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Buckethead - A Real Diamond in the Rough CD (album) cover




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3.83 | 18 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars With the release of his 24th album and 2nd of 2009, BUCKETHEAD dedicated this one to his legal representative Stan Diamond and thus is titled A REAL DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH. Yet another album with BUCKETHEAD handling guitar duties, Bryan "Brain" Mantia on drums and Dan Monti on bass. He also handles the drum programming on some tracks. Like many of his "tribute" albums, this one is a warm sentimental collection of tracks that focus on emotion inducing stripped down melodies that are calm and reflective rather than bombastic and experimental. The album is much like earlier albums "Colma" or "Electric Tears" that take a journey into the placidity of atmospheric melodic tracks. Unlike those there a few upbeat guitar parts with heavy distortion and more energetic riffing. The production is crystal clear.

Tracks like "Dawn Appears" are as slowed down and ambient as the name suggests and have clean guitar parts, snail's-paced tempo and very melodic developments. Others like "Separate Sky" offer more variables that add greater dynamics including more rocking out and fuzzed out feedback. "Sundial" is a nice peppy series of popping echoey guitar lines that without percussion creates an interesting effect for its short duration. "Squid Ink" relies as much on the heft of percussion as it does on the ultra clean textures of the guitar riffs and clean production techniques. "Formless Present" takes the slowing down to the ultimate level providing a sample of slow core guitar riffing while "The Return Of Captain EO" takes on a heavy bluesy rock style.

For the most part A REAL DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is could hardly be called a rock album at all and focuses on chilled out clean guitar oriented tracks that slowly mediate rather than pulverize. There are nice tracks to be heard on this one but for me there are too many slower tracks that sound as if they could've been leftovers for previous albums of the similar style and even when BH rocks out, it feels purposefully held back. On top of that the album doesn't flow to my liking as the placement of certain tracks doesn't make sense in the big scheme of things. Fans of BH's mellower albums will probably dig this more than i do and as i stated, there is plenty of decent material here but there also seems to be a lot of recycling going on in the creativity department as well.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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