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Eric Johnson - Bloom opinions?

3465 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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Im a huge EJ fan and I have to say that Venus Isle is a much more enjoyable listen by far.
Dont get me wrong, I LOVE Bloom. Venus Isle in my opinion, is the best album EJ has ever put out.
I love Alien Love Child too. Great album. I would love to see him play that set live.

I just saw EJ last weekend with Buddy Guy and sadly he only played SRV off Venus Isle. I was hoping for Pavilion and When the Sun Meets The Sky. Of course Manhattan and Camel's Night Out would've been cool too. :mrgreen:
jem7vwh said:
I've heard a lot of complaints about the production in general. Some think it's ruined by reverb and others (including me) think his guitar signal is way too hot and too dry. He's missing that smooth ringing tone he had on songs like "Lonely in the Night" and "Manhattan" and he's replaced it with a sort of dry Ted Nugent sound. Not good.
Agreed. I dont particularly care for his tone on Bloom.
I love the tone he has on Camel's night out and the whole Venus Isle album.
That nice overdrive 100 pound violin tone. ;)
MehYam said:
Talk about a soft sell! EJ is someone I associate with mastery. I don't want to hear him trying to find himself, I think that's below the standard he set for himself.

I saw an outtake of him playing Cliffs of Dover at that Eric Clapton concert thing. He was definitely having a hard time hitting the notes, and was hitting open strings by accident. Something's up.
He didn't play Cliffs live when I saw him 2 weeks ago. :(
My guess is he probably has played that song live more than any song to the point where he is probably sick of it and lost his touch.

On the Crossroads Music Festival hosted by Eric Clapton, EJ stumbles on Desert Rose which is a disappointment but when I saw him play Desert Rose live, he nailed it to perfection. :)
hanban said:
best song on this cd is the tribute to jerry reed:)
I have to agree. Hesitant is good too. ;)

By the way, he played Tribute To Jerry Reed live perfectly. :)
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