With the world in such disarray, there has never been a more quintessential time to take in the messages of rootsy reggae music to counterbalance the stress of day-to-day life. Tidings of peace, love, and unity have never been more applicable, especially within the United States. With neighbor turning on neighbor, brother fighting brother, the world needs reassurance of a better tomorrow to come and reminders to remain civil today. Reggae musicians are perfect mouthpieces for this missive, and spiritual world musicians such as Meta and the Cornerstones step up to fill this apostle-like role. Since their first album Forward Music in 2008, Meta and the Cornerstones have consistently preached peaceful protest against the injustices of the world – whether that be of police brutality, political oppression, or just the general misunderstandings of marijuana. With two full-length LPs under their belt, Meta and the Cornerstones are proud to announce the release of their much-anticipated third album, HIRA, hitting digital outlets on February 17th.
HIRA recording and mixing engineer Shane Brown notes, “this is real authentic reggae music.”
HIRA‘s hype started last year, when Meta and the Cornerstones re-released their 2013 Ancient Power LP, with two never-before-heard singles on it, “Yellow Cab” and “Mr. Jamaica”. After the two singles gained popularity, Meta fans waited patiently for the finished product of HIRA to roll around. Off Rebel Sound Records, HIRA was recorded in Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios – an appropriate title to put down an album centering around real-world issues. And, the album’s first single definitely makes a statement! “Mind Your Business” is a self-explanatory track; no one should dictate how another lives, so “stay away” if you can’t be nice. The world brings with it enough issues without us getting in each other’s faces about petty, futile things. We need to build each other up, be kind, be generous, be empathetic towards one another. Life is too short. It’s time citizens of the world get back to the fundamentals of what we were told to do as children – “if you don’t have none good to say”, don’t say anything at all! The single combines roots reggae with classical jazz and African sounds, with a dirty walking bass and harmonized female vocals. In this day and age, with everyone’s opinions flooding Facebook feeds and group message boards, it’s better to sit down and shut up than to get up, stand up out of contempt.
The new album features guest musicians from all over the world, namely Spain’s Lation-GRAMMY winner and four-time nominee Concha Buika. Combining Bossa Nova, with Middle Eastern, African, Moroccan, jazz, flamenco, rock, and reggae sounds, HIRA recording and mixing engineer Shane Brown notes, “this is real authentic reggae music.” Fans of Meta and the Cornerstones will not be disappointed. Building up to release date, Meta has recently debuted a video for “Mind Your Business”, giving visual aid to the track’s social commentary. With the release date right around the corner, Meta fans can probably look forward to a tour announcement coming soon. For more information, visit www.metaandthecornerstones.com.
“Mind Your Business” video:
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.