Hendrix is the guitar-god and maestro that revolutionised the guitar as we know it. Look up ‘guitar’ in the dictionary and it should have a sub-heading, saying ‘Hendrix’. He was utterly mesmerised by the guitar and all that it stood for and he changed the way in which we look and playing the guitar forever. Jimi played the strings with his teeth, he played the guitar above his head – with his hand tilting backwards and seemingly unaware of what he was doing – yet the music did the talking for him and his smile lit us rooms when he let himself go. He would ignite the guitar on-stage and practiced it until his fingers bled and did just about anything and everything that you can possible imagine. He is the epitome of rock and roll. This week also saw the unveiling of a Jimi Hendrix pop-up-store in Carnaby Street to mark and coincide with the release of this album. This was something that the Rolling Stones recently did to great success, with keeping it to the 60’s music nostalgia feel to one of the most loved and iconic streets in London.
The opening song Earth Blues had out attention within seconds and we listen to it from beginning to end with a huge smile and a warm, glowing feeling. It is part-rock and part-soul fusion and this is real music! The next song Somewhere continues to move us in the same way and it ends with a jaw dropping display of Jimi’s guitar genius. We ended up thinking ‘how long can he keep going for’? The answer is, as long as he desires! As you would expect from someone who was obsessed with the guitar, guitar solo’s dominate the album and they are fascinating to listen to, as ever. You never tire of listening to them and they make you feel quite inadequate for trying to strum together a few chords of your own! One song on the album that we weren’t too bowled over with initially was Let Me Move You, just because the lyrics are a bit too simple and we thought that they felt a bit repetitive after a few plays, but the energy throughout the track kept us up beat and feeling alive. Easy Blues has another very long guitar solo and you can almost hear the joy in it as he is playing along, almost like a kid in a sweet-shop. This album reminds us of what it really takes to be a master of craft and how to push musical boundaries, the best advice to wannabe musicians is: listen and learn. The sound of this album is raw and rugged, with the soul and depth of a real and passionate musician behind each track. Crash Landing is amazing and his lyrics are very honest, something which took a lot of guts to write and to then record.
This album is the kind of work that makes you wish that the artist was still around to provide a whole host of future and continuing genius-like albums for us. Sadly, that is not to be, so we have to make do with piecing together unfinished jam sessions and this album is a true credit to his legacy, on the most part. The sound quality on this album was enough to give us goosebumps and we experienced them on almost every song that we listened to and our heads were nodding along in rhythm to the music throughout and did not stop until the last chord was played on this album. Sit back, relax and enjoy listening to a master at work.