the years, Cameo has reflected the numerous changes in the world
of funk. When they started in 1974, they frequently toured with
Parliament and Funkadelic, which is a clue to how their sound
was styled. Even though they were in the hard funk vein of George
Clinton's classic outfits, they were not copycats.
As the '70s became the '80s, they started to play around with
their sound slightly. In 1984, they found a successful style —
the synth-powered title track to their album She's Strange. But
that only hinted at what was to come. With 1986's Word Up, Cameo
recorded a funk classic — bass-driven and synth heavy, the album
was the sound of the mid-'80s. "Word Up" was also the song that
broke them into the mainstream, reaching the Top Ten on the pop
charts; thankfully, the album didn't have just one good song,
it had a whole album's worth. Word Up proved to be the pinnacle
of Cameo's career. Although the group kept recording and touring
into the '90s, their style became a bit formulaic, as synthesizers
and robotic funk took precedence over songs in their later records.
By the mid-'90s, Cameo was, for most intents and purposes, finished
as a recording phenomenon, yet could still tour successfully.
— Stephen Thomas Erlewine