Friday, June 4, 2010

Jimi Hendrix: Valleys of Neptune

If there is one thing that you must know about me is that I absolutely love Jimi Hendrix. I have a ton of his albums and also videos of him playing the Monterey festival and Woodstock 69'. One of my good friends played a video clip of him performing "Killing Floor" at the Monterey Festival and after that I was sold on him. Like Julian Casablancas, Jimi Hendrix inspired me to sing and embrace my "true singing voice". He didn't have a whiny voice and he sang and wrote from the heart. Watching him sing and play guitar is so unreal because everything seems so easy and natural to him.

Like several artists, Jimi Hendrix has a bunch of unreleased material that is still floating around. I thought it was strange to hear a new Tupac song every once in a while, so when I heard this album was going to be released I had to check it out. Articles said it was some of of the material that never made it to Electric LadyLand so it's basically a B sides album. This album sounds like another one of Jimi Hendrix's studio albums. If you are a huge Jimi fan you will love this album. "Fire", "Hear my train coming", and 2 or 3 others are redone and sound better than they do on previous albums. Jimi also covers Cream's "Sunshine of your Love" and makes it an instrumental jam. The new songs you have to look forward to on this album are just "Lover Man" and "Valleys of Neptune". I think the other songs are just remastered.

As in skill wise Jimi Hendrix still delivers in this album. "Bleeding Heart" has a continuos rythm line and goes into a classic face melting hendrix solo. Another great solo on this album is on "Hear my Train Coming". Towards the end of the song hendrix plays and sings the guitar solo. Actually after listening he does that alot in this song. If you want to hear the bluesy side of Hendrix "Ships Passing through the Night" is a good choice. Of course he decided to keep his trio of Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding. Mitch Mitchell still lays down crazy drum beats that sounds like drum fills 60% of the time. He does use in Billy cox for some songs. Billy Cox eventually joined Hendrix in his group a Band of Gypsies. I wasn't let down when this album came out. I give it a B+ because it being a "new album" it still sounds like classic Hendrix and that was a small letdown for me. Listen and be in awe!
-Calvin Dugan

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