Buckethead
Hold Me Forever (In memory of my mom)


4.0
excellent

Review

by ComeToDaddy USER (48 Reviews)
October 9th, 2014 | 27 replies


Release Date: 06/25/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Buckethead and the full spectrum of human emotion

Even if you don’t enjoy solo guitar albums, it’s easy to appreciate how much Buckethead loves music. The man pumps out albums with absurd speed, and while the quality varies significantly from one album to the next, it takes a special sort of person to have this kind of commitment to their music. In 2014 alone he has released over 40 albums, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Whether this is meritable or just plain ridiculous is up to the listener, but when a year this densely packed still contains releases as good as Claymation Courtyard, Footsteps and Pikes #43, it’s hard to argue with the results. In amongst all these releases is Hold Me Forever, and even though one couldn’t be faulted for doubting the quality of an album so rushed, this one holds a special place for Brian Carroll. This is the spiritual successor to Colma, the second tribute album dedicated to his mother Nancy York Carroll (the song titles spell out NYC 4ever), and the nearly palpable emotion he pours into this 30 minute song allows it to standout from his already stellar year and bump shoulders with his most acclaimed releases.

While Colma was a minimal affair meant to bring his mother relief while recovering from cancer, this is an entirely different beast. Here we see Brian taking his mask off, remembering the best times they shared together and tempering those memories with his sadness and frustration. Comparisons to the revered ‘Soothsayer’ may be more accurate, as here we find a far more upbeat structure than the aforementioned album, and essentially see a snapshot of everything that makes Buckethead’s music so appealing. You can find some of his catchiest hooks and most unrelenting solos (particularly in the closing section), while still hearing a small handful of slower sections and memorable melodies that mellow out this extensive track and give form to his bittersweet reminisces.

It’s the ability to portray so many varying emotions through the lens of a single guitar that makes this album so outstanding. The flighty licks in ‘C’ showcase his tension and uncertainty going forward from the loss of his mother. When the overbearing drums in ‘N’ are suddenly muffled and the main motif is repeated with a delay-driven guitar, you can tell he’s remembering times of simplicity and contentment. The frustration pent up in the 13 minute shredfest ‘er’ is almost tangible, and while sometimes it dips dangerously close to guitar wankery, this is 100% Buckethead at his most tender and unfiltered. This openness gives a personable feel to the album that is rarely found in his discography, and while there is nothing new to be found in this release, he refines his unique style to perfection, making this the perfect starting point for anyone unsure of where to start in his monolithic back catalogue.

There are still problems here that are inherent to any given solo guitar album; high density of blistering solos, a lack of instrumental variety, no lyrics to dissect and appreciate, re-treading similar ground. At the end of the day however, these are part and parcel with any Buckethead release, and those who can move past this will find an endearing and heartfelt release that ranks among the chicken man’s best works. He’s on track to hitting 50 albums before the years end, but as long as he has quality albums like this hiding under his belt, you’ll hear no complaints.



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user ratings (85)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
ComeToDaddy
October 8th 2014


1783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've listened to Buckethead since I picked up GH2 years ago, so I might be a little biased, but he deserves a few reviews for that insane discography of his.



As always, constructive criticism is welcomed and appreciated.

Pestiferous
October 8th 2014


1375 Comments


ive given up trying to keep up with this guys new material, ill try again once he starts slowing down

ComeToDaddy
October 8th 2014


1783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't keep up with him either, I've probably only listened to half of his albums from the last 2 years, but I figured throwing a review up would help share one of his best albums for those who can't commit to a 110 album discography

ABjordanMM
October 8th 2014


1710 Comments


where does one stream this?

zaruyache
October 8th 2014


20358 Comments


here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5PXYehriYY

Digging: Downfall of Gaia - Ethic of Radical Finitude

ComeToDaddy
October 8th 2014


1783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks zaruyache



@ABjordanMM, there's one or two guys on youtube that post each new album in its entirety if you want to listen to any of his albums

Froot
October 9th 2014


1910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great, eloquent review for an amazingly well-performed album.



pos

ComeToDaddy
October 9th 2014


1783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man, and sorry if I stepped on your toes with this one. I know you were planning to write some more BH reviews after Pike 13

Froot
October 9th 2014


1910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Lol, appreciate it, but nah, was just gonna review my other favourites:



Bucketheadland

Giant Robot

Sacrifist

Enter the Chicken

ComeToDaddy
October 9th 2014


1783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sacrifist? Haven't heard of that one. Either way, give me a heads up when you review one. Love me some Buckethead



I'll probably do one of Look Up There eventually, that's my favorite Buckethead outside of Colma and that one certainly doesn't need another review haha

Froot
October 9th 2014


1910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Sacrifist is a Praxis album, and their best one at that. Best way I can describe it is a fusion of electronica and thrash metal. It's absolutely mental, even crazier than Bucketheadland, and is a real hidden gem in Bucket's discog.

ComeToDaddy
October 9th 2014


1783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, I had never looked into Praxis, but seems like I'd enjoy it. Will check them out, thanks for the heads up man

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2014


11660 Comments


excellent review man! I really enjoy your style, you're one of my favourite reviewers actually. Pos'd hard.

Digging: Windswept - The Onlooker

ComeToDaddy
October 9th 2014


1783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks so much man, means a lot. Also I only just noticed your Firo profile pic, fucking great show

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
October 9th 2014


1385 Comments


Very nice write up. Feel like I'd like this guy but he's so prolific it's just daunting.

eddie95
October 9th 2014


703 Comments


Man, it's impossible to get into this guy. I tried to listen to some stuff from last year but, even if I enjoyed the music, I couldn't even try to explorate anything else. Or just getting to know his music, having no clue what this guy is about and what the purposes of his dozens albums are (apart from experimenting which is evident).

Great review anyway, pos'd.

Froot
October 9th 2014


1910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

It's really not as daunting as it sounds. Just start from the beginning of his solo discog (Bucketheadland) and work your way up with an album or two per week so you're not overdoing it. Once you're nine albums in (Electric Tears), then look back what you've listened to in retrospect, and decide if it's in your best interest to continue, because by then, you'll have a sense of how consistent he is with his styles.



Don't worry about "not keeping up" with his work. Even the most elite Buckethead purists have a hard time trying to wrap their heads around all of his contributions and releases, and still consider him to be their favourite musician (myself included).

Froot
October 9th 2014


1910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oh, also, before your hear Bucketheadland, read this. It'll put a few things in context (sort of):



http://bucketheadland.com/story/

ABjordanMM
October 9th 2014


1710 Comments


So this is like one big song.

eddie95
October 9th 2014


703 Comments


Thanks Froot for that piece of advice, I'll try to do as you say



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