Thursday, September 6, 2007

No. 138: Rejuvenation

Band: The Meters
Album: Rejuvenation
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: The Meters were one of the premier funk groups of the '70s, taking the mantle from Sly & The Family Stone...
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: ... But to rank them above the fully genre-changing Parliament/Funkadelic is a little strange. "Rejuvenation" is a good record, but it's no Parliament.
Best song: The opener, "People Say," is pretty great. The epic "It Ain't No Use" is pretty great.
Worst song: "Loving You Is on My Mind" isn't awesome.
Is it awesome?: It's close. I don't know if it's fully great in the same way the record before it is, but it's still very good.

Let me say, in the interest of full disclosure, that I was not familiar with the Meters before I started this project. The band has two records on the list, so clearly someone at RS finds them to be important.

I know this: There are two Nevilles in The Meters. That's pretty cool, though it's not any of the Nevilles I've heard of (aka Aaron Neville). Coming from New Orleans, the band keeps with the funk rock template of heavy bass, pletny of horns and halting percussion.

I'd be lying if I didn't say that I find it a tiny bit repetitive. About half the record sounds like the other half and there are a lot of chant-type songs ("Jungle Man" and "What'cha Say" come to mind). It's entirely pleasant and the players are all amazing; Leo Nocentelli's guitar solo on "Loving You Is on My Mind" is pretty awesome.

Overall, though, this isn't a great album. It's close, but it's a little too cookie cutter for me to be totally impress. Spoiled by P-Funk, I'm not in love with The Meters.

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