Summer Jam (Eric Johnson ‘Bloom’)
Goddamn it takes this boy a long time to make records! I thought I waited a long time for Venus Isle after Ah Via Musicom! However, there’s some amazing guitar playing all over the album as you would expect. He’s refined his guitar tones even further and maybe even expanded his palette somewhat. It all adds up to a much more interesting record than his last two efforts… yes it may even be a better record than Tones and Ah Via Musicom! I really didn’t know what to pick off the record as there’s so much great guitar on here!
12 to 12 Vibe (Eric Johnson ‘Bloom’)
I absolutely love this. It’s short but oh so very sweet! This is littered with tasty tones and licks. Jealous? Me? Never.
Magnetized (Eric Johnson ‘Bloom’)
I didn’t want to include sooooo many Eric J tracks in this 5 but it’s been nearly impossible to avoid doing so! This is also very tasty! Yum. Chomp down on those licks.
Writing On The Wall (Adrian Belew ‘Side One’)
Side One is a fantastic album and I’ve spent many a day totally engrossed in it. It’s an Adrian Belew record so there’s a wealth of great guitar amongst experimentation. I could have picked any of the eight tracks to be honest. Writing On The Wall sees Adrian playing with drummer Danny Carey and bass player Les Claypool. And it’s funky, groovy, has lots of great Belew hooks and is so catchy you won’t get it out of your head all day! And oh yeah, he kicks axe!
Deadwing (Porcupine Tree ‘Deadwing’)
This may be my favourite of the Porcupine Tree albums. And of course with Adrian Belew playing the solo on the opening track, Deadwing, I was always going to be adding this, you might have noticed I’m a big Belew fan! However, the highlight is undoubtedly the stunning Arriving Somewhere but Not Here, which is ten minutes of sublime music production. Steven Wilson is such a great writer and producer. This entire album writhes through all kinds of textures, sounds and emotions. It’s simply one of the finest albums I’ve ever heard.
And now… on to 2006!