Review: Sly Stone, ‘I’m Back!’

Review: Sly Stone, ‘I’m Back!’: Aidin Vaziri | This release is being flogged as the first new recording from Sly Stone in 29 years, but that seems like a dubious claim. The reclusive rock icon’s presence here feels negligible at best, with his raspy, worn voice only occasionally drifting into view in a set of unnecessary remakes of the songs that have made up every Sly and the Family Stone greatest-hits set since the beginning of time. Mainly, it appears as if the classic tracks have been either sampled outright or covered precisely by hired hands and given Santana-style makeovers with random musical guests such as Heart’s Ann Wilson (“Everyday People”), the Doors’ Ray Manzarek (“Dance to the Music”) and – why not? – Johnny Winter (“Thank You [Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin]).” This may be the first time Stone, whose last proper release was 1982’s “Ain’t But the One Way,” has been made aware of their presence. The inclusion of three unreleased tracks – “Plain Jane,” “His Eye on the Sparrow” and “Get Away” – is the only carrot dangling at the end of the stick. But the songs are predictably hideous.


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