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Buckethead - Rain Drops on Christmas CD (album) cover




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3.00 | 2 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars PIKE 219 - RAIN DROPS ON CHRISTMAS is the 118th album and FINAL release for BUCKETHEAD in his most prolific year of 2015. YES!!!! You read correctly. Dude has released 118 albums in one year and somehow i have made it to this point by having not only listened to all of them but by also writing out my impressions and subjecting them to the world! It's simply astonishing that someone could release so very many albums in one year. Granted many of them are complete duds but if you distill everything put out into the cream of the crop there are probably about 20 full sixty minute albums worth of very high quality material. THAT is quite impressive not including the secondary material that is good but not great.

This PIKE pretty much continues what is the tradition now by having an all instrumental album and this one with CHRISTMAS as the theme. BUCKETHEAD performs all the sounds, songwriting, production and musical mojo to muster this stuff up and the album hovers near the half hour mark at 28:11 with five separate tracks. Luckily we didn't have to endure a 25 album countdown to get to this one!

CHRISTMAS is here with track one "Rain Drops On Christmas (This Song Is Dedicated To Those That Have Lost Loved Ones) and this one is pretty much half the album at 14:36. It is another one of the slow ambient tracks with a synthesized background and slow clean guitars that take turns plucking like Christmas tree lights flickering in the night. Once the melody develops which actually does have a slight Christmas feel, the percussion joins in with the form of a drum that plays like jingle bells. The track very much sounds like most of the others that have been done like this so this in fact is nothing too special unfortunately.

"Puddles" (3:49) says it all. This album is a cute and cuddly holiday stocking stuffer and doesn't deviate from the beginning track. It is a slow rocker that keeps the energy tamped down to comatose. Perhaps a come down after the sugar shock of too many holiday treats.

"The Cookie Monster" (5:13) finds more sugar and caffeine being consumed and a sudden tick in energy level yields a very bizarre hard rocker that has a strangely mixed set of guitars, bass and a heavy drum beat. The first guitar lick does remind a lot of a Christmas tune but the distortion sounds evil. The solo smokes all the fire out of the chimney and i have to say that this is one of the coolest numbers on the album.

"I Know You Know What That Present Is?" (1:53) proves the hard rocker wasn't for only one track as this one packs a punch as well. It has a heavy riff, bass and drum and a little Iron Maiden type of gallup followed by some smokin' leads however this one's melodic development isn't quite as satisfying.

"?But Don't Tell Me" (2:40) part two of the two track title continues with an even heavier metal rocker. This one mixes up things a bit more with varying segments that change up the times, the riffs and solos accompanied by completely different solos. Much more interesting.

This album was quite the surprise starting out as one of the mellowest sounding albums and ending as one of the most ferocious metal rocker. Santa was good to us this year but not quite good enough. The title track that is half the album is kinda meh. The rest is much better though.

118 albums for 2015 ends with this one. How many can we expect in 2016? The real question is - how many will be worth hearing.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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