Collaborators either challenge each other to build new strengths, or merely staple together the (hopefully complementary) sounds they're already making. New Orleans funk band Galactic evens out the differences on From The Corner To The Block, working with a stellar group of guest rappers. On "Hustle Up," The Coup's Boots Riley raps over funk more experimental and busy than that of his own stripped-down live band, and Galactic keeps up with the incitement on one of Riley's finest shout-along choruses. On the title track, the usually imposing Juvenile puts himself behind the glorious clatter of a hook from New Orleans' Soul Rebels Brass Band. Galactic itself reaches furthest on "Second And Dryades," crafting glitchy funk around chanted-sung verses from Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. Mr. Lif's verses on "…And I'm Out" sound like a deposition compared to Chali 2na's on "Think Back," but these songs find the band equally responsive. When the guests fall back on what's always worked well enough, Galactic seems to take that as a challenge, and takes enough risks to make it sound a little fresher.
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