Sunday, May 2, 2010

Jimi Hendrix - Valleys Of Neptune

Removed from the vault and made available to the public for the first time, the Jimi Hendrix estate has released what was supposed to be Hendrix’s next album before his untimely death. Valleys Of Neptune is a collection of 12 songs that were intended to be Jimi’s next great thing. Some of the songs have been released in a different format on rarities discs (most notably Stone Free) and others are not quite finished, but the estate decided that the fans should hear what Jimi’s next record would have been. That brings us Valleys Of Neptune.

The guitar playing on Valleys Of Neptune is going to blow you away. There is no question in anyone’s mind that Jimi Hendrix was the master of guitar, but when you hear solos like those on Lover Man, or Red House, it just solidifies the argument for him being the greatest ever. Innovative (even by today’s standards), Valleys Of Neptune is an amazing record.

Valleys of Neptune was recorded more than 30 years ago, and the guitar work on this record still sounds better than anything released recently. On songs like Lullaby For The Summer where the vocals were never recorded, the guitar is the centerpiece of the song. And what amazing guitar it is! Hendrix shines and shows of his skill and talent, being reborn on tracks like this. There will never be another guitarist like Jimi Hendrix.

One tends to forget how great and innovative he was. We take for granted his body of work, constantly regurgitating his classic hits like Castles Made Of Sand, or Purple Haze. These are short and sweet Hendrix songs that do not define the true ability of his art. Valleys Of Neptune helps remind us where that true craftsmanship was. It wasn’t in recording hit singles that were radio friendly. It was in composing long, slow jams that build on the guitar and then break into a roaring, finger tapping, blaze of amazing. That’s the Hendrix we forgot.

Valleys of Neptune showcases the unreal innovation of Hendrix and his guitar. No one could write some of these solos and most guitarists could not even play them. The chord changes, the leads, the notes that he hits, it’s all jaw dropping stuff. If you’re a fan of guitarists, blues rock, Jimi Hendrix, or just great music, Valleys of Neptune is an album that you must add to your collection. This album reminds us how much fun music can be. It will help reacquaint you with greatness and serve as a reminder to us all of what real guitar rock sounds like.

Ryo’s Rating – 8.5 (out of 10)

Track Listing
Stone Free
Valleys of Neptune
Bleeding Heart
Hear My Train A Comin’
Mr. Bad Luck
Sunshine Of Your Love
Lover Man
Ships Passing Through The Night
Red House
Lullaby For The Summer
Crying Blue Rain

No comments: