Perhaps no album chronicles the transition from 1960s idealism to '70s burnout better than this. The celebrative funk and collectivist anthems of early Stone releases had faded and were supplanted by the bleary malaise of canned drums, tape hiss and slurred vocals. "Spaced Cowboy" and "Time" are the sound of the revolution reaching the end of a very long binge. While it's a sad sentiment, it also made for some of the most compelling music of Stone's career. This 2007 reissue features three instrumentals as well as the addition of the four-second title track.
Coming two years after the uncompromising brilliance of There's A Riot Goin' On and during a time when Sly was blowing everybody off to do drugs, Fresh may seem a little light, since the messages of the coming American apocalypse are absent. A closer listen reveals a deeply personal statement about his somewhat doomed attempts to rise above inner strife.