1969's The Meditation is pure New York boogaloo to the bone, for good or ill. All the silky late-'60s pop vocals, punchy harmonized backup lines, and straight-ahead Latin grooves associated with the word are there in spades. Though many other groups flirted with boogaloo, or entertained it briefly as a guest, the TnT Band made it their home, their signature sound. Unfortunately, when one sets out to merge two otherwise unrelated styles, they run the risk of doing neither of them well. Such is the case on many of the tracks from The Meditation. The straight-ahead Latino descarga track "Cool Slave," an instrumental jam, pushes and pulls until it finally rends itself to shreds. The vocals on "Mr. Slick" and "At Last" seem meandering, directionless, and pitchy. When one reads the nonsensical, drug-influenced liner notes, written by the record's producer, George Goldner, one wonders if the project suffered from a lack of intelligent and mature leadership. For whatever reason, neither boogaloo nor the TnT Band had an exceptionally long life span, the latter only recording three albums over a two-year period, The Meditation being their last. Few other bands can claim the short-lived genre as home base. The TnT Band went so far as to bind their fates together.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Evan C. Gutierrez