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Old 02-10-2014, 01:07 PM   #2001 (permalink)
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James i want to give your album one more really solid listen....so i'll try to do a review on Wednesday or Thursday
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:53 PM   #2002 (permalink)
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James i want to give your album one more really solid listen....so i'll try to do a review on Wednesday or Thursday
Yeah exactly the same to you!
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:25 PM   #2003 (permalink)
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I'm in for the next round.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:19 AM   #2004 (permalink)
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Venus Isle --- Eric Johnson --- 1996 (Capitol)
(Thanks go to Plankton)

Well it was certainly no surprise to me that a future guitar legend like plankton would choose an album by a guitarist for me to review, but I must admit I knew nothing of Eric Johnson prior to this: I didn't even know he existed! So, as I always do in such cases, I ran crying to Wiki who made it all better by telling me that Johnson is seen by some as one of the most respected guitarists on the planet, that he has worked with people like Christopher Cross, Cat Stevens and Joe Satriani, has seven albums of which this is the fourth, and is in high demand.

For some reason he's seen fit to have the aforementioned Cross guest on two tracks, but on the rest he sings himself, and in addition to being a guitar whiz it would seem he's quite the singer. The album opens on the title track, which sort of threw me a little in its opening almost two minutes of instrumental, with a vaguely arabic melody with sitars and a guitar riff I've heard in Floyd's “Momentary lapse of reason” somewhere. But then it settles down, and it's excellent but the melody really reminds me of Richie Sambora's “Stranger in this town”. “Battles we have won” niggles me a little again with a reminder of Peter Gabriel's “San Jacinto” in the opening keyboard riff (I know: is there anything you don't compare tracks to Trollheart? Sorry, it's just how it affects me: when I hear a familar melody or part of one I always search my mind to remember where I heard it before).

I absolutely love “All about you”, probably my favourite track on the album. Very Journey, a great rocker with real AOR legs and a killer melody. Also reminds me of (sorry sorry) Sambora's “Undiscovered soul”, though that album came two years after this. Have to say I wouldn't have recognised Christopher Cross if I hadn't been told it was him singing! Superb guitar work from Johnson near the end of this. More excellent guitar work in “SRV”, a tribute to the great man himself and featuring his elder brother Jimmie Vaughan on guest solo. Fair brings a tear to the eye! We miss ya, Stevie!

Cross is back for “Lonely in the night”, with some really nice strings arrangements, one of only two tracks on which Johnson has no writing input. It's a nice semi-ballad and leads into a trio of instrumentals that take us towards the album's conclusion.

First up is “Manhattan”, quite jazzy with sort of soul overtones, bops along nicely with a sense of maybe Steely Dan in it? It's followed by “Camel's night out”, much harder and rockier with a big growling guitar sound searing through it. Yeah you know, reminds me of some of Plankton's material here. Some great guitar histrionics and a pretty neat drum solo to end. And then to end the triumvirate (like that word, huh?) a beautiful gentle piano led instrumental in “Lynne's song”. But if you think that's the end of the good stuff well just think again: one of the better tracks comes in the shape of “When the sun meets the sky”, a sort of mid-paced half-ballad with some absolutely superb fretwork on it and a gorgeous vocal, again slightly Journeyesque.

“Pavilion” is yet another instrumental, this time much faster and in the mould of “Camel's night out”, with some great keyboard work and a slight sense of classical about it, and we end on “Venus reprise”, one more short instrumental to bring everything full circle and end on a high.

There's no doubt I loved this album, despite not knowing who Eric Johnson was before Plankton let me in on the worst-kept secret in guitar music. I'm glad he did though because like Ki with Devin I now have to go look up the rest of his discography. This will probably make it to the “Recommended by ...” thread.

Nice one, Plankton! Just hope you like the album I sent you!
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:58 AM   #2005 (permalink)
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Excellent write up Trollheart, and everything you said is right on par with how I feel about that album. Although EJ has some more critically acclaimed work, Venus is my go-to album when I need to lift my spirits. I was torn between sending you Venus, or Ah Via Musicom but figured you might already be familiar with Ah Via since it was the album that really put him on the map. So, if you're seeking more from EJ, then you'll probably want to get your hands on that one.

I'm still wrapping my head around what you've sent me, and should have something by this weekend.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:00 AM   #2006 (permalink)
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Mutant Disco - Various Artists


Sent to me by Goofle11

Curse you Goofle. It took me like 3-4 days to get through this compilation and not because I didn't enjoy it but because of the length. I couldn't review other albums I wanted to because I was plowing through this bad boy.

It felt like I was listening to a prog album but with retro dance music. I haven't ever heard anything else from Was(Not Was) besides Walk The Dinosaur which I ever posted a video of the other day. What a surprise to me when they ended up popping up on this compilation. Anyone listening to this would be hard press to find something they didn't like about it. It felt like there was something for everyone. I was in a musical buffet pretty much. One of my favorite tracks that stood out was Spooks in Space. After hearing this line:"Mama say there'll be days like this.. but she ain't say nothin' 'bout SPOOKS!" and busting out laughing I ended up just grooving to it in my chair and loving the hell out of it.

Great Compilation album. It was two discs and I will listen to it again but not when I'm waiting to review other things lol.
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:36 PM   #2007 (permalink)
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Joseph Arthur - Redemption City

At first listen, this made me cringe a bit at the Lou Reed style vocals... I like my vox with a bit more talent behind it, and the 'reading' style doesn't do much for me. But... and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I can appreciate the craftsmanship of this guy. Really well produced. I listened to the first album a few times, trying to get into it, but I still couldn't picture myself running out to buy this. I put the second half on tonight. Really well balanced as far as song structuring, and production. My favorite out of all 24 tunes... probably "Surrender To The Storm". Guitar playing on that was off the charts, and well you know...

Thanks for the tunes Mr T!
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Old 09-05-2022, 09:46 PM   #2008 (permalink)
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Can we get this going again? This was fun. Check the OP for details.
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Old 09-06-2022, 09:40 PM   #2009 (permalink)
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I'd like to join.
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