Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Meters: The Meters Anthology [Rhino, 1996]
This was a totally original band. Driven on and crazy by the very different drummer Ziggy Modeliste, the eccentric instrumental New Orleans funk the quartet cut for Josie sounds epochal a quarter century later. If the 26 cuts on disc one are more than you need at a sitting, program. On Reprise they went pop, presaging both the Neville Brothers (sans Aaron) and the mediocre fusion a band of the same name tours behind to this day. Disc two does this period as proud as possible right down to the shameless grease of "Funkify Your Life," if not the shameless schmaltz of "Be My Lady." Sometimes too minimal, and not devoid of dead spots. But seminal and essential--and fun. A-