Album: Mouth to Mouth
“Funkytown,” was first released in 1980 by the disco group Lipps, Inc. It was their sole hit.
In the single, lead singer Cynthia Johnson begs to go to move to “Funkytown”. Johnson, whose voice is excessively computerized, is ready to make a change and move to a cool, flourishing city. (“Gotta make a move to a town that’s right for me/Town to keep me movin’, keep me groovin’ with some energy”). She procrisinates and says she will move but never does. (“Well I talk about it talk about it talk about it talk about it/Talk about talk about talk about movin'”).
She realizes she has to get out the dreary, uneventful city she’s living in now. (“gotta move on/Gotta move on/Gotta move on/Gotta move on”) Finally, she asks someone to take her to the city (“won’t you take me to funkytown”).
After an otherwise lethargic beginning and middle, the single begins to pick up during the instrumental section. A string arrangement is added, giving the single much needed glamour and excitement. Meanwhile, the short guitar riff by David Rinkin and Tom Riopelle continues to play alongside it. The saxophone is the next featured instrument which gives the impression of elegance in nightlife Johnson desperately craves. The guitar riffs get even shorter to help convey the chaos going on in the city.
Then the single begins all over again. The only exception is a man’s voice becomes computerized while Johnson yells “funkytown.” However, it’s filler until the song ends a minute and a half later.
“Funkytown” isn’t as good as it should be. However, it’s mostly due to technological restrictions at the time.