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Allan Holdsworth - Sand CD (album) cover


Allan Holdsworth


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.28 | 51 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars No oasis in sight

Following after the experimental Atavachron album, Sand is perhaps even more experimental. Like the previous album, Sand too is dominated by Holdsworth himself on guitar and SynthAxe (an instrument that is a mix between a guitar and a synthesiser) but unlike previous albums, Sand is entirely instrumental. It is thus a little bit less varied, but at the same time more coherent than the last album and also compared to the album that came after it, Secrets. Holdsworth is a great guitar player but he is not a very strong composer and most of his solo music comes off as mostly endless "noodling" and unfocused sonic experimentations with most songs being nothing but long guitar solos backed by drums, bass and some keyboards. There are, however, on Atavachron, Sand and Secrets some memorable passages that make these albums worthwhile for fans of Allan Holdsworth's unique and distinctive guitar sound. I find these albums listenable even if not particularly remarkable.

It is very difficult to single out particular tracks as they sound mostly the same, but Distance vs. Desire stands out as the least interesting of the bunch as it is totally inoffensive and quite boring. As I have said in previous reviews I have always enjoyed Holdsworth's playing best in a band environment, particularly when he was a member of UK in the late 70's with John Wetton, Eddie Jobson and Bill Bruford. Anyone looking for anything even remotely similar to the music he did with UK or more recently with K2, Allan Holdsworth's solo discography is not the place to look!

I can only recommend this album to fans and collectors of Holdsworth

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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