Monday, 31 December 2018

The Meters - New Directions (1977)


  

Released in 1977

After nearly nine years of releasing quality funk and soul albums, this was, unfortunately, the last outing for this excellent New Orleans band. They had given consistent pleasure from the late sixties through to the mid seventies in their eight high quality albums.

TRACK LISTING

1. No More Okey Doke
2. I'm Gone
3. Be My Lady
4. My Name Up In Lights
5. Funkify Your Life
6. Stop That Train
7. We Got The Kind Of A Love
8. Give It What You Can

"No More Okey Doke" is a pounding, upbeat brassy funk grinder, with horns to the fore and a it sees a return to their finest funky feel. The organ, bass, drum interplay at the end is impressive, as is the gritty soulful vocal. "I'm Gone" is a lively piece of poppy soul/blues, with once again features some kicking horn parts. "Be My Lady" is a sumptuous smoochy soul number, with great bass and horns, as is now expected. For this final album, The Meters have merged their natural funk with soul a lot more obviously than on previous albums. The track maybe doesn't justify six and a half minutes, but it doesn't grate in any way. "My Name Up In Lights" is a delicious slice of insistent, grinding funk. It is very typical of mid/late seventies soul/funk.

"Funkify Your Life" is, as the title would suggest, a superbly funky workout, with hints of Parliament/Funkadelic. "Stop That Train" is The Meters first venture into reggae, and they do it pretty convincingly with their cover of Peter Tosh's classic. It fitted in to the crossover into reggae that became fashionable in 1977 with the punk/reggae thing. "We Got The Kind Of A Love" is back to sumptuous soul with a Harold Melvin meets Third World ballad. The backing vocals are very Third World. "Give It What You Can" is a gritty, industrial piece of thumping horn-powered funk rock, with a socially-conscious message and some great vocals.

This is not a bad album to bow out with. A nice mix of funk, soul and reggae. It was a shame The Meters decided to call it a day after this, particularly as the album was titled "New Directions", but there you go.

C+

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