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Jimi Hendrix - Valleys Of Neptune CD (album) cover

VALLEYS OF NEPTUNE

Jimi Hendrix

 

Proto-Prog

3.06 | 36 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

jammun
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Well, a new Hendrix album. Twelve new songs, six of which I've heard in at least one previous incarnation. Here are my first impressions. For the sake of brevity (and because I am incapable of describing the magic), this assumes familiarity with Hendrix's early albums.

Stone Free lacks the nuances of the version we're all familiar with, but not a bad take on it. I'd still vote for the original over this one.

Valleys of Neptune is very much Cry of Love material. It's got the funkier sound of his later work, to the point one would wonder why it was not on that album. Seriously reminiscent of Straight Ahead, for example. But realistically, nothing to get too excited about.

Bleeding Heart has been around in a few incarnations. Of the ones I've heard, this is probably definitive, with excellent wah guitar (and otherwise) throughout.

I'd previously only heard the live version of Hear My Train A Comin' . This is pure blues, in the Voodoo Chile Slight Return mold. In fact ol' Jimi sez Gonna be a Voodoo Chile" at one point. And yes he is. Wave after wave of guitar magic.

Mr. Bad Luck. Yes, look over yonder...nice groove. Realistically, other than the referential lyrics, this one's more or less a throwaway.

Sunshine of Your Love. Hendrix plays Clapton. Holy Shite! There's a sort of waka-waka funkfest in the middle, which detracts in general, but it eventually evolves to the Outside Woman Blues riff so all's forgiven. But if you're wondering about the mythical Hendrix, step right up...it's all here.

Lover Man is simply just raining sheets of blues. Ironic, that this is a pretty average blues workout for Hendrix. For anyone else, it's their masterpiece.

Ships Passing... See comments for Valleys of Neptune. More Cry of Love era material. He's reaching for something beyond what he's been doing, but not quite figuring out how to get there. Make no mistake...the guitar is already there. The songwriting, not quite.

Fire -- not like I've heard this before. Decent alternate take, but without "move over rover, let Jimi take over" it just ain't happening for me.

Red House -- a bit too slow for my taste, but if you want to hear impeccable blues guitar, look no further. What did i say a few songs back? Wave after wave of guitar magic, really an onslaught. The amazing thing: he knows none of the 'modern era' tricks and still outshines his successors.

Lullaby... see comments for Ships Passing...I hear a bit of Izabella lurking within here.

Crying Blue Rain -- Voodoo Chile Slight Return, take three. Low wattage blues, for the most part, though it gets to a bit of standard rock towards the end.

The sound quality is clean throughout. New album, but you'll not hear much new here...just song after song of that prototypical Hendrix sound.

Really, I do not intend to demean the album. It's a good one. Given the offal that's borne the Hendrix name in the past, this one shines. If you've got your Hendrix house in order, it will fit right in. But I'd say a newcomer to Hendrix would be better served by one or more of the original three albums.

jammun | 3/5 |

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