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Allan Holdsworth - Sand CD (album) cover


Allan Holdsworth


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.28 | 59 ratings

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The Owl
Prog Reviewer
3 stars On the one hand, you have to give Allan a lot of credit for being technologically bold, , trying newly available technologies like the Synth-Axe and midi-modules, but at the same instance, I find this disc a rather daunting listen because it's SOOOOOOOOOOO ridiculously synth-heavy that it actually fatigues my ears after a certain period of time.

While certainly not lacking musical substance or great musicianship (the powerhouse team of drummer Gary Husband and ubermelodic bassist Jimmy Johnson, plus Chad Wackerman on some tracks drumming) it still suffers from a sonic sameness and cold, synthetic digital aura that unfortunately is typical of nearly ANY 80's recordings.

It takes some effort to listen past this but if one perseveres there are some gems for certain, '4:15 Bradford Executive" is the clear highpoint of this disc with its relentless train-like propulsive rhythms pulling you along. Allan's solo on here is a marvel to behold! The first 4 tracks are musically very rivh too but again, the synth overkill detracts from their beauty and depth to a noticeable degree as the listeners ears start crying out for organic sounds like REAL guitar for instance.

The only real lowpoint is the rather pointless mechanical "MAC MAN" that seems more like a cheesy demo for an early version of Macintosh computer msuc software than it does an actual song as such. Skip that one altogether.

This Owl wonders though, if these songs were reworked in more organic ways sonically of they could reveal their true depth and color. It might be a worthwhile undertaking methinks.

The Owl | 3/5 |


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