“There’s always a risk you run, when championing a record like Talking to the People, of overstating your case. There’s generally an easy-to-grapple-with reason why something that the vast majority of the listening public hasn’t listened to hasn’t been heard. Poor distribution, something slightly missing in the singles, critical misunderstanding, bad timing; all those things have coalesced to make many deserving records lose out on their just desserts.
But pressing play on Talking to the People really does feel like something revelatory, something transcendent. It’s like if the Bar-Kays of the early ’70s had a woman on the mic, or if Funkadelic leaned more into rock, or if Sly Stone had half the budget. It’s an album that feels contemporary — it almost predicts Black genre experimentalists like SAULT — but also fits so neatly in with everything happening in Detroit and Memphis funk in 1973. It failed to find an audience because the audience it predicts — the musical omnivore who could see the strands between everything — hardly existed in earnest by then.
But listening today, it’s almost too easy to find something to love.”