The New Orleans, Louisiana jam band Galactic appear to be brooding with confidence on Already Ready Already, as they continue to expand their sonic musical landscapes into a breezy 25-minute, eight-song record. While the early stages of their career focused on experimenting with various sounds that bordered between funk, rock, jazz, and blues, this set embraces the immediacy of a great pop song.
Kicking off the LP with the instrumental “Already” helps set the stage to the New Orleans-flavored funk rock that has made Galactic major players in the jam rock scene. The blazing horns from trumpet player Shamarr Allen paired with saxophonist Ben Ellman kick things off nicely to open the album. “Going Straight Crazy” follows the opener with guest vocals from Princess Shaw, and turns out to be one of the most memorable moments on the entire record. Princess Shaw’s voice fits seamlessly with the backing band, as she sings “Holding hands as we walk under the stars, babe/I want to give you my heart/It’s like we’re living in a golden picture frame/It’s cliche, but I swear we are/Tell me it gets much better than this/I’m thinking fairy tales exist.” The song itself is reminiscent of the Motown sounds of Lauryn Hill and sounds just as polished as any pop song hitting the airwaves today.
“Clap Your Hands” brings the tempo up a few notches and will surely be a crowd pleaser on their current national tour of most major mid-size clubs. Miss Charm Taylor provides the assist on the vocals for this track, and she commands the listener’s attention from the get-go. Taylor is more than capable of holding down the fort and lets the band bounce off of her soulful vocal approach with ease. The track even features some vocal effects towards the bridge that further allows the group to jam to their hearts’ delight.
The jazz-rock hits center stage on “Everlasting Light” which features guest vocalist David Shaw. The song rocks like a track you would expect to hear echoing off of the speaker system at your local, trendy record store. Shaw walks the song through a cool jazz odyssey that features some spacey backing sounds and effects much like a Pink Floyd cut.
“Tough Get Cut” featuring Erica Falls gets the swagger going at an all-time high as Falls vocals pierce through the speakers with a particular type of exuberant confidence. Falls, who will be the touring vocalist with Galactic during their Winter trek, shows off her amazing talent in a way that most singers could only dream of. This standout song is likely the driving force of the decision to tour with the vocalist, as she is incredibly engaging to listen to.
“Goose Grease” and “Ready Already” are the two instrumental tracks that sandwich between the speedy funk-rock of “Dance At My Funeral” featuring the artist, Boyfriend. Her lightning-fast vocals only enhance the sound that Galactic was going for on this album and remind the audience about the vast number of musical styles this band is capable of making.
While an eight-track record that clocks in under a half an hour may be a tough sell for the casual listener, they would only be cheating themselves of hearing a band that is at the top of their game. This LP leaves you wanting more, and there is a little bit of everything for all music fans out there to appreciate. In the end, Galactic honor their audience’s time by delivering a substantial collection of sure-fire hits ready for accumulating an even larger fan base.