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Allan Holdsworth - Flat Tire CD (album) cover


Allan Holdsworth


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.81 | 24 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
3 stars As a consumate Holdsworth fan, while my only musical accomplishment is virtuoso CD playing, I find this the most difficult of Allan's albums to listen to. (The 3 star rating is an average of what I personally think and what I've read by others on the album). Elsewhere there have been rave reviews, significantly from guitarists - hence I have come to believe this is an album for musos. The album seems almost a compilation of those most difficult tracks found on his 80's and 90's records, those track which were about demonstrating virtuosity, with the tune being no more than the vehicle for this - in other words I can't remember the melody of any tune here. Isolated on other albums, those tunes gave breadth and depth, but in forming all of the compositions on "Spare Tire", I find there is one helluva lot of depth and abstraction, with little other in the way of musical variety. This too is Allan's Synthaxe album. The Synthaxe splits the Holdsworth fan base in two: those who like it and those who would only want to hear his unique guitarwork. Again (and I've said this about the other guitar synth prize winner, Pat Metheny), if you want to have the sound of keyboards, harmonica or trumpet (imitated elsewhere and immediately coming to mind) surely the real thing is better that trying to conjure it from the 6 strings of a guitar?

In summary if you are a guitar muso, then this may be for you. If you have been turned off by the Synthaxe before, don't go this way.

Dick Heath | 3/5 |


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