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siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars BUCKETHEAD shows yet another side of his musical palette on his 9th solo release ELECTRIC TEARS where he dishes out a mellow acoustic album laced with anxiety free ambience guaranteed to transport your weary soul to Rancho Relaxo. On this album we basically get a one hour and ten minute emersion into acoustic guitar music only slightly laced with ambient embellishments and experimental extensions and accompaniments by electric lead and rhythm guitar parts. For the most part the music is melodic, mellowly paced and never exceeding mid tempo. All tracks are written and performed by BUCKETHEAD with the exception of "Sketches Of Spain" which is a track written by Joaquín Rodrigo in 1939 and is used as a tribute to Miles Davis who released an album of the same name. There is only guitar and effects on this one. No percussion, no vocals although there is some kind of synthesized sounds like flutes that occasionally weave into the musical flow.

ELECTRIC TEARS follows in the footsteps of his previous mellower album "Colma" only being even more subdued and chilled out. Most of the tracks are straight forward compositions that have a somewhat predictable melodic development and harmonic accompaniments and all are around the five minute mark or less with the only exception being particularly long is "Padmasana" which clocks in at 11:36, however despite its length isn't particularly progressive in its songwriting but merely repetitive. It does contain an electric guitar accompanying an otherwise totally acoustic instrumentation that serves as a melodic lead but never once venturing into anything even close to frenetic shredding. Tracks like "Mustang" take on a more gloomy atmosphere more in the bass range and heavy on echoes and a more experimental feel than the more mellow tracks. This one probably has the most energetic delivery. Some tracks like "Datura" are highly processed and seem to be entirely electronically manipulated with all kinds of effects and echoes that provide interesting rhythmic developments.

Generally speaking i'm more enthralled by BUCKETHEAD at his most experimental and speed induced frenzy modes where he doesn't hold back and takes us on one of those wild roller coaster rides in Bucketheadland, but ELECTRIC TEARS is the perfect example of how restrained he can be and displays his ability to craft beautifully constructed slow-burners that utilize melancholic melodic developments, ethereal effects and excellent interplay between arpeggiated acoustic guitar riffs and electric guitar solos. Granted i usually have to be in the right mood to hear the mellow stuff from BH but when i am in that special zone where only soft and sedated will do, ELECTRIC TEARS is an excellent album to throw on and let play out in its entirety. The atmosphere is ELECTRIC as the TEARS flow from one track to the next. Highly recommended for those who love acoustic, ambient and mellow guitar albums.

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Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2016 | Review Permalink

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