The meters’ third album for reprise, ‘Fire on the Bayou’, is their best record for the label for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the high quality of material throughout the record and a focus from the band that keeps the music simmering, even if it never quite reaches a boil. that’s not a bad thing, because the music is simmering, always hot and enticing, never lukewarm or too cool. there’s not anything that comes out and grabs your throat, the way that “hey pocky way” does, but there never seems to be a concession to mainstream funk, the way cabbage alley or rejuvenation seemed to be. this just keeps things rolling, nice and smooth. there’s not anything that separates itself from its partners — something that’s unfortunately true of all of the reprise albums — but the overall feel is better than the meters’ other reprise albums, since it has more grit and presence than its compatriots.