- David "Skinny Devil" McLean
originally published at Tinfoil Music
Date: Sunday, April 11 2004 @ 23:26:35 BST
Justin King, the subject of a recent "Guitar Gods" interview
right here at Tinfoil (see link below), is a one-of-a-kind acoustic
guitar phenomenon. Using hammered chord ostinatos, cascading harmonics,
fiery flamenco techniques, and dreamy melodies, Justin creates stories
with sound. His new CD, "le Bleu", features 19 incredible compositions
that take the listener on a wild ride into territory seldom explored.
The comparisons to other great fingerstyle players is inevitable, but
it's somewhat like pop music fans saying "I can't tell the difference
between Bach and Beethoven" or classical music fans saying "all that
heavy metal stuff sounds alike". The reality is that despite certain
stylistic similarities, Justin King is worlds apart. His use of advanced
techniques from a wide range of styles coupled with his odd sense of
harmony and incredible rhythmic flourishes put Justin in a category all
his own (Justin speaks of some of these techniques in an instructional
piece found here).
Bleu" opens with the gorgeous "Taps", then fires into the quasi-Spanish
"Seville", followed by a meditative piece titled "After the Harvest".
As the listener goes from track to track, he finds himself assaulted by
both aggression and beauty. If one isn't careful, one quickly acclimates
to the amazing and thus loses touch with just how damn good this guy
really is. But luckily, Justin fearlessly decided to record one we've
all heard: "Amazing Grace". It is here that you really get a chance to
hear how unique Justin is in both chops and musical vision. He takes the
song through unexpected harmonic turns with washes of steel strings
sounds, yet never loses the melody or the essence. Incredible!
we get 11 more fantastic compositions with Justin's incredible
playing...from the funky "Phunkdified" to the
almost-sounds-like-a-music-box "Child's Toy".
Go get this album NOW -
you won't be disappointed!