The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Are You Experienced


5.0
classic

Review

by DesolationRow USER (80 Reviews)
October 10th, 2005 | 222 replies | 24,464 views


Release Date: 1967 | Tracklist


9 of 9 thought this review was well written

Jimi Hendrix- Are You Experienced?

#15 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums

When a musician writes a piece of music, they keep two things in perspective- sound, and silence. What you do NOT play is just as, if not, more important than what you do play. Jimi Hendrix, of all rock guitar players, was a musician who understood that philosophy, and used it to his full advantage. Sure, he was an amazing soloist, who could hold his own weight at fast tempos, but what made Jimi unique is that he understood that 2 notes could do as much as 10 notes in the context of a song. Perhaps that is why he is revered today as such an amazing musician. Furthermore, he used his songwriting capabilities to their full potential, while still shaping the unprecedented sounds that flowed from his electric guitar. There have only been a handful of debut albums which influence many generations. Guns N Roses' Appetite For Destruction, Led Zeppelin I, and Rage Against the Machine's self titled are some of the few on that list. However, in my honest opinion, none of those albums can even hope to match up to what Jimi Hendrix's 'Are You Experienced' means to rock music. As much as some may disagree with me, saying that it's overrated and such, I hold this record to be the most influential debut album of all time, and it's not because of the artwork.

It should not be unfamiliar to you when I say that Jimi used a lot of guitar effect pedals, stomp boxes, and voicing modulations to craft the many unprecedented guitar tones that he is legendary for. But what matters more than what he sounds like, is what he played (and didn't play, for that matter). Some of the most infamous, as well as innovative riffs and solos have been crafted by Jimi's imagination, and he viewed feedback as a friend, not an enemy. It was his daring approach that got him noticed. And the work on 'Are You Experienced' is no exception. From start to finish, this album is immaculate, and nearly perfect. I may regret this decision later on, I would give every song on this album at least a 4/5. There is not a bad track among the 17 songs that drape this boisterously yellow album. The musicianship, songwriting, technique, and order are all pretty close to perfect in my eyes. No two songs on the album sound alike on this album. There are some songs which use very similar tones to shape the sound, but their structures and technique contrast greatly. A good illustration of that is the comparison and contrast between 'Hey Joe' and 'Wind Cries Mary'. Sure, both have that same clean, wistful tone, but what the actual music varies between them. While 'Hey Joe' is a blues-rock song that tells the tale of a man killing his unfaithful wife, 'Wind Cries Mary' is a hushed ballad with poetic characteristics in the lyrics. On the other hand, we have a few songs that remain unique in their own right. 'Fire' is a rushed, upbeat tune that is entirely driven by Mitch Mitchell's schizophrenic drum beat. 'Red House' is a crunchy blues tale that personifies the guitar to give it a ringing quality. And of course, 'Purple Haze'is still a gem and staple of Jimi Hendrix's entire catalogue. But the most atypical song on the album would have to be 'Third Stone From the Sun'. Rather than the three and a half minute melodic songs, 'Third Stone From the Sun' is a nearly seven minute, eastern-inspired instrumental, reflecting a psychedelic seizure. Case in point, no two songs sound alike on the album. Period.

When people hear Jimi's name, they most likely think 'Guitar God'. While this is true, because the Jimi Hendrix Experience is a guitar driven band, it is not appropriate to call 'Are You Experienced?' a 'guitar only' album. Mitch Mitchell provides amazing drum tracks on every song, most notably 'Fire' and 'Can You See Me'. Noel Redding as well provides excellent basslines, especially the catchy riff on 'Fire'. But nonetheless, Jimi's guitar playing remains to be the dominant role on most of the songs. 'Foxey Ladey' is a more well known example, with an eerie feedback. But the award for best guitar playing on the album goes to 'Stone Free', 'Love or Confusion', 'Manic Depression' and 'Highway Chile', all of which feature wonderful riffs and solos that will leave your brains, and groins, feeling numb. On the note of Jimi Hendrix being a guitarist that took advantage of sound effects to shape his tones, Jimi was a guitarist who did not compromise sound. With the help of his engineer and friend, Eddie Kramer, Jimi sculpted tones that were previously unheard of, and new to all music lovers. An effect that was put to good and appropriate use was the backwards tape flanging on 'Are You Experienced'. The solo is very cool with this effect and sounds like nothing else from Jimi's catalogue. It's quite disturbing, actually, at how good it sounds while being played backwards. The other effects are put to good use as well. 'Purple Haze' uses Jimi's FuzzFace effect, and the octave, flanging, and distortions on 'May This Be Love', 'Remember', 'I Don't Live Today' and '51st Anniversary' are impeccable. You couldn't ask for more from 17 songs.

While my liking of 'Are You Experienced' may be a bit exaggerated, the musical genius and quality of the tracks is anything but over the top. Jimi Hendrix was always a creative man who succumbed his soul to the music he heard in his head. His tones were unprecedented, and his playing was godlike. The release of 'Are You Experienced' gained Jimi the notoriety of being revered as one of the most innovative and majestic musicians of all time. And after hearing his debut, I couldn't agree more.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
pulseczar
October 10th 2005



2385 Comments


excellent review, though i'm a bit shocked that you didn't add an ablum imgae/tracklist etc :P

this is probably my favourite Hendrix album, so pyschedelic. And Mitch Mitchell is a fantastic drummer. Noel Redding was the weak spot in the experience.


edit: w00t the stuff is thereThis Message Edited On 10.10.05

Neoteric
October 10th 2005



3243 Comments


now he has.

DesolationRow
October 10th 2005



833 Comments


Fixed, Galapogos. It didn't include it at first, so I had to do some research.

I agree with you. Noel Redding was an idiot. Arguments always broke out because of Noel. Mitch is one of my favorite drummers. Thanks for the praise, too!

Final Origin
October 10th 2005



361 Comments


Hey, excellent review on a fantastic album.

I really like "Are You Experienced", amazing solo. Great work Entwistle, you're on the top of the game here. :thumb:This Message Edited On 10.10.05

Jawaharal
October 10th 2005



1832 Comments


Jimi is good. I think his music is classic influentially but not musicallyThis Message Edited On 10.10.05

Damrod
Moderator
October 10th 2005



1093 Comments


Excellent work, as always :thumb:

Go Entwistle :D

sleepyjohn
October 10th 2005



4 Comments


I'm pretty sure Jimi played the bass on the song "Fire". Either that or he came up with the bassline. Don't quote me on that though....

Either way, good review.

Romencer17
October 10th 2005



84 Comments


Good review.

I really enjoy Third Stone From The Sun.This Message Edited On 10.10.05

AvalancheofSOUND
October 11th 2005



13 Comments


"Third Stone From the Sun" is my favorite song on this album. The wierd voice soinds you hear are acually some really cool space odyssey type lyrics talking about aliens attempting to land on earth.Oh and really good review Entwistle, i like your style.This Message Edited On 10.11.05

Taxman
October 11th 2005



82 Comments


another great review for a great album..

masada
October 11th 2005



2733 Comments


Well since they deleted my comments, I'm going to have repost. Pretty good review, but I don't think it is up to your usual standards.

shimmy
October 11th 2005



41 Comments


This is one the best album ever!!I think Jimi is really amazing and now he's still one of my favourite guitarist ever and ha will remain like this 4ever.....Jimi rules!!


Romencer17
October 11th 2005



84 Comments


Although it takes quiet a while to truly understand and hear Jimi's music fully.

SafetyInSolitude
November 19th 2005



16 Comments


Such a great debut album, I just can't find any problems with it.

The Wind Cries Mary is one of my all time favorite songs.

Neoteric
November 20th 2005



3243 Comments


"'SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY!!!!"

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 20th 2005



15732 Comments


dewr dewr dewr

dewr Dewr DEWR! dewr Dewr DEWR!

Knoxvillelives
December 12th 2005



342 Comments


SCUSE ME, WHILE I KISS THIS GUY

masada
December 12th 2005



2733 Comments


Uh..

I believe it is "kiss the sky".

DownPaymentBlues78
December 12th 2005



278 Comments


Haha that's such a funny joke.

I do believe there is a website called www.kissthisguy.com that has commonly misheard lyrics.

Bonzo17
December 27th 2005



92 Comments


BEST ALBUM EVA!!



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