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Review: Electric Sea

Joe Kinler, Staff Writer

Recording artist and guitar virtuoso, Buckethead, released his 35th studio album “Electric Sea”,  which continues and expands on the style of his 2002 album “Electric Tears”. With a blend of mellow guitar and a minimalistic sound, Buckethead creates a remarkable instrumental auditory experience with his newest album.

The first track, “Electric Sea”, starts slow and melodically, featuring a nice mixture of rhythmic acoustic guitar and dynamic electric guitar. Buckethead does a good job of expanding on this combination as he plays through the album. No drums are featured on this album and, if there is bass, it is seldom heard, but this does not detract from the quality of the album. If anything, it gives it a feeling which cannot be compared to many other albums. The second track, “Beyond the Knowing”, brings a fast paced track into the mix, catching the listener’s attention.

As the album progresses, several stylistic changes take place. On the songs “Point Doom” and “El Indio”, Buckethead moves from his mellow sound into a spanish flamenco sound, making the song feel like an old western. Even in the end of “El Indio” the song turns from the western sound to a powerful rock song with an epic feel about it. Toward the end of the album is the track “Bachethead”, a song stylistically influenced by Johann Sebastian Bach, combining a very regal sound reminiscent of fanfare with the twist of electric guitar. Overall, Buckethead has stylistically created a very unique and enjoyable album.
9 out of 10

Lyrics and Writing
While this album has no lyrics, it makes up for it in composition and written quality. With nearly every song consisting of complex rhythms and note variations, Buckethead easily entrances the listener and brings them into the unique world behind each song. The lead electric guitar plays complicated solos with remarkable precision and skill, while the powerful acoustic guitar keeps the heart of the music going with a steady and impressive rhythm. The nature with which the album’s songs are organized also affects the experience the listener receives. Starting with a very progressive and mellow sound, the album creates a alternative rock sound. After a few tracks the album reaches a flamenco section with lots of staccato strumming, followed then by a section influenced by Bach before returning to its initial mellow alternative rock sound. The intricate composition gives the album a great sound and feeling which shouldn’t be missed.
9 out of 10

Instrumental guitar music, while often beautifully written, is not always appreciated in popular culture. This kind of album will not appeal to all listeners. As one listens to the album however, it will bring wonderment with its sound. The diverse melodies, rhythms and styles this album offers can relieve the listener if they are stressed and can also energize them with moving songs. “Electric Sea” will take the listener through several different styles and sounds of music and while the album may not be enjoyed by everyone, it will provide a unique experience to those who will listen.
7.5 out of 10

Overall Rating
8.5 out of 10

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