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Eric Johnson - Bloom opinions?

3460 Views 33 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  elcid
I did a quick search and didn't see much recent discussion about Eric's new album. I've been listening to it a bit lately and I feel two ways about it.

A. The songwriting: It's much better. There's not a track that I skip and several of them are legitimately interesting and catchy.

B. The guitar playing: It's not better. In fact it's worse. When I saw Eric live a few months ago, I told a friend that I thought he sounded much slower and sloppier than previously, and now I wonder if he is experiencing physical issues like arthritis. The playing seems much more conventional- lacking many of the wide intervalic cascading phrases he's known for. The dry production on his leads doesn't help.

All in all, I really like the new album as a composition, but I think it's a big dissapointment compared to Venus Isle for guitar playing.
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I just got this and I think it's fabulous. I agree that the playing in technical terms is certainly more restrained than Venus Isle, and how many times did I hear people say that it was overplayed and overproduced?! Of course, I loved that album.

If people enjoyed Live and Beyond, this is more of that musical direction with still yet a mellower feel. Some heartaching musicality here.
I would agree that the tones on this album are certainly different to the ones on his Ah Via Musicom, Tones and Venus Isle, he stuck with the same tone for much of the album and that smooth lead tone he is famous for seems to have largely vanished. Even on track 4, when it sort of makes an appearance, it's squashed.

I guess he wants to make his recorded tone similar as easy to dial up as his live tone. Maybe, I dunno. I just said it thinking I would get chicks. And yes, I mean baby chickens when I say that.
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