Slow, soulful funk with hints of jazz, rock and the slightest reggae flavour. This feels luxurious. Rating: 4/5 Playlist track: The Cisco Kid Date listened: 14/05/23
The World Is a Ghetto is the fifth album by American band War, released in late 1972 on United Artists Records. The album attained the number one spot on Billboard, and was Billboard magazine's Album of the Year as the best-selling album of 1973. In addition to being Billboard's #1 album of 1973, the album was ranked number 444 on Rolling Stone magazine's original list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The title track became a gold record. The cover illustration, a light-hearted drawing showing a Rolls-Royce with a flat tire in a ghetto, was drawn by Howard Miller, with Lee Oskar credited with album concept. It uses a blue and black colour pallet as a reference to the melancholy nature of the album. In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, Gordon Fletcher said The World Is a Ghetto found War progressing further in the arena of soul and jazz music, and "closer to total mastery of their music as they attempt to use it to communicate the essence of ghetto life".
Slow, soulful funk with hints of jazz, rock and the slightest reggae flavour. This feels luxurious. Rating: 4/5 Playlist track: The Cisco Kid Date listened: 14/05/23
Before today, the only songs by War that I knew were the hits (Low Rider, The Cisco Kid, and Why Can't We Be Friends?). These guys were a hit in the 60's - 70's, and actually, this album was named Album of the Year in '72, so I am excited to hear more of their catalog today! This album is a slow, funky masterpiece. Songs such as "City, Country, City", although being 13 minutes long, were excellent. Instead of being a long song with half a dozen solos mixed in, it was one huge groove, in which each member of the band could solo, and show their skills while the rest of the band kept time. There are some amazing artists in this band! The inclusion of a harmonica in "City, Country, City" surprised the hell out of me, in a good way. The opening song, The Cisco Kid is such a fantastic funky song! This band is a melding of soul, jazz, funk, Latin, blues, and rock into one hell of a laid back sound. They sound a lot like Sly and the Family Stone, but their musical themes are never negative. It is always "peace and love", which is refreshing to listen to. You would think, with a title like "The World is a Ghetto" you'd be in for a political, negative album, but this album is full of positive vibes. The long drawn out grooves have a way of pulling you into a trance, and making all your worries disappear. Overall, an excellent album today. Not something I would always be in the mood for, but it helped make yard work a hell of a lot more enjoyable today!! Favorite songs: The Cisco Kid, Where Was You At, The World Is A Ghetto, Four Cornered Room Least favorite songs: "City, Country, City" 4/5
Great album, the intro songs kicks strong. Solid instrumentals then wraps up crisp without overstaying it's welcome. War is a lot more than just low rider.
This album went hard.
A great listen
Never heard of these guys before. Some great songs on there, not my normal style of music but maybe my tastes are changing!
So good. 5 stars.
A couple familiar songs, but otherwise very jazzy. I’m all about this. Favorite song on the album: The World is a Ghetto
1972 - Funk; Soul; R&B; Psychedelic Soul
Really enjoyed that - this is more like a 4.5. I'm more familiar with War's collaboration with Eric Burdon than their own stuff, so it was good to rectify that... Fave tracks - "The Cisco Kid" is a great opener. "City, Country, City" is wonderfully cinematic. "Four Cornered Room" is probably my fave track on the album - lovely dreamy hypnotic atmosphere - kinda reminded me of Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan". "The World is a Ghetto" is a jam, and I liked the afrobeat sounding "Beetles in the Bog" You know what, gonna round this up to a 5 since every track apart from one caught my attention!
I hadn't heard of War before, and thus I wasn't sure what I was expecting going into this totally blind. "War" sounded like a metal band, "The World is a Ghetto" sounded like a gangsta rap album. I was completely wrong on all accounts and very pleasantly surprised. This is 44 minutes of just some really funky, jazzy psychedelic soul with some Caribbean flair. It's generally melancholy and usually quite chill, but it gains energy at the right moments and is just a general pleasure to listen to. I especially liked the general feel of Beetles In The Bog and City, Country, City. Thank you Generator, this was a great album to be introduced to. Favourite: Beetles In The Bog
The sounds that a lot of my childhood were based on, very cool to engage with this.
This was fun! A very unique sound to it that I really liked. Excellently played and written, fun album cover as well. So much to love and nothing to hate.
Good to great album.
wow holy shit, I thought I'd probably enjoy it but this is PHENOMENAL, the spaciest smoothest sax ever over classic motown grooves. So good
Where has this album been my entire life! What a great album! Absolutely loved it.
some really great, classic funk grooves here. to be honest, i feel like for a lot of people, this album might be boring, but this really just hits the spot for me. i knew cisco kid and the title track before listening to this album, so I kind of had an idea of what I was getting into, but the album cuts on this one really cemented it for me. just a good, groovy album.
Great mix of genres. Awesome funk.
So funky it'll make you want to institute change for the better in your community. 5/5
From the start with 'The Cisco Kid' this is funky... I'd listen to this again. It is funky and still sounds fresh. The music is great. 5/5
the soul side of the moon
I had never heard of this album or band before. I didn’t know I needed this in my life.
Me every time a new track started on this album: wow, this is the coolest song I've ever heard in my life. Ultimately, City, Country, City was when I knew I loved this album, so that'll go down as my favorite here
Prior to this listen my knowledge of War was limited to “Low Rider” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” but The World Is A Ghetto gives me a whole new perspective of the group. With both songs fit to listen to in isolation and songs meant to be heard in a greater context, this six-track masterpiece has to be one of the best albums in the funk genre. “The Cisco Kid” is a fantastic way to begin the album with a beat to swing to, a protagonist to root for, and a story to live through. “City, Country, City” reveals the urban and rural divide in America if not by demographics, then by the energy of everyday life. I’m not sure what exactly “Beetles In The Bog” is supposed to represent, but I imagine beetles are not on top of the food chain in bayou country. With its nearly hopeless lyrics and pleading sax, the behemoth title track is unsurprisingly the centerpiece of the record. As far as funk concept albums go, I assumed Funkadelic stood in a league of its own with Maggot Brain. I stand corrected.
Filmmuziek. Luistert lekker weg. Alle nummers op het album zijn goed! ****
Pretty fun album
Could listen to it all day on repeat - puts me in a good place.
Un disco disfrutable, pero demasiado caótico en los géneros que abarca. Necesito un poco más de línea de guia para poder disfritarlo al máximo. Parece que se juntaron y grabaron lo que les parecía 7/10.
first listen not your average funk album
Soul/jazz album with a funky vibe that is a good listen. Brings the listener into a 70's black neighborhood. Leadoff "The Cisco Kid" is the standout.
Really good, falls just short of 5 🌟 for me, largely because I don't know enough about the music to fully appreciate it. What I do know is that I really liked it, and enjoyed learning about a band I had never (knowingly) heard before.
Dehä va nice!
Wow, I love this, it’s like if Marvin Gaye got P-Funk to back up What’s Going On. Will return to. B+, can easily rise
I enjoyed this album quite a bit. It's not really in a style I normally listen to, but I may seek out more like this in the future. The Cisco Kid is a banger. I also liked the longer songs. 4/5
Great album. One of the songs got overly repetitive but other than that the only flaw is that the album doesn't have more tracks!
Expectations were blown by a band I only knew by a few hits. Super funky incorporating Latin, jazz, gospel, and rock. Incredibly lush with non-traditional song structures. You can tell why it's labelled "prog soul" with how they manage to maintain the melody but yet the song still branches out so unexpectedly so often. We start off with two proggy yet accessible pop pieces. "City Country City" was a fun instrumental jam fest of each of the players showing off, with a satisfying entrancing conclusion. "Four Cornered Room" was an intense western. Really cool harmonica and gong. "The World is a Ghetto" was another cool jazzy piece. The closer sounded like it had afrobeat influence but I think this came out before afrobeat was popular. Really enjoyed the whole record, and sat well in the background with its chill and lush groove.
The opening groove immediately won me over. Slow, smooth, funky. Even the extended jammy tracks are fun. Great album for relaxing on a lazy summer afternoon. Loved it.
I just love this. It's so loose and relaxed, just a pleasure to listen to. 4 stars.
C’est pas un album que tout le monde va aimer, mais j’ai beaucoup apprécié l’expérimentation jazz couplé au son classique de War
This album definitely deserves to be on this list.
Excellent album. Very funky. Standouts: The Cisco Kid; The World Is a Ghetto.
Decent, kinda instrument soul funk
This album is a VIBE. The saxophone in The World is a Ghetto was unreal. Great heavy beat throughout. I was hesitant towards this album because it’s labeled as “Psychedelic” which is often too out there for me but this was awesome.
An album that sounds like a hot summer day in Brooklyn. Such a rich atmosphere of sounds.
Groovy and chilly
Great album, enjoyed the instrumentals a lot.
I really enjoyed this, very funky. The album cover is fun. The Cisco Kid and The World Is A Ghetto are great tracks. I also enjoyed City, Country, City,
Dang that's a fun album. Drags a bit there in the mid, but some tracks slap hard.
For some reason I expected classic rock but was blessed with a full helping of funk
the songs are too repetitive! if not i would’ve been 5/5 s it’s quite the shame
Groovy and chill.
Quick hits on this give it be a 4* album. I've never listened to this before and am quite impressed so far.
Don’t know I’d ever listened to this. Will definitely add it to favourites.
This feels like what soul was meant to become.
East LA leadup to Los Lobos, this album marries Mexican-American vibes with a bit of Motown and funk.
WAR is under appreciated and they have very solid tunes.
Groovy, énergique, lancinant, militant: j'en ai apprécié tous les paysages sonores
It was a really great funk album. Perfect song as I walk around and observe city living - the good, the bad, the ugly
Some legit jams on here. War deserves more recognition. Best track: The Cisco Kid
I only know War from their "hits", none of which are on this album. I enjoyed this one quite a lot. If find funk can sometimes be quite repetitive with endless jamming, however this continued to stay fresh with all tracks having their own style. "Cisco kid" with it's reggae influence was fun. I think my favourite was the final track "Beetles in the bog" which made me think of the band "Goat". This feels slightly too good for a 3 so it gets 4 starts from me.
New album for me, and this was a happy surprise! Every song felt very funky and had a really nice groove to it. Listened to it while working and I can't remember thinking anytime that it got bad or especially boring. Songs were also different enough from each other. Just overall solid, very happy with this!
pretty good background music. listened to it all day.
Enjoyable listen. Need to play it a few more times to appreciate it more.
Africa inspired percussion paired with the organ/guitar makes for a great sound.
Very groovy. Loved it on a rainy day. Would love to drive around at night to this music
A War album with none of the hits I know? A great thing about this project is exposing me to new sides of familiar bands. I very much enjoyed this album. A lot of it is pretty downbeat in a cool, mellow way! I’m kinda getting into these longs songs that take their time to unroll before me. A very pleasant groove that was just the ticket today. And I love looking at that album art!
Funky and cool.
The album started out quite strong. It was funky and fun, and then it started to drag a bit with the long instrumentals. I really thought that I would love it all, but it fell just a bit short.
Was I not supposed to like the funky instrumental songs? Because I sort of love them. War belongs on the list in a huge way, and a case can be made that they should be represented with a compilation (the hits most have heard are all bangers). Of course, an argument could be made for this album, too. Not only because it's great, but it was the best selling album of 1973. I'm sort of surprised by that. Who knew society had good taste back then?
Great grooves, cut my lawn to it and it kept me going.
This album is basically two songs long. There isn't anything inherently wrong with tracks one, two, four, and six on this. They just pale in comparison to the real stars of the show. This album has two songs over ten minutes long, and those two songs are by far the best thing this album has going for it. "City, Country, City" is funk music executed perfectly. The saxophone is absolutely disgusting, and I mean that in the best way possible. And I'm a sucker for a good keyboard solo, and this song does not disappoint in that department. And "The World Is a Ghetto" feels perfect for a late winter night around the fireplace with a glass of tea. So 23 minutes of this album are amazing. The other 20 minutes or so, not as much. I think the opening track is solid. I can definitely envision a group of people all getting up and chanting the chorus in a live environment. It also has this nice Miami Vice buddy cop vibe to it. But this album could probably do without the other two songs. They just don't do anything super interesting that makes me want to come back to them ever. I see the word eclectic thrown around a lot when talking about this band. And while TWIaG might not have hits like "Low Rider" or "Why Can't We Be Friends", but those two highlights are worth so much more and show how capable this band really was at making some absolutely killer funk music.
Really enjoyable. Good noodling, great vocals. Will revisit. Low 4 4/5
7/10 mmmm funky fav song: the world is a ghetto
A good funky time
A bit repetitive but interesting
While some of the grooves wore a little thin over their extended runtime, I dug this journey into funk, jazz and reggae. The mix of genres was eclectic, and the performances and production was spot on. This is the stuff I need to hear that I wouldn't have otherwise.
Some pretty groovy jams in addition to the one big hit
Very close to 5 stars
+ the cisco kid the world is a ghetto
This was pretty cool, good sounds.
This didn't massively resonate with me, despite liking brassy bluesy music a lot. I felt like it only really had one gear though that it never got out of, where I was hoping it was at some point be a bit more POW. The general sound was good but the songs didn't quite do it for me
Funky and melodic, but without a standout track.
This was fun, a nice beat throughout
3. It's alright, not really my style but I enjoyed having it on while reading.
Had no preconceptions about this album as I knew nothing about War. Pretty pleasant surprise, folky, singalong rock infused with latin rhythms and so funky congas.
Pretty good, but not too memorable. Some songs dragged on forever. Good use of horns throughout. Kept thinking about George Lopez even though that song isn't even in this album.
Dit had wel een goede vibe!
Aardige mix van invloeden en stijlen wel, luistert best lekker weg, maar komt daarna ook nooit meer terug.
Pas désagréable, pas particulièrement agréable non plus, vivement la fin de cette liste qui me pourrit la vie.
Salut Chatgpt, peux-tu me créer une critique musicale qui soit à la fois valable pour The World is a Ghetto de War et The Suburbs de Arcade Fire parce que ça fait deux semaines que je dois écrire une critique des deux et je les confonds. Bien sûr, voici une critique courte qui convient aux deux albums : The World is a Ghetto de War et The Suburbs de Arcade Fire sont deux albums qui abordent la question de l'aliénation sociale de manière émouvante. Alors que The World is a Ghetto explore les tensions raciales dans les quartiers défavorisés, The Suburbs se concentre sur la solitude et l'isolement dans les banlieues. Les deux albums offrent des réflexions sur les difficultés de vivre dans un monde où la communauté est en train de se défaire, tout en proposant une musique captivante et rythmée. Si vous cherchez des albums qui parlent de la condition humaine avec une grande sincérité, The World is a Ghetto et The Suburbs sont des choix incontournables.
Good, funky album. I’m feeling a strong 3
Good early 70s fusion of funk, jazz and rock and a hint of country too. Mellow moments as well as straight up funk. Good horns.
I wanted to like this one, but it’s a bit hit or miss, with too many misses.