I’ve always felt good that I got into Galactic at the ground floor, because they’ve had such a rich and rewarding musical career so far. The New Orleans-based funk group have built up a fan base throughout the years and have grown musically the longer they’ve been together, bringing in elements of jazz, R&B, funk, hip hop, blues, New Orleans brass bands, and basically anything else they might get their hands on.

On their last album, 2007’s From the Corner to the Block, the grouped wandered through the world of underground hip hop, collaborating with the likes of Mr. Lif, Lyrics Born, Boots Riley, Ohmega Watts, Chali 2na, and others. With their newest album, Galactic seeks to re-establish themselves in their New Orleans roots, while still exploring how more elements might be incorporated into their music.

They manage to do this by pulling in guest artists who really span the spectrum of New Orleans music. You’ve got the brass sound of Rebirth Brass Band, the distinct R&B of Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint, the funky blues of Walter “Wolfman” Washington, amd the bounce sound of Big Freedia, Katey Red, Sissy Nobby and Cheeky Blakk.

If you’re into one but not the others, the rest of the album might be a little jarring to listen to, but I encourage to everyone to keep your ears and mind open the first time through this album. I think they’ve done a great job of mixing everything together and making it fit. Bounce is something I’ve only recently been turned onto, but it’s also a part of New Orleans’ rich cultural heritage, and I applaud Galactic for including it on this album. Not everyone could make an album so inclusive and coherent, but they pull it off with flying colors. My hats off to them.