A Message From The Meters review by The Meters

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  • Released: Jul 13, 2004
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (2 votes)
The Meters: A Message From The Meters

Sound — 10
The Meters. In my opinion they are one of the many legendary bands to come out of New Orleans. I stumbled upon their album "A Message From The Meters" about a week ago and had my hair blown back for the first time without there being any heavy distortion involved. They are one of the Fathers of true funk music, but a rather unsung hero of a band. Their music is soulful and funky from inside out (including the musicians who don't have a Rock or Metal bone in their whole body). This album is rather rare because of the fact that the band split up around 1989, replacing their drummer and forming the new and upgraded "Funky Meters" (the band which exists today). The band is, as can be expected, also very very old (from before I was born) which is another reason for the lack of their albums in any local music stores. I think what attracted me most to this album, being more of a rock-person myself, is their total abstract approach to making music. I can assure you that when you listen to this album you'll freak-out. Most probably because it's so different it's scary! But it's a good chilled kind of scary and has a lot of spice to it. The formula for most of the songs on the album is a main riff around which everything else is based, from improvised solos to funky sound effects and, yes even an organ at times. The organ effects definetly add style to an already stylish album.

Lyrics — 7
The Meters are more concerned with making music than actually bothering to add in lyrics. Although they have the occasional few verses of words (which I get the feeling are improvised as well) they remain a largely melodic band of moving sounds rather than moving vocals. Although the lyrics are rare, when they are sung they are soulfully done so and very innovative, ranging from a "Chicken Scream" (from the song "Chicken Strut") to the ever popular "Whoo Hah" in almost every song. It's almost as if the vocalist has his own built in effects system. The vocalist in question, Art Neville, in my honest opinion is a better keyboardist than he is a singer, but he can add a groovy tune every now and then with his voice which you can't hold against him!

Overall Impression — 10
I would say this album is an undiscovered gem within it's genre. I wouldn't go so far as to proclaim it the saviour of mankind, but it's definetly one of the greatest albums ever made. The funk-style, however, of the band is not everyone's cup of tea and is more of an aquired taste. Don't let that hold you back though, because you never know what you like until you've tasted it. The songs which stand out from the album are Lokk-Ka Py Py (with some great beat-boxing style singing) and Sophisticated Cissy (with the organ accompaniment). I love this album in it's entirety, but unfortunately it's one of those styles of music that get monotonous over time and so I wouldn't recommend buying more than one album or listening to it for more than an hour a day unless you are one of them, funk-freaks I mean. In ending: if my copy of The Meters were stolen or lost I'd hunt down the criminal who took it and then introduce him to it!

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