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The Raspberry Jams - Jason Becker

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Genre: Hard Rock & Metal - Heavy Metal / Artist: Jason Becker / Audio CD released at VICTOR

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      13.02.2008 21:29
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      A Collection of Demos, Songs and Ideas on Guitar (1999).

      Released over a decade after his only real shred album 'Perpetual Burn,' 'The Raspberry Jams' is a self-proclaimed "Collection of Demos, Songs and Ideas on Guitar" presumably recovered from the personal and studio archives of Jason Becker prior to ALS removing his ability to perform in the early nineties.

      As a satisfyingly slapdash collection of assorted things, this is exclusively an album for shred fans, as the repetitive and ceaseless guitar solos and experiments would put off casual listeners. Although I've never been the biggest fan of this type of music, I appreciate a good B-sides collection, or even a bad one, and the arbitrary pick 'n' mix style of this release is a lot of fun, even if some of the material is a bit dodgy. The main thing to remember is that none of this was ever intended for commercial release: the listener is instead being invited into the intimate compositions of the talented musician.

      Only occasional drums and style changes add any variety here, as Becker moves between a typical, brief heavy metal shred assault in songs ('When You Wish Upon a Star,' 'Amarnath') to instrumental ideas for full songs ('If You Have to Shoot,' 'Ghost to the Post,' 'Blood on the Traches') and electric guitar takes on classical themes ('Amma'). Unlike some of his contemporaries, Becker also has a prominent blues influence that rears its head in 'Jasin Street' and makes extensive use of clean electric and acoustic guitars in songs like 'Grilled Peeps.'

      This is the definition of an uneven album, with some performances just sounding terrible and others inspired, and even the sound quality varies from crystal clear to muddy, which is a nice sign that some real digging around was involved in its composition. Songs range from a few seconds long to around five minutes depending on their purpose, and there's even a ridiculous finale piece accurately described as 'Vocal Silliness' that sounds like Sesame Street characters performing an a capella improv. Not an album that will entertain many people, but a fascinating insight into Becker's creative process that should be of immense interest to guitar fans everywhere.

      1. Becker-Ola
      2. Mandy's Throbbing Heart
      3. Amma
      4. When You Wish Upon a Star
      5. Jasin Street
      6. Beatle Grubs
      7. Grilled Peeps
      8. If You Have to Shoot... Shoot - Don't Talk
      9. Purple Chewable Fern
      10. Black Stallion Jam
      11. Amarnath
      12. Angel Eyes
      13. Throat Hole
      14. Dang Sea of Samsara
      15. Urmila
      16. Thousand Million Suns
      17. Clean Solo
      18. Too Fast, No Good for You!
      19. Sweet Baboon
      20. Shock Tea
      21. Ghost to the Post
      22. Blood on the Traches
      23. Oddly Enough
      24. Crush
      25. Vocal Silliness

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  • Product Details

    1. Becker-Ola / 2. Mandy's Throbbing Little Heart / 3. Amma / 4. When You Wish Upon A Star / 5. Jasin Street / 6. Beatle Grubs / 7. Grilled Peeps / 8. If You Have To Shoot... Shoot-Don't Talk / 9. Purple Chewable Fern / 10. Black Stallion Jam / 11. Amarnath / 12. Angel Eyes / 13. Throat Hole / 14. Dang Sea Of Samsara / 15. Urmila / 16. Thousand Million Suns / 17. Clean Solo / 18. Too Fast, No Good For You! / 19. Sweet Baboon / 20. Shock Tea