Leslie West

Alligator

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    5
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Originally released in 1989 on IRS' Illegal Records imprint, Leslie West's Alligator seemed then and still seems now, as evidenced by this straight reissue from Voiceprint Records, to be mostly West treading water. He plays some hot guitar here, of course, but then not as much as one might like, and he sings a lot here, too, perhaps more than one might like. It all adds up to a rather ho hum album without a single track that really takes your head off, although the flashy "Hall of the Mountain King/Theme from Exodus" mini-suite sure aims for sonic decapitation, as does the screeching "Whiskey" (featuring bass by Stanley Clarke), and West's cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You" is certainly atmospheric enough, but in the end it all seems more like cage rattling than a substantial musical statement. Stick to the early Mountain records for West at his best.

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