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Pat Metheny - We Live Here (Pat Metheny Group) CD (album) cover

WE LIVE HERE (PAT METHENY GROUP)

Pat Metheny

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.36 | 44 ratings

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RBlak054
3 stars The Pat Metheny Group, co-led by guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Lyle Mays, released We Live Here in 1995. This instrumental jazz fusion album contains plenty of interesting music and remains a good release despite the handful of faults it has.

Virtually all of the music on this record is highly accessible and will appeal to casual fans of Metheny who enjoy the more mainstream side of his catalogue but may have difficulty digesting the music that is a bit more "out there". Just because the music is accessible doesn't mean it's bad, though; almost every track has a lot to offer and is rich with good ideas, even if there are times when the music gets a bit too smooth for my liking. Metheny and Mays' songwriting skills, as usual, do not disappoint, and the album is packed with lengthy, musical melodies and interesting harmonic structures. This time around the Pat Metheny Group have also added a healthy dose of world music influence to their usual blend of jazz fusion.

Given the wealth of talent in the Pat Metheny Group's lineup it's no surprise that the playing on this album is exceptional. As expected, Metheny's guitar and May's keys form the core of the band's sound and provide some of the album's best solos. The fantastic piano solo and guitar synth solo on the track "To the End of the World" are highlights and really showcase the musicians' improvising abilities. While the other members of the band definitely don't get as much time in the spotlight, their contributions are invaluable to the atmosphere of the songs. Some added percussion, backing vocals, and the occasional trumpet part add a wealth of texture to the music.

While most of the instruments here have great parts, there is one exception: the drums. The intricate and responsive drumming expected of Paul Wertico is nowhere to be found on this release, instead replaced by a series of static and fairly basic drum loops. This was a very poor choice and in many ways it kills the music, making the songs sound like cheap muzak when in reality the compositions have a great deal of integrity.

Although this album never quite reaches greatness it will still please most listeners with its well-written melodies and a host of great solos. Despite the banal drum loops and the occasional section that is a bit too smooth, We Live Here does come through as a good album. While this record is recommended for fans of the Pat Metheny Group - and crossover jazz in general - some of the band's other, more ambitious albums may prove more rewarding.

RBlak054 | 3/5 |

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