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VOODOO SOUP

Jimi Hendrix

Proto-Prog


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ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars With such a title, the worse could be expected.

This is the last ''studio'' release of the Alan Douglas era (73-85). During that period, dear old Alan released several very good live albums from the master, but the studio attempts were quite average to poor.

On this one, he mostly used what had been released by M. Jeffery namely ''The Cry Of Love'' in 1971 and ''War Heroes'' in 1972.

No less than seven tracks are coming out of the first posthumous studio album of which the very weak ''Belly Button Window''. Alongside, some enjoyable numbers as well of course (''Angel'', ''Freedom''). At times, some tracks vary slightly from the original (but this is more a mixing fantasy).

From ''War Heroes'', two excellent tracks were picked to release this compilation. ''Stepping Stone'' is definitely my fave from this album; it is an astonishing wild track. A real bomb should I say (of which few live recordings remain unfortunately). The second one also belongs to the good material of the master. This instrumental heavy blues-rock has been slightly extended and is one of the highlight of this selection.

The least I can say is that I don't understand the selection from the dreadful ''Crash Landing''. This work was a complete mess, and if the studio version of ''Message To Love'' is bearable, the choice of ''Peace In Mississippi'' is completely out of purpose. Douglas would have been inspired to have ''Machine Gun'' or ''Hear My Train'' from the ''Midnight Lightning'' recordings instead.

There is one unreleased song at that time: the instrumental opener ''The New Rising Sun'' which is dispensable.

And finally two tracks come out the 'Rainbow Bridge affair: 'Room Full Of Mirrors'' which can be considered as another good moment from this soup. Just like ''Pali Gap'': another very pleasant instrumental; on a softer side. Quite appealing and melodic.

This compilation effort is quite bizarre to say the least and is not the one you should invest into. In terms of original I would recommend ''The Cry Of Love'' and ''War Heroes'' (that are available as a one CD offering) or '' First Rays Of The New Rising Sun'' in terms of compilation.

Two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#219683)
Posted Wednesday, June 03, 2009 | Review Permalink
js (Easy Money)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Voodoo Soup was about the third attempt by controversial producer Alan Douglas to finally complete the never quite finished fourth album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Like the previous two attempts by Douglas, this album is pretty much loathed by the Hendrix experts and has been stricken from the official Hendrix discography and replaced by First Rays of the Rising Sun. I'm no Hendrix expert, so I'm not sure if I get everything that is wrong with this, but when I listen to this album as just another early 70s record put out by a rockin dude with crazy hair and extravagant clothes, I hear a pretty damn good collection of well written semi- progressive tunes executed by some of the finest musicians in the business.

Besides the presence of Douglas, one of the major complaints against this album is the use of original Knack drummer Bruce Gary on a couple of cuts. Personally I think those complaints are just silly, who cares who the guy played with in the past, on this album Gary delivers the goods and manages to channel the style and spirit of original Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell as well as anybody could. A far more legitimate complaint though is the production; paper thin, high-ended and digitally plastic, the overall sound definitely lacks the soul and warmth one would want to hear from a Hendrix album, but the production still isn't bad enough to sink these remarkable tunes.

There is one instrumental on here that doesn't show up on too many other posthumous Hendrix collections, New Rising Sun, a psychedelic masterpiece with trademark Hendrix styled constantly shifting sound production, unique spiraling chord progressions, and intertwining guitar solos that only Jimi could play. The rest of the cuts on the album aren't bad either, and not a one of them would qualify as filler.

Probably the finest tune on here, and one of the best ever penned by Mr Hendrix is the haunting Drifting, a stark reflection on doomed relationships that are bound to reoccur as the protagonist can't help but continue his search for peace and satisfaction. The inventive bitter sweet chord progressions and melancholy melody help give the bleak lyrics a softened blow as we watch Jimi drift yet again towards eventual disillusionment.

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Send comments to js (Easy Money) (BETA) | Report this review (#245466)
Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2009 | Review Permalink

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