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Go to the Buckethead website  Buckethead - Electric Tears [Meta Records - 2002]

Some people might think of Buckethead as some oddball that makes ‘comedymusic’. This album might come as surprise to these people because the masked guitarist shows a sensitive and romantic side of himself, never been on display as extensively as on his latest offering Electric Tears.

His acoustic album Colma, made for his parents who weren’t too fond of his robotwars and shredfests, was a calm and pleasant listen. Not unlike this album but on Colma (a place in California where Bucket goes to relax and feel ‘embalmed’ on the local cemetary) there still was a spooky undertone in that music and drummer Brain (Praxis, ex-Primus, Guns ’n Roses, No Forcefield and many others) maintained a steady hiphop beat in most of the tracks and Buckethead kept it acoustic on most tracks. Electric Tears focuses more on electric guitars, as the title suggests. His previous albums featured no or hardly any solo’s (Funnel Weaver and Bermuda Triangle) and consisted of beats, riffs and atmospheres, on Electric Tears the guitarsolo’s are more prominent, but never ‘shred’.

The theme of this album is atmospheric and romantic, sometimes sad and reflective. Some songs are rhythmic despite the lack of rhythm instruments, but the delay effects give a strong sense of rhythm like in Mustang and the bluesy Kansas Storm. Along the album we get ambient pieces like Mantaray, a tribute to Miles Davis in Sketches Of Spain and the very sad and spatial titletrack. The amazingly subtle and acoustic piece Spell Of The Gypsies closes the heartfelt disc off.

Buckethead shows he’s not about shredding nor some technical superhero even though he’s proficient enough to pull off some amazing stuff, but he’s not about that. He’s telling stories with his music. A departure from his usual themes of robots, exciting themeparkrides, Disney and haunted mansions. Electric Tears is soothing and nice for relaxation on a sunny sunday afternoon or deep in the night. I found that the album is a bit long when listening to it with full attention, it’s perfect for playing while reading or just staring out of the window or at your computerscreen though. This does not mean that this is some sort of bland muzak that has no emotional content, Bucket shows his sensitive side on more than one occasion, some of his solo’s found here are deeply moving and go straight to my heart, but the album creates more a pleasant atmosphere than stun the listener with technical gadgets.

Besides performing here and there in the US with The Deli Creeps Buckethead has also almost finished working on Thanatopsis II, Bucketheadland II and Super Diorama Theater.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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