3 guitar riffs – but it’s not John Lee Hooker

9 Jun

Once upon a time my father, who is a musician, sat in front of the TV (I was a teenager, so, of course in the 1990’s I was watching MTV) and he said: “This is just amazing. He’s got like three guitar riffs but still has the vibe and can enchant you totally with only a few sounds”.

Well… unfortunately you cannot say that about the newest album of Godsmack. Personally I’m not a huge fan of Godsmack but I appreciate their music and I think they’re pretty good, not outstanding though. Much has been said already about their newest album. That it’s confident rock, that it’s definitely recorded by mature musicians, that Godsmack has changed and that… you can feel the vibe (or whatever new age thing you should/ought to/want to say here). And, sorry, but somehow I get the feeling this is not how it works.

The whole album is correct. Sully Erna is a good vocalist, he knows the rhythm, he knows his abilities, he is by all means… “proper”. And the same goes for the rest of the musicians. But it’s just… too “proper”. There’s nothing “dirty” in it. The album is clean, perfectionist, and every detail is arranged like it should be. And, honestly, I expected something more from “mature musicians”. I don’t know what’s going on but the record doesn’t surprise me one bit. It’s sounds very similar to Alice in Chains, to Metallica, it’s deeply rooted in hard rock/metal music but I feel as if there would be nothing new, nothing really personal and nothing really touching in it. All of the tracks, maybe except The Oracle, lack any kind of fresh insight, any kind of fervent spirituality that Godsmack did have earlier. All of that makes it a big disappointment. I’m into hard rock/metal/industrial/grunge/you name it. But this is just not enough experimental. It’s not breaking any borders, it’s not provoking, it’s not an attempt of going beyond what one has already created.

Speaking of The Oracle – which is the title of the album and one of the tracks, and the track is the one that I want to talk about here. Well… to put it as simply as I can, I’m sorry that Godsmack didn’t record a whole album of such precious works. That would be just amazing! The Oracle is one, sole single track that makes you stop doing the things you’re doing and just listen. Sometimes it’s corny, I felt that the guitar solos are very much stylized and consciously reminding you of the 1980’s. Sometimes it’s exaggerating with the mood – especially through the melodic line of the cello (played by Irina Chirkova) the mixed sounds straight out of news or a documentary, a known motif that you could hear in the early works of Marilyn Manson and other artists of the late 1990’s, especially those considered to be part of the industrial rock genre. However, The Oracle is, unfortunately, an exception. The rest of the tracks lack freshness and any kind of magnetism. Sure, they’re energetic, loaded with a great rhythmic section, full of elaborate guitar solos. But they’re all the same. Lacking any mood change, lacking any kind of seductiveness. You listen to it like to a pop record – everything is completely fine but it’s shallow and even though you have to admit it’s perfectly performed, you cannot consider it a good record.

The other disappointment goes with something that I already mentioned before – something I called “mood change”. Basically the whole of The Oracle is actually one song. Repetitive rhythm, repetitive melodies and the same, actually constant expression of Erna’s voice – you get the feeling it’s all based on three guitar riffs and, unfortunately, it doesn’t have the power of John Lee Hooker 😦

I cannot say that I won’t listen to this album ever again. But I’m still hoping that Godsmack will record something much more ambitious than this. And I’m definitely not saying it’s a bad album. But I’m just simply tired of mediocre, “proper” records which are just sooo predictable…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: