Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced (Track)
Keith Altham, New Musical Express, 20 May 1967
THE ONLY sounds I have heard comparable to those produced on Jimi Hendrix’s first LP, Are You Experienced, are those electrical storms received by Jodrell Bank!
Hendrix is a new dimension in electrical guitar music, launching what amounts to a one-man assault upon the nerve cells.
The LP is a brave effort by Hendrix to produce a musical form which is original and exciting.
‘FOXEY LADY’. A musical nightmare with frightening escalations on the guitar—the instrument whines, cries and shrieks. Hendrix vocal rasps and whispers like an earthquake sound.
'MANIC DEPRESSION’. The track described as “raw nerves on record” is a sound assault upon the mind. Ugly guitar, penetrating bass and solid drum patterns.
'RED HOUSE’. A more orthodox approach to what might be termed “talking blues"—a low, dirty bass sound with Hendrix grunting encouragement into his guitar. Finished with Jimi asking, "How’s that one?” and producer Chas Chandler replying, “You should put that out.”
'CAN YOU SEE ME’. Hendrix at his guitaromobile again. Mitchell scattering sticks in all directions—you try to understand the lyric!
'LOVE OR CONFUSION’. An electrical neurosis—more messages from the subconscious. Incredible sound from three men.
'I DON’T LIVE TODAY’. And it’s “hi ho Infinity” back into Space and Time. No room for thought, only feeling—heavy drum patterns—pass the aspirins.
'MAY THIS BE LOVE’. Starts off as if you’re playing it at the wrong speed, and then becomes the only number you could call “pretty” on the LP.
'FIRE’. “Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire.” I understood this lyric, and the sound is another monument to that radiophonlc workshop on two legs—Hendrix guitar extraordinary!
'THIRD STONE FROM THE SUN’. This is an incredible, long track which leaves me wondering what the heck it’s all about! You can have fun speeding up the voices that are slowed, in order to hear what they are really saying. I think I left my mind in there somewhere.
'REMEMBER’. Hendrix vocal in there happily husking along as a prop for his guitar—teeny bopper song?
'ARE YOU EXPERIENCED’. Hendrix squeezing every ounce of electrical emotion out of his guitar—I leave the lyrical interpretation to the medical men!