RETRO REVIEW: Mother’s Finest’s ‘Meta-Funk’n-Physical’ (2003)
As Mother’s Finest’s kick-starter campaign to enlist their fanbase in being a part of their first new album for 10 years heads into its final week, I thought it a good opportunity to tale a look back at their 2003 release ‘Meta-Funk’n-Physical’..
I remember the first time I listened to this track. I was anxious to get it home and put it on the player. ‘Funk-a-Wild‘ promises much and delivers even more. An insidious synth sequence starts a stealth-like groove, lulling you into a false sense of security before the riff hits you, dripping with the funk, the staccato bass…Baby Jean’s wonderfully provocative lyrics draw you in and suddenly you’re into the killer chorus. Your head’s banging, your foot’s tapping, and you’re still only on track one. Oh yeah, this is gonna get Meta-funk’n physical!
On ‘Bring it’ Mother’s Finest display their innate ability to throw damn near everything in the cooking pot and make it taste good….rapping over Moses Mo’s almost eastern trippy guitar lines, Glenn Murdock and Joyce Kennedy lead us into a growling hard rock chorus, and it all fits like a glove.
I involuntarily break into a smile when I hear Wyzzard’s wicked popping bass syncopated with Moses’ sledgehammer chops underpinning Baby Jean’s chorus on ‘I Believe’. These guys make the groove sound effortless…and in reality it is. Because you cannot learn the groove. You got it, or you ain’t. And Mother’s Finest OWN the groove.
The rest of the album is just as eclectic – beautifully performed ballads such as ‘Don’t take your love’, the quirky funk of ‘What happens when we die?’ and the inspired guest-laden take of Hendrix’s ‘If 6 were 9′.
‘Flat on my back’ drifts lazily into the detuned stomp of ‘The N-Groove’ a 21st century re-boot of their very own back catalogue, reinventing ‘Like a Negro’ and ‘Niggiz cant sang Rock’n'Roll’.
The final two tracks on the album illustrate Mother’s Finest’s joyous schizophrenia perfectly. ‘Set me Free’, a beautifully rendered classic ballad showcasing Joyce Kennedy’s excellent vocal, followed by ‘Hard time’, a soliloquy that she delivers in spoken word over a slick syncopated groove, dropping in and out of gospel influenced chorus with ease, then punching you in the face with a full-on rock guitar solo. They do that a lot, Mother’s Finest. They Surprise you. Because they can.
Donate to their Kickstarter campaign. I have, because, 10 years on, I wanna get surprised all over again.
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