The Gap Band's second album, "Gap Band II" dropped soon after their major label debut in 1978. The album features the Wilson Brothers, headed by Charlie Wilson, coming to deliver another released filled with a mixture of contemporary R&B, Soul and Funk. The Oklahoma act were said to have made their breakthrough with this one as it features their most well-known single and it helped get their names out to the masses as a result.
1. "Steppin' Out"
They simply can't stop the groove as they pull out a big joint here and perform a fast-paced dance number than has them clearly taking inspiration from P-Funk's 'One' ideals in order to come out with something so effective and funky. You find that with the repetition of the hook is so common, it makes it very catchy and makes it engage with the listeners in a way only they can achieve to this degree. It's the perfect way to set things off for them here.
2. "No Hiding Place"
They take things to a pretty average place here the same as you see that it gets Charlie singing towards the girls and forcing you to feel this side of the music as they place it directly after another of this kind of pace and take you right in with that side to create a good balance in the record. I thought that it was nice to see them showing a mix by offering this ballad, but it wasn't really all that.
3. "I Don't Believe You Want To Get Up And Dance"
They are seen to take things to a very familiar place here as they throw down what is otherwise known as "Oops Upside Your Head" and come through hard with a dance cut known for the fact that you don't even have to get up to get down to it. It is a freaky tune and takes you right in as you here Charlie rapping through the tune on a groove that would be used later for Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Snoop's Upside Ya Head".
4. "Who Do You Call"
A track that has many similarities to the tune that kicked the album off, here we find that the band drop a freaky jam where they just let everything out and keep the Funk flowing with another party tune for all to enjoy. I really can't see why anyone would have any issues with this piece as we find that they perform a straight-forward explosion of their Disco-Funk that was at the height of its popularity at this time.
5. "You Are My High"
We have them taking us into a ballad here. Backed simply by a piano and a little synth, we see that here Charlie takes control of things and sings a rather emotive piece that I can see having appeal for those who were there to feel the contemporary period, however for others I expect that it won't offer all that much. I found it a little repetitive and as a result it didn't seem to grab me as others that they go have done.
6. "Party Lights"
Keeping the flow of things, you see that here they come out with more Monster Funk material as they come out with a hyped set and make sure that from the fly grooves that the bass guitar gives the thing, they are here solely to get everyone partying (and you can't say that this isn't the effect of the material that they come out with on this one as they make everyone on the same level and on a massive high.
7. "The Boys Are Back In Town"
We end the album off with a tune that I have to say I wasn't really feeling all that much. I'm aware that they had to place a track such as this one within the release in order to calm down listeners for a bit, but for me I really wasn't having this ballad and I felt that its immediacy to take you from a high to such an unengaging low meant that it lost all the momentum that was seen to lead up to this point on the release.
This is a rather inconsistent release from The Gap Band. Although we may see them at the top of their game with one of the tunes and a few heavy Funk jams, what the rest of the album presents in the ballad end really isn't happening at it is seen to pull things right down for them as a result. Fans of theirs are bound to enjoy it, however I feel as though the slower ones let it down (as was the case with their debut).
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Steppin' (Out)
2 No Hiding Place
3 I Don't Believe You Want to Get up and Dance (Oops!)
4 Who Do You Call
5 You Are My High
6 Party Lights
7 Boys Are Back in Town