CyberOctave, 1998

REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck


It’s not everyday a man gets to review an album from a mute musician who wears a bucket on his head, but what the hell, today is finally that day.

Buckethead is known to many as one of the most talented but publicly unrecognized guitarists on the planet, and I would be hard-pressed to disagree. My brother is a huge fan of the man, and as such I’ve had the pleasure of listening to a sampling of his work.

To me, guitar virtuoso albums have to be mind-blowingly brilliant to warrant a great deal of attention, so as such not many guitar great albums get played at Chez Clutterbuck. I’d personally love to hear Buckethead record an album that has something to say lyrically as well as musically, but that probably is not in the cards.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

That all being said, Colma is a very good record. From the opening, gentle acoustic guitar licks, Buckethead sets a tone and a mood and never lets up. This album’s sound does not vary, and while that sound is overworked by the end of the album, it is extremely effective.

Brian Eno once said he liked to create “sonic landscapes.” In essence, Buckethead has done the same with Colma. Don’t be surprised if while listening to this album, you find yourself remembering some work from pre-Dark Side Pink Floyd. Gloriously textured in sections, and almost always hauntingly beautiful, Colma often sounds like nothing one hears on contemporary radio.

This may offend the sensibilities of Buckethead fans who turn in to hear face melting solos and the like, or those who jumped on board after the guy's appearance as Slash's replacement in Guns 'n' Roses. To that, I say too bad. Hearing Buckethead pull off the blisteringly fast acoustic piece “Big Sur Moon” is just as astounding as his electric solos anywhere else. But rest assured, sports fans, songs like “Machete” see Buckehead plugging in with damn fine results.

Genuine, honest emotion seems to have been the mantra of the day for Buckethead while recording Colma. For example, “Watching The Boats With My Dad” is so wistful and flows so gently, you have to believe it was inspired by a real moment. “For Mom” may not play out in the same fashion, but it’s beautiful on a different level.

To be honest, I was not expecting this record to hold my attention for its entire running length. While there were moments towards the end that threatened to ruin the hold Buckethead held over me, he grabbed my attention with yet another brilliant work of subtlety. It's likely he'll do the same to you.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Jeff Clutterbuck and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of CyberOctave, and is used for informational purposes only.