Promo Pile Slush: George Duke’s “Dukey Treats”

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Wherein heartless Flavorwire-music automaton the Beard tests album predictions based solely on artwork.

Released last August, but only now making its way out of our promo pile, Zappa collaborator George Duke’s Dukey Treats, appears, at first glance, to be a scatology-obsessed reimagination of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Book covers are one thing, but can we accurately judge this album by its artwork? After the jump, we listen to the actual album in an attempt to give Dukey Treats its doo…

Our Prediction: Duke plays poo-obsessed jazz for aging adults, predominantly those interested in tossing off (or, better said, snapping on) suburban shackles and engaging in borderline-scary sex.

Feeling the Funk: Moving smoothly between elevator-friendly R&B, smooth jazz tinkling, and fairly proficient funk, Dukey Treats is a pretty mixed bag. “Everyday Hero” slinks into the land of extra terrestrials, delivering on the promise in “A Fonk Tail” to send “specially trained Afronauts to seed and colonize unfunky planets.” “Are You Ready” is borderline disco (not necessarily the cool kind), slathering KC and the Sunshine Band-style positivity with gigantic swells and Bee Gees Falsetto. Throughout the album, Duke’s funk-up synth lines bend around everything — adding a late-’80s “edge” to competent, if otherwise uninspired, compositions.

Conclusion: This is fairly proficient soul/funk, but its album art is the most interesting part, ironically packaging yuppie seduction funk like a GG Allin smooth-jazz album.  It’s not quite what we expected, but we were right about one thing: it’s a sure bet for soccer moms looking to get saucy.