Buckethead
Captain Eo's Voyage


4.5
superb

Review

by turnip90210 USER (71 Reviews)
December 23rd, 2010 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist


Shadows Between The Sky was a record to restore one's faith in humanity to, offering a getaway to a naïve, pristine land of childlike innocence, where none of the woes of the world around us exist. Once the last notes ring out, one just wants to snuggle in with someone close and stay that way forever, oblivious to everything else.

Captain Eo's Voyage is not a continuation of that mindset. This album will not try to make you happy... quite the opposite, in fact. Buckethead was a great Michael Jackson fan, and he supplied a rather mournful tribute song days after the renowned musician's passing. The title and artwork suggest that this album is a fully-fledged expansion, showing a more in-depth process of Buckethead coping with his idol's death, and the solemn and dignified music does not let down expectations.

The first few cuts sound like they're actually taking the listener out into space. “Captain Eo's Voyage” starts off with a few very uneasy sounding notes, amplified in their queasiness by a peculiar and hollow production job. Don't worry, kid, it's just weightlessness, you'll get used to it in a bit... and one does adapt to the unique sound styling, as it works in the album's favor. When the engulfing blackness and weightlessness set in, the somewhat aurally richer “Light” takes a few minutes to show the listener the ship aboard which Eo awaits – a rather gargantuan beast of a vehicle, stylized down to every last 80's futuristic spaceship cliché, complete with lasers (convincingly emulated with quick slides right at the beginning of the track). Now that everything is set and a little tour was given, it's time for the journey proper...

The tracks drift on by, unfolding sheer aural delight for the listener to behold. The universe is rather broad, and there's a lot to see. With Eo behind the controls, the listener is taken on a voyage throughout the numerous beautiful corners of space, but the beauty (“Stained Glass Hill” with its Shadows Between The Sky'ish vibes) never manages to eradicate a certain peculiar feeling of nostalgia and longing. Eo somehow isn't really talkative, the universe is quite empty, and in spite of all the miraculous things outside a certain sadness sets in. With time, the whole stellar setting starts fading, becoming less and less real... and the listener realizes that all of this is just going on in their head, never really having been taken anywhere.

The music never really meant to create Eo or his ship, it's a trip through the most painful human emotions and what they can do with one's head. The occasional moment of happiness (the mentioned “Stained Glass Hill”, as well as “Backwards Footprint”) is in fact a joyful memory of old remembered though eyes stinging with tears, under the realization that it isn't happening again. No matter how cheerful one may be when approaching the CD, a certain nostalgic and depressive mood will set in within a couple of tracks. What Shadows Between The Sky denied, Captain Eo's Voyage embraces and focuses on – there's so much hurt out in the world, irreversible happenings that take away who we love, what we enjoy, and there is nothing we can do about it.

With the exception of the very tight and catchy “Star Chasing”, the featured songs are brooding, meandering jams with a somewhat logical, evolving structure. Buckethead's playing on the tracks is some of the most mature and brilliant guitar work he has ever laid down, both live and on record. His approach is very sparing, never engulfing the listener in a barrage of shred, instead opting for a more refined and soulful way of conveying his message. Every single note is picked perfectly, the phrasing is very tasteful and emotional. “Trails of Moondust” and “Tarantula Crossing” easily climb high up the ranks of Buckethead's most incredible leads, with the rest of the album not tailing too far behind.

Of course, Captain Eo's Voyage wouldn't be anywhere near this incredible if the other instruments did a poor job. This is not the case, as the bass provides a sturdy, laid-back foundation and the drumming is just complex enough, with the occasional sprinkle of keyboards aiding the atmosphere tremendously. The overall extraterrestrial vibe is unique to this release, though one can find some discrete stylistic throwbacks to Shadows Between The Sky, A Real Diamond In The Rough (“Siphoning Sequence”) and Colma (“Chase The Darkness Out”).

Whilst the album does not end on a happy note, it does a pretty decent job of not leaving the listener in a total slump over all the mishaps past, present and potential. “Tarantula Crossing” is easily the most emotional song on here, and it's bound to affect the listener quite strongly with levels of grief flying off the perception scale. However, as anybody who had a solid cry at any time in their life will say, one actually feels a bit better after calming down. “Tears in the Mirror” is the calm-down, relieving the pent-up emotions in a detached, disembodied manner. It's still a sad tune, and it doesn't intend to undo what the other tracks did, merely make you somewhat more endorphin-filled and calm. The effects of this semi-astral internal journey are cleansing, but in a different way than the denial of Shadows Between The Sky – after dipping one repeatedly in the depths of misery, the final song helps achieve a sort of cathartic acceptance of the surrounding reality... one may not undo all the encountered wrong and sadness, but it is essential to live on, minimizing the harm one does in order to make the world a better place.

Do yourselves a favor and check this one out – it's quite impeccable, both from the perspective of the performance and emotional value.



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user ratings (105)
Chart.
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Urinetrouble
December 23rd 2010


5771 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

excellent review. album is orgasm-worthy

1drummer
December 23rd 2010


330 Comments


listening now, it's pretty great! As a long time Bhead fan I got a little worried for awhile, but these past two releases have been some of the best I've heard from him.

EverythingEvil2113
December 23rd 2010


1326 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This album is wonderful and is definately one of my favorites by him. Nice review as well.

Manic_
December 23rd 2010


447 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sounds good so far, i like the style on this.

multipleofone
December 23rd 2010


79 Comments


My problem with Buckethead is that I feel that he releases far too many albums and as a result it
seems like a lot of filler makes it onto his albums. I would prefer it if he released an album once
every two years with only his best material on it as opposed to one every two months. Because he does
have a lot of great songs but very few albums which are consistently great.

But on first listen, I am loving the tone/ atmosphere of this album.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2010


24368 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I NEED THIS

Digging: Deceased - Ghostly White

PuddlesPuddles
December 23rd 2010


4798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yesss

0vrot
December 24th 2010


460 Comments


Shit
He released two more albums.
I am behind on my buckethead. I need this.

Hro
December 30th 2010


38 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, its hard to keep up. The strange thing is that most of the shits good and good is good. you know what i mean. Good is good you know.

YoungHeretic
January 2nd 2011


43 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great Review, Great Album, Great Artist. Think my favorite Track is Dancing the Dream or maybe Light. Though I agree with Multipleophone and think that he could release less albums and cut some of the filler material, this LP consistent and very good.

Edwin
January 3rd 2011


1399 Comments


Definitely the best thing he's released recently. Man I love this guy's guitar playing.

BrainPie
January 6th 2011


28 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks to Travis Dickerson's speedy shipping, I am giving the album it's first listen while reading this review. Very well written review and interesting interpretations which seem to fit so far. I'm really digging the album so far, and already have a feeling that I'll be rating it in the 4.0+ territory.







I'm on my third listen now, and already feel confident in rating it 4.5. I'm rarely that premature, but I'm pretty sure I'm in love.

Lambda
January 6th 2011


2654 Comments


Great review, I want this.

freedomofspeechnoway
February 22nd 2011


426 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album great review grrrrrrrrrreat.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2011


24368 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this isn't nearly as good as shadows between the sky

Edwin
February 23rd 2011


1399 Comments


Woah gotta disagree with that. This is the best he's released in quite a while.

Pachelbel
March 6th 2011


192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

SBTS is much better



Ovrot
March 6th 2011


13302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is good

Edwin
March 7th 2011


1399 Comments


What a crazy good guitarist.

Ovrot
March 7th 2011


13302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know right?



Colma is his best though.



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