Buckethead

Electric Tears

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AllMusic Review by

Superfreak guitarist Buckethead is known at least as much for his bizarre sartorial choices (his stage name comes from his penchant for wearing both a mask and a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on his head whenever appearing in public) as for his guitar playing, although taken as a whole, his music is actually quite a bit stranger and more original than his image. The bucket remains pretty much the same at all times, whereas his playing is all over the freaking place. With Praxis he contributed white-hot shards of speed metal to what was essentially a funk and dub project; he stuck to heavy rock & roll with a short-lived version of Guns N' Roses. But on his solo work, his approach is often much mellower and more approachable, at times approaching (though, thank heaven, never crossing over entirely into) the realms of the new age. Electric Tears is fairly typical in that regard. On this one he plays all the instruments himself, but the instruments are almost all guitar; each track consists of multi-tracked instruments, and most of them feature a minimum of harmonic movement, making for a pleasant, sometimes intriguing, but sometimes slightly tedious program. On the very pretty "All in the Waiting" he manages to draw quite a bit of musical interest out of an almost minimalist chordal structure, and his adaptation of Joaquín Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez" (the melody used by Miles Davis for his "Sketches of Spain") is also beautiful. "Padmasana" is attractive enough, but the phase shifter sounds a bit cheesy and the tune is way too long at almost 12 minutes -- if you're going to go on like that, it might be good to bring more than two chords to the table. "Kansas Storm," on the other hand, is a very fine tone poem, complete with musical thunder and lightning. Recommended overall.

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