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siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars Coming a whole decade after the release of "Electric Tears," BUCKETHEAD released ELECTRIC SEA on 21, February, 2012 which is the sequel to that mellow chill out music that ironically is swimming in a sea of Pikes and as it turns out is the only album released outside of the Pike series since he began the seemingly endless output. This was released between Pikes 5 - Look Up There and 6 - Balloon Cement. ELECTRIC SEA pretty much follows in the footsteps of its predecessor being an acoustic guitar dominated album that adds healthy doses of ambience and subtle experimental procedures.

This one is different in that it includes other acoustic guitar genres to the mix such as flamenco ("Beyond The Knowing," "Point Doom") and classical music. Once again this one is pretty much a guitar only album with no percussion or vocals to be heard and BUCKETHEAD performs all musical duties. All the tracks are originals with the exception of "La Gavotte" and "Bachethead" which were written by J.S. Bach and are movements I & II from the "Gavotte Suite No. 6 for solo Cello" (BWV 1012). The other non-original track "La Wally" is taken from a famous Italian opera of the same name and was written by Alfredo Catalani in 1892.

On the whole ELECTRIC SEA is even much mellower than "Electric Tears." Many of the tracks are very low energy but there are slight outbursts of energy on the flamenco influenced tracks such as "Point Doom." The mood is similar in its approach incorporating melancholic melodies that utilize echo effects, ambient atmospheres and classically constructed guitar compositions that have somewhat of a Spanish flair for most tracks as well as a touch of Baroque with the Bach numbers on board. The tracks are basically two guitar parts with one providing the rhythmic flow and the other supplying the lead melodic riffs.

Overall this is a decent album with beautiful compositions both original and covered. The production is crystal clear and as with "Electric Tears" takes the listener to serene musical scenarios in the stress free zone with the only difference being the addition of flamenco and classical music to the musical palette. As good as everything comes off here though, there is less reliance on the experimental effects that added an interesting layer of ambience on the original "Electric Tears." Unlike the album cover of a surfer conquering a monster wave, the music is more suited for a picnic or other chill out activity. Actually the classical tracks don't really jive well with the originals but all is performed well. In the end i'm just not into this one as much as the other but if you can't get enough of BUCKETHEAD on Rancho Relaxo mode then you'll certainly find enough here to enjoy. 3.5 rounded down

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Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2016 | Review Permalink

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