Rejuvenation is a high-class mix of funk and R&B, serving as a showcase for the individual band members and their talents as players. One thing you cannot miss when listening to this album is how good these guys are as musicians and notably how their individual talents are so important in coming together as one whole unit to create this groove-based funk-R&B hybrid. There’s Art Neville’s funky keyboard playing and bluesy organ of which both feature strongly throughout, George Porter Jrs. bass playing and Zigaboo Modeliste’s drumming which gives many of the tracks a strong syncopated rhythmic feel, and Leo Nocentelli’s funky guitar. These guys lock in together so well as a band on this album that they could, in fact, go down as one of the tightest bands in history, a tightness and musical harmony that is best seen on the album’s centrepiece “It Ain’t No Use”, a twelve minute epic that contains a seven-minute free-jam section. The quality of the playing on this album means that the Neville Brothers soulful vocals are often overshadowed by the instrumental backing and don’t feature as prominently as they probably should. However with this in mind, I guess apart from the really good vocalists within this genre this is probably the norm especially considering the heavy focus that is placed on instrumentation, rhythm, and free-jamming.
Although the album wasn’t a success commercially, I have no doubt it would have resonated strongly within the R&B/soul community at the time, while the band’s sound would surely have had an influence on many future soul, funk, and R&B acts. This albums prominent position within the music community, especially amongst critics, is also seen in that it was ranked 138 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Overall Rejuvenation is a fantastic album with an immensely groovy vibe thanks to the incredible playing on display. I could not recommend it more and suggest it would be worth a listen for those into 70s R&B/funk as well as to all those who like to grove, something this album has plenty of.