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Al Di Meola - Kiss My Axe CD (album) cover

KISS MY AXE

Al Di Meola

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.46 | 32 ratings

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Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
2 stars All right--Al di Meola is back with an in-your-face album title and a cover featuring a less-nerdy Al and a topless babe. Things are looking up, right? Well, unfortunately, not too much. If you're going to have an album titled Kiss My Axe, there better be some in your face guitar shredding (at least in my book), probably over power chords and double-bass drums--not smooth jazz. Since when did Al take his album title ideas from Ted Nugent, anyway?

Inappropriate album title aside, there is plenty of fine guitar on this album. The rawness from di Meola's early days has been completely removed, often to the detriment of the music. I prefer some rough tones to provide texture and energy, but I also cannnot deny that di Meola displays some absolutely gorgeous playing on this album. Unfortunately for me, this kind of guitar is more likely to activate circuits in my brain that put me to sleep, rather than actively engage in the musical experience. Maybe this would be good to have around to plan a romantic evening, but certainly not for much else.

There really is no need to go into the tracks in depth--there is basically much alternating between mellow, relaxing bits and more uptempo sections. Global Safari and Phantom are greats examples of di Meola's soothing sustains, while parts of the title track and Morocco indicate that his shredding days are far from over. However, there's really no fusion happening, and there's also plenty of annoying common eighties flaws, such as cheesy vocal oooohs and cliche synths. But the guitar is always solid, even if it's not aggressive enough for your preference.

Flucktrot | 2/5 |

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