in Review

Stone Cold Groove

Jimi Hendrix – Valleys of Neptune

With the amount of posts this week how could I resist reviewing yet another album? We’ve already beat our personal best for posts in a week, so why not extend the record with a look into the latest from a late great rock icon? Valleys of Neptune is the name and contains 12 previously unreleased Hendrix recordings, including the title track, which is said to be one of Hendrix’s most sought after unreleased recordings.

I would of done a retrospective if I hadn’t just found out there’s already been a few posthumous releases from the Hendrix estate and by “a few” I mean like eight. For Hendrix literally recorded 100s of songs and fragments of songs before his untimely death in 1970. Here we get different versions of more familiar recordings like “Fire” and “Red House” mixed in with some more obscure material, like this sweet instrumental of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” I’ve never delved into Hendrix’s posthumous catalog so most of this is new to me.

The track “Valleys of Neptune” is the main attraction here and it’s got all the style and swagger you’d want to hear in a classic Hendrix composition. The rest of the material boasts a predominately traditional blues sound. Naturally it has it’s share of psychedelia but this just feels like a more bluesy Hendrix than usual.

Unfortunately there are times where I feel like I’m listening to a bunch of rehearsals. That’s kind of the problem with posthumous releases they feel incomplete because well, they are incomplete. Jimi wrote some swanky stuff here but this isn’t his vision. It’s basically a 60 minute something jam session that wouldn’t be worth your time if it wasn’t for the guitar god involved. All in all it’s a nice little bonus feature to the legacy of Hendrix but not much more than that.

Favorite Tracks: “Bleeding Heart”, “Stone Free”, “Valleys of Neptune.”