CD Introspection [Greg Howe] [CD] [1 disc] (CD 210170),
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Introspection [Greg Howe] [CD] [1 disc]

  • 1. Jump Start
    2. Button Up
    3. Come and Get It
    4. In Step
    5. Desiderata
    6. No Place Like Home
    7. Direct Injection
    8. Pay as You Go
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1064

  • Credits
    ProducerGreg Howe

    Greg Howe is an incredibly gifted and inventive guitarist. After debuting in the late '80s with a fresh, funky take on the "shredder" approach to rock guitar playing on the Shrapnel Records label, he took a stab at commercial viability with his vocally oriented band Howe 2. Once Nirvana and other punk/grunge bands came along in 1991 and swept away each and every musical remnant of the indulgent '80s in one swift gesture (the release of "Smells Like Teen Spirit"), most rock bands with big hair and noodley guitar solos sulked away with their tails between their legs. But Greg Howe just went back to doing what he does best: playing guitar in a completely uncompromised fashion. Rather than trying to couch his ideas in commercially palatable pop-metal songs, he returned to the all-instrumental approach of his first album, Greg Howe. However, fans will notice a significant change in Howe's style on Introspection; aside from the more complex arrangements and fusion-leaning sound, he's stripped away most of the heavy metal bombast in favor of a cleaner tone and -- amazingly -- cleaner chops. Howe's wide-interval scale figures and inspired phrasing -- delivered at light speed -- are truly remarkable. This record recalls the best work of theDixie Dregs and the more accessible moments of Allan Holdsworth's solo career. Howe's playing has evolved so much from his early Shrapnel days that it's hard to believe it's the same person. On the downside, Introspection suffers from rather antiseptic production values, and lacks the edge of Howe's earlier work. Most notably, the triggered drum sounds are totally lame and sacrifice all the dynamic energy of drummer Kevin Soffera. And Howe would do well to incorporate some more variety in his guitar tones. But overall, this is a breathtaking showcase of one of the best rock/fusion players in the world. ~ Andy Hinds

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