The title of the Meters' final album is hopeful, and New Directions does indeed represent if not a new direction, at least a shift from the disco dead end of Trick Bag. From the second "No More Okey Doke" kicks off the record, it's clear that the Meters are gritty again, kicking out some really funky grooves -- maybe not as dirty as their Josie recordings, maybe a little cleaned up, but still pretty funky. The slower numbers betray their era, but in a pleasing way, something that's also true of generic numbers like "My Name Up in Lights," which may have too much talk-box guitar, but still grooves effectively. That may not be a new direction, per se, but it is a welcome change-up after the dud Trick Bag. It wasn't enough to save the Meters and it's not really a lost treasure, but it's a far more dignified way to bow out.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine