The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Electric Ladyland” (1968) – The Weekend Review

Originally posted 2010-02-14 23:30:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

RATING:  2.5 / 5 stars

Let me begin by saying I love and have the utmost respect for Jimi Hendrix’s music, as much if not more than the average music fan.  Although many simply know a couple hits (and are, even from that sampling, able to acknowledge the fact that he was a guitar legend), I have heard all of his albums multiple times — hits, misses, deep tracks, and all.

Although Electric Ladyland is widely considered the pinnacle of his recording career, I must adamantly argue that it is not.

There is no denying the mastery that Hendrix demonstrates on the third and final studio release of his brief career.  Even on a track like “Little Miss Strange,” his guitarwork is intricate, interesting, and unsurpassed.  “Voodoo Chile” is a testament to his mastery (and his justification for moving beyond) the blues.  And his production on “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)” is nothing short of expansive and impressive.

And yet, great songs do not in and of themselves a great album make.

To be fair, there are some excellent tracks on this album.  In addition to those aforementioned gems, the highlights of Electric Ladyland are certainly to be found in the brilliant rock’n’roll of “Crosstown Traffic” and their electrified take on Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” a version that redefined the way Dylan himself approached the song in concert.

On Electric Ladyland, the Jimi Hendrix Experience is tighter and yet more relaxed than on any previous release.  Hendrix is more experimental stylistically and vocally, Noel Redding’s bass parts are even more manically masterful, and Mitch Mitchell’s drums are both an anchor and a vivid instrument unto themselves.  There’s something compelling about a band that can run through a fourteen minute blazing blues epic like “Voodoo Chile” and go on to construct such a melancholy opening as you find on “Burning of the Midnight Lamp.”

The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Electric Ladyland" (1968)

The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Electric Ladyland" (1968)

Where this album begins to fall short is in all the nooks and crannies, all the self-indulgent jams that stretch some wonderful tracks out beyond a reasonable length, all the inferior, overly-simplistic tracks that never would have found their way onto a previous Experience release.

From the opening, Electric Ladyland is a unique and exciting album.  “…And the Gods Made Love” is a forgettable, albeit tone-setting album opener.  “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)” is a warm, inviting, and promising number.  “Crosstown Traffic” and “Voodoo Chile” make good on that invitation, putting an outstandingly tight, single-worthy track back to back with a jam-based track that takes its time — a quarter of an hour, to be more precise.

After this is where the album loses some of its focus.

The Redding-penned “Little Miss Strange” suffers from the same assessment as Axis: Bold As Love‘s “She’s So Fine”:  it’s okay.  Nothing more, nothing less — neither the track you’ll run to first, nor the track you’ll skip.

Then comes a trio of tunes that are not terribly impressive.  “Long Hot Summer Night” is good, “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)” is an excellent, unique take on this cover, and “Gypsy Eyes” has its moments.  If this is the best that can be said about these tracks, then they have no business being at the heart of a Jimi Hendrix Experience album.

I can even look beyond the ho-hum nature of “Rainy Day, Dream Away,” if only for its thematic, lyrical tie-in three tracks later on “Still Raining, Still Dreaming,” but it never ceases to amaze me how, depending on the artist and on the general trends in music criticism at the time, an album that has strong ties to what has come before can either be a masterful sampling of genres or a derivative romp in mediocrity.  In this case, the former was decided upon, as evidenced by the slew of five-star ratings the album has accrued.  Still, I find it difficult to view some of these reviews as unbiased.  Is Electric Ladyland a breakthrough effort, an album that took the ways we view genres and recordings and turned them upside down?  Yes.  But is that to say it should overshadow the cohesion, uniqueness, and beautifully tight arrangements of Are You Experienced? Should it cause us to set Axis: Bold As Love aside as a sophomoric, somewhat forgettable effort?


Let us not forget that this is an album with a track like “Moon, Turn the Tides… gently gently away,” a song with no content and with no discernible purpose as anything more than a transition between tracks, perhaps a tone setting device.

By the time “House Burning Down” comes, I often find myself suffering from jam fatigue.  This is an excellent track, and yet I have a hard time getting fired up for it, or for the album-closing “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return).”

I do find myself seeking sweet refuge in the track that comes between them… “All Along the Watchtower.”

This is what Electric Ladyland lacks — others may praise the jazz mentality of this record, but I find myself yearning for the rock’n’roll mentality that Jimi Hendrix practically created on his first two releases.  Others see the expansive and the interpretive as mastery, but I long for the tightness and originality of those early Jimi Hendrix recordings — hits like “Purple Haze,” “Stone Free,” and “Bold As Love” and deep tracks like “Love or Confusion,” “51st Anniversary,” “Spanish Castle Magic,” and “Little Wing.”

It is no wonder that John Mayer has gone to the Hendrix well thrice for covers — an excellent version of “Wait Until Tomorrow” for the Experience-imitating John Mayer Trio, an okay take on “Bold As Love” on Continuum, and “The Wind Cries Mary” live in concert.  After all, his career has generally followed the patterns I see in Hendrix’s: a mind-blowing debut, a strong follow-up, and a critically acclaimed, if inferior third release.  Say what you will about Mayer — channeling Hendrix, however criticized a move it may be in some circles, has worked as planned.

So, I will continue listening to Electric Ladyland and loving it at times.  For me, it can’t compare to what came before, and to what may have come after…

Music Reviews – One Heart, Professional Vocalist

Originally posted 2008-08-11 20:23:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

One of the key criteria in judging a solo act is in the singer’s range and catalog of material. From the sounds of his seven track sampler, professional vocalist Andi Dawson, also known as One Heart, has managed to not only select a wide range of rock and pop numbers for his repertoire, but also to master the subtleties of each of his diverse tracks.

From the first vocal notes of “Smooth,” the singer’s attention to detail is clearly evidenced by the vocal effect that is strikingly similar to the one used famously by Rob Thomas, who helped score a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for Santana at the turn of the millennium. And yet, a few tracks later, One Heart has slowed down and, going back to the seventies, taken on the smooth tones of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” Gone is the bravado necessary for a rocker like “Smooth.” Instead, he delivers a vocal true to Clapton’s original, complete with subtleties in inflection and overall delivery.

Suitably, his voice drops an octave for the early sixties Del Shannon hit “Runaway.” His timing is impeccable on One Heart’s version of “Brown-Eyed Girl.” And One Heart has left no decade of rock music unexplored, faithfully translating Queen’s early nineties hit “The Show Must Go On,” Bryan Adams’ eighties hit “The Summer of ’69,” and a mix of fifties tracks in “The One Heart Rock & Roll Medley.”

The medley, the seventh and final track, fades with a take on “Rock Around the Clock,” originally by Bill Haley & His Comets. It is quite fitting for the set to end with the oldest songs presented, and yet with a number that is every bit as upbeat as their opening track.

Based out of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, One Heart is the perfect solution for anyone planning the music for an event such as a wedding. Judging from his tracks — available online at — this solo vocalist will bring a wide range of popular music sensibilities to his performances. This seven track sampler alone draws from mostly top ten and top five hits from artists as diverse as Elvis Presley to Queen, from eras as early as the 1950s to as recently as the new millennium. This supports the promise on the official website that “One Heart is an act that has been carefully designed to supply entertainment to all present.”

Having contributed regularly to the “session-a-day” Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs project, I have quickly become an expert of sorts and indeed quite particular when it comes to judging the quality of covers. One Heart consistently demonstrates a mastery and a faithfulness to the original studio recordings of the songs he performs.

His music is solid, his vocal range is more than adequate for the range of artists he has chosen to cover, and his selection is vast — what more could you desire in one singer?

The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Axis: Bold as Love” (1967) – Yes, No, or Maybe So, Retro

Originally posted 2010-02-13 13:15:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Axis: Bold As Love (The Jimi Hendrix Experience) – MAYBE SO

The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Axis: Bold As Love" (1967)

The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Axis: Bold As Love" (1967)

(December 1, 1967)


Although this album suffers from a few inferior tracks (an issue absent from the debut), one sentence simply doesn’t do this record justice; Axis: Bold As Love finds the Experience more conceptual, Hendrix conscious of his lyrical content and thematic cohesion, and all the while managing the most interesting guitar soundscapes yet supported by drumwork few other bands could muster.

Top Two Tracks:

“Wait Until Tomorrow” & “Bold As Love”

“Church on Sunday” (Green Day Acoustic Rock Cover)

We’re looking for more Guest Sessions submissions! So, sit down, pull up your acoustic guitar and camera, post the video on YouTube, and CLICK HERE!

It’s finally Friday and it’s time to add yet another guest to this, the Guest Sessions project, hosted at the best cover song and new music video blog on the web — the Laptop Sessions!

For tonight’s video, we are happy to bring you only the second Green Day cover that’s been released on the blog.  Tonight’s guest comes to you from Bournemouth, UK.  Isn’t that the beauty of the Internet?  Mike White, our “Guest” performer, can record a video in the UK and I can post it on this music video blog while sitting in bed in Connecticut, United States.  We’ve become so used to this web that it’s not all that amazing to most of us, particularly the younger generation (myself included).  I take it for granted sometimes, but every so often I step back and consider how amazing this really is…

Tonight’s selection is “Church on Sunday,” the third track on Green Day’s Warning: album.  Warning: was released in 2000 and rose to both gold status and number 4 on the Billboard charts.  Even still, this was the least impressive showing the band had ever had, since their debut album Dookie. What makes material from Warning: ideal for the Laptop Sessions, though, is the fact that this album incorporates acoustic elements more than any previous Green Day release.

And you may be seeing another Green Day cover song soon, as the band is planning to release their new album, 21st Century Breakdown, in May 2009.  Supposedly, it has been strongly influenced by the work of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and the Beatles, and is “more power pop than punk.”  Interesting… (I hope…)

So, without further ado, you should click on the video below and let Mike White’s energetic performance speak for itself!