yet the lyrics match the music: The “picket lines and picket signs,” “trigger-happy policing,” poison wind, collapsing ghettos, and boys sent off to die are just a few of the details in these timeless portraits.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A deeply felt collection of early-’70s soul, What’s Going On is a current-events chronicle that could get by on its burbling groove alone. The title track, “What’s Happening Brother,” and “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” are laden collages of supple post-funk rhythms and despairing urban mood that barely even need words to get their message across. Yet the lyrics match the music: The “picket lines and picket signs,” “trigger-happy policing,” poison wind, collapsing ghettos, and boys sent off to die are just a few of the details in these timeless portraits.

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