Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A really bad album

I know I have been criticised for only ever saying good things here about the music I’ve been listening to – and, while the purpose of the blog is to do precisely that, rather than to be any real “review”, I have at last found something to break my tradition and to pull to pieces.

I was listening today to some bloke called Jimi Hendrix. I see he played back in the 60s, and I guess standards were a lot more relaxed back then, and so things were able to be released in those days that would never pass the keeper these days.

The album is called Are You Experienced? – an irony, really, because obviously this dude isn’t. I mean, really – what’s this bloke on about? He clearly never learned to play the guitar properly. It goes all over the place, hardly a singable tune in ear shot. If John Denver was still alive, he’d be rolling in his grave. Sometimes he can’t even stay on the one note. Sometimes it doesn’t even sound like a guitar. It grunts and groans like it is in some sort of agonised pain or, even worse, like it is having some sort of very sordid sexual experience. I can’t begin to think what sort of person Jimi Hendrix must have been – but we certainly don’t need to have his sexuality shoved down our throat like this, do we? In fact, I suspect that some of these songs might actually be illegal.

If that’s not enough to convince you how bad this music is, then just have a listen to “Foxy Lady”, with its music that clearly can’t decide whether it wants to be blues or rock. And when Mr Hendrix tries to assure his girlfriend “I’m gonna do you no harm”, frankly I am just not convinced.

And what’s going on with the amps and electronics here? There were places where you can actually hear feedback. It’s all terribly rough and messy – uncouth, even.

There is a brief moment of respite when he sings an almost nice little ballad called “May this be love”, but then that’s all pretty quickly thrown to the wolves by a song called “Fire”, which, as far as I can tell, is just really, really rude and is clearly written and sung by someone who never heeded Nancy Reagan’s advice to “just say no”.

“Third stone from the sun” just sounds positively freaky and is clearly meant as an insult to everything good and pure about our planet. It doesn’t even have any words, as far as I can tell – just strange, alien noises that would, if played in the dark, frighten children and maybe even some decent respectable adults, if they had some sort of nervous disposition (as I do).

Then there’s his absolutely bizarre cover of the wonderful Kronos Quartet 1986 classic “Purple Haze”. And, as if it’s not enough for him to bastardise the work of one of the world’s leading string quartets, he has to take things even further and throw in words as well. And just what is “’scuse me while I kiss the sky” supposed to mean? Is it meant to be something religious?

And if a song like “The wind cries Mary” is meant to court the Catholic vote by some oblique references to the Holy Mother, then it just won’t work. It might be a sad song, but I’m afraid this man’s soul is well and truly lost. Well, except for all that music he wrote, and all those albums that just refuse to go away.

All in all, a very, very bad and morally dangerous album. I might just have a little listen to Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland now to see if he improves.


  1. I can just remember my parents warning me about Mr. Hendrix. They thought that he was 'alternative' and that his performances were, well, 'way out'. I also remember Brother Michael telling the Lower Sixth that Mr. Hendrix wasn't a 'musician' at all, that he was in league with the devil and that if we listened to any of his albums, we'd never sleep straight in our beds again.

    As usual, Brother Michael was right. I own all of Mr. Hendrix's albums ... and a Sealy Posturepedic bed.

  2. Hahaha Patrick ... at least I now know what lies ahead for me!!

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  4. ..i remember when i played "jimi hendrix live at the isle of wight" on my turntable (over 20 years ago) ....all of a sudden my grandmother stormed in and said that something with my turntable is wrong...it makes funny noises...
    she was so right....i wish i had a second chance to tell her.....sigh

    sorry had a spelling mistake...can't live with that!

  5. ..still spelling mistakes :-( aah bugger...

  6. It's all the evil influence of Mr Hendrix, Seemore!!

  7. may god have mercy on your soul. you just blasphemed one of the holy trilogy (the other 2 being Bob and Neil.).. next thing, you will be knocking Milli Vanilli