Saturday, July 14, 2012

'Le Bleu'' - Justin King

- 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).

"le 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!

Then 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!

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