The Cinderella Theory (1989)

(George Clinton)

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Track Listing:

Airbound {Tracey Lewis}  4:21
Tweakin' {Bob Bishop, David Spradley, Chuck D, Flavor Flav}  6:21
The Cinderella Theory {G Clinton, Joseph Fiddler}  5:09
Why Should I Dog U Out? {G Clinton, DeWayne McKnight, J Fiddler} 6:28
Serious Slammin' {Lelan Zales, Greg Crockett}  4:56
There I Go Again {G Clinton, J Fiddler, Joe Harris}  4:56
(She Got It) Goin' On {Shawn Clinton, J Fiddler}  4:27
The Banana Boat Song {I Burgess, W Attaway}  4:06
French Kiss {G Clinton, D McKnight, Steve Washington, Andre Williams}  3:58
Rita Bewitched {T Lewis, G Clinton}  5:00
Kredit Kard {G Clinton, Michael Payne}  3:47
Airbound (Reprise)  :36


Keyboard: Joseph "Amp" Fiddler, David Spradley, Bill Brown, Greg Crockett
Bass: Bootsy Collins, DeWayne McKnight, Andre' "Foxx" Williams, 
 Steve Washington
Guitar: DeWayne McKnight, Bootsy Collins, Tracey Lewis, Andre' "Foxx" Williams
Drums/Drum Programming: Michael "Clip" Payne, Dean Ragland, Lelan Zales,
 Ritchie Stevens
Scratchin' The Mix: Anthony Jones & Darrin
Tenor Sax: Eric Leeds
Trumpet: Atlanta Bliss
Flute: Mike Fleming
Percussion: Larry Fratangelo
Spoons: AJ
Vocalists: Pat Lewis, Sheila Washington, Jimmy Giles, Sandra Feva Dance,
 Lige Curry, Belita Woods, Tambra Makowsky, Navarro Berman, Pennye Ford,
 Patty Curry, Jennie Peters, Dean Ragland, Robert "P-Nut" Johnson, 
 Joe Harris, Andre' "Foxx" Williams, Tracey Lewis, Jessica Cleaves, 
 Karen Foster, Anita Johnson, Louis Kababbie, Mike Harris, Garry Shider, 
 Darryl Clinton, Shirley Hayden, Steve Boyd, Angela Workman, "Doc" Holliday
Horn Arrangements on "Tweakin", "Goin' On": Eric Leeds

Rating: RC: **1/2


TK: The majority of this album was originally slated for the Brides of Funkenstein's third album entitled The Shadow On The Wall Shaped Like The Hat Wore.

RC: "Rita Bewitched" and "Kredit Kard" only appear on the CD version. This was Clinton's much ballyhooed comeback after he signed on Prince's Paisley Park label and had his debts cleared by the Purple One. It's also the first album to have some of his hip-hop disciples on it, most notably Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy. While there is some great keyboard work here from Amp Fiddler, most of the music is hollow and tinny, with the drum machines killing any groove most of the songs can build up. Clinton's own presence seems limited at times, with his vocals barely audible on some songs. None of the old P.Funkers appear on here except Bootsy, and he can't be heard much either. Without his old collaborators, Clintons flounders a bit here. The album isn't without its moments, though. The singing is good throughout, and the horn arrangements by Eric Leeds shine. The problem with the album is that the album can't make up its mind as to what it wants to be. Is it a precise funk-pop album from Prince? Is it a fusion of hip-hop and funk? Is it slicked-up R&B? It's a little of all of these things, except that instead of being eclectic, it just turns out confused. The other problem is lyrical. Clinton doesn't seem to be tackling too many themes here, except slamming on other artists for selling out. Was this Clinton's artistic statement for the time, or was he producing music that he thought would sell? It's hard to tell.

"Airbound" is a light number that features good group singing. "Tweakin'" has a dull machine-shop sounding drum program that mars an otherwise great song. There's a funky keyboard riff throughout and a great horn solo. Raps by TreyLewd, Flavor Flav and Chuck D are the highlight. "Cinderella Theory" is a takeoff on Funkadelic's "Oh, I" that features Clinton. "Dog U Out" is easily the best track on the album, an excellent mixture of funk vamping and hip-hop scratching. The song is a sequel to "Atomic Dog" and the P.Funk All-Stars' "Copy Cat", using some of the same lyrical devices. It also touches on artists selling out after getting a hit. The singing and guitar riffing are both excellent. This was one of the first songs that mixed rapping and live musicians to such a large extent, and if the rest of the album had been like this, it would have made LL Cool J's later live performances irrelevant. "Serious Slammin'" is a modestly engaging dance track, propelled by keyboards. "There I Go Again" is a slow number highlighted mainly by flute. "She Got It Goin' On" seems to be the most obviously Prince-influenced track, and it's one of the best. The horns, vocals and piano arrangements are all compact and funky, and Clinton lets loose vocally. "Banana Boat Song" is a bizarre cover that at least has some humor value. Musically, it's mostly pretty lifeless. "French Kiss" is an attempt at a rocker that falls flat. "Rita Bewitched" and "Kredit Kard" are two somewhat more lively but silly funkers.

The album is out of print, but should be very easily found at low cost on CD at most used stores.