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Carlsson, Patrik: Melodic Travel
Lion Music seems to have become the new Mecca for fairly unknown guitar talent throughout the world. Enter Swede, Patrik Carlsson. This 2nd release, Melodic Travel is an instrumental dream, featuring 16 tracks of sheer guitar brilliance that can only be compared to the likes of Steve Vai, Jeff Beck, Buckethead, and Joe Satriani.
Now, before this review I had never heard of Mr. Carlsson, but after only one listen through it was obvious the complete mastery within. A second run through just gives more clarity of Patrik Carlsson's true depth. A true maestro like Prince, Carlsson plays ALL the instruments on this CD, and plays all of the very well, indeed. But this is through and through a showcase of his guitar abilities. A shredder of sorts? Yes, but like Mr. Vai, this is NOT even a ¼ of what makes him so deadly. His precision, taste and attention to phrasing are what set him apart. Carlsson has that Zappa/Vai humor to his phrasing that is both accurate and off the wall at the same time and all the while very entertaining and wacky. He also has a killer guitar tone that allows his very angular playing to reach out and grab you. Self produced, written, performed and arranged by Carlsson, Melodic Travel is a joyride for the listener and a text book for the fellow guitarist.
Melodic Travel is full of different vibes from song to song. Carlsson successfully marriages jazz styling's, traditional Swedish music, full on Rock, Spanish flavored salsa beats and even folk inspired themes, all into a wonderfully cohesive and flowing mix. The underlying theme throughout Melodic Travels is just that, all things melodic. The style doesn't matter because Carlsson pulls off each so well. The different musical environments that Carlsson makes up here are just pleasing. From funky to folk, it is just plain good! On any given track of the 16 here, you can close your eyes and imagine the landscape that Patrik Carlsson has painstakingly drawn for you. The musically sculpted interludes of seclusion on an island or watching the sunset on an ocean, the imagery is simply uncanny.
CD opener, "Settler's Pleasure" is a Vai-ish "Bad Horsie" flavored rocker. Slow and somewhat brooding with lots of attitude! Carlsson sets the table with this perfect CD opener. Other highlights are the salsa flavored "Luxian Minor", the sultry "Hip n' Melodic", and the funky "The Great A". There are no real 2 songs alike on this CD, which really makes this such an interesting instrumental release.
This is as visual of a CD that music can get. Very melodic and moving while touching on a vast amount of different styles, Patrik Carlsson is name that you should get to know. Comparisons to guitar legends aside, Carlsson is very much his own player. He transcends styles and plays them all equally with a masters fluidity. A Mutha of a player he is!!! 16 tracks of pure musical expression and there isn't a dud song among the bunch.
Patrik Carlsson is a guitar inspiration and I for one am glad that this CD came across my desk, albeit 6 months after it's initial release! Carlsson is a player that NEEDS to heard!
1. Settler's Pleasure
3. Kristiina's Song
4. Caribbean Uptempo
5. Gate To Heaven
6. Liberty City
7. Luxian Minor
8. Archipelago Blues
9. Night Vision
10. The Great A
11. Hip 'n Melodic
13. Happy Quarter
15. Spanish Vaganza
Added: June 4th 2007
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Related Link: Lion Music
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