Classic Rock Review

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Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Soup (1995)

From Progarchives.com

Voodoo Soup was about the third attempt by controversial producer Alan Douglas to finally complete the never quite finished fourth album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Like the previous two attempts by Douglas, this album is pretty much loathed by the Hendrix experts and has been stricken from the official Hendrix discography and replaced by First Rays of the Rising Sun. I’m no Hendrix expert, so I’m not sure if I get everything that is wrong with this, but when I listen to this album as just another early 70s record put out by a rockin dude with crazy hair and extravagant clothes, I hear a pretty damn good collection of well written semi- progressive tunes executed by some of the finest musicians in the business.

Besides the presence of Douglas, one of the major complaints against this album is the use of original Knack drummer Bruce Gary on a couple of cuts. Personally I think those complaints are just silly, who cares who the guy played with in the past, on this album Gary delivers the goods and manages to channel the style and spirit of original Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell as well as anybody could. A far more legitimate complaint though is the production; paper thin, high-ended and digitally plastic, the overall sound definitely lacks the soul and warmth one would want to hear from a Hendrix album, but the production still isn’t bad enough to sink these remarkable tunes.

There is one instrumental on here that doesn’t show up on too many other posthumous Hendrix collections, New Rising Sun, a psychedelic masterpiece with trademark Hendrix styled constantly shifting sound production, unique spiraling chord progressions, and intertwining guitar solos that only Jimi could play. The rest of the cuts on the album aren’t bad either, and not a one of them would qualify as filler.

Probably the finest tune on here, and one of the best ever penned by Mr Hendrix is the haunting Drifting, a stark reflection on doomed relationships that are bound to reoccur as the protagonist can’t help but continue his search for peace and satisfaction. The inventive bitter sweet chord progressions and melancholy melody help give the bleak lyrics a softened blow as we watch Jimi drift yet again towards eventual disillusionment.

May 15, 2010 - Posted by | Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Soup |

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