Half Notes: Buckethead – Shadows Between The Sky (2010)

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by S. Victor Aaron

Guitar whiz Buckethead has built a loyal following primarily by virtue of his fretted pyrotechnics. Among the several records he makes every year are the mellower, dulcet types that range from ambient to instrumental pop. In some ways , this toned-down record by a fiery guitarist has some parallels you could draw with Jeff Beck’s upcoming record. But Beck is going more for passion, while Buckethead seems to favor melody and simpler textures on his. “Sea Wall” is my personal favorite but it isn’t a whole lot different from the rest of the tracks. That’s because the songs each have just enough character to notice the difference, but not so much to disturb a nice background listen, which, really, is what he probably intended with this album. Even fast tempo songs like “Sled Ride” isn’t going to tempt you to make the sign of Satan with your right hand while violently rocking your head back and forth. Shadows Between The Sky is the right disc to pull out when you’re ready to downshift into second gear, not first.


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