Bill Nelson

Practically Wired...Or How I Became Guitarboy

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Satisfying guitar albums are pretty hard to come by, in my opinion; when it comes to virtuosos, there's a a mighty thin line between self-indulgent wankery and cloying Muzak. If anyone could pull it off, though, it would be Bill Nelson. Nelson is approaching elder statesman status; his work as the founding member of Be-Bop Deluxe and with his solo projects Red Noise and Orchestra Arcana has influenced a whole generation of off-center, post-rock guitarists. His huge catalog of recordings covers everything from edgy new wave to lush ambient soundscapes, and this one finds him somewhere in between, with funky beats, tasty guitar hooks and a surprisingly warm electronic accompaniment all combining to create a welcoming but inventive and endlessly interesting musical experience. He's still fond of found-sound vocal samples like those that littered his Orchestra Arcana recordings, and there's still a hint of his Gnostic religious side evident on tracks like "Every Moment Infinite" and, especially, "Friends from Heaven." This is a wonderful, warm, generous album, recommended highly.

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