New Hendrix Disc the Real Deal
Don't expect new musical frontiers, but the Experience still sounds great
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2010 12:32 PM CST

(Newser) – At long last, the rights to Jimi Hendrix’s music have been settled, and tomorrow we’re getting our first blast of never-before-heard psychedelic rock with Valleys of Neptune. Does it satisfy? The critics weigh in:

  • Most posthumous Hendrix releases have been “exploitive scraps,” writes Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune. “But Valleys of Neptune is legit—not quite a lost album, but darn near close.” This is a raw, “you-are-there document” of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s volatile final days.

  • The title track is a “revelation,” writes Chris Richards of the Washington Post. You’d almost think Hendrix was playing from the great beyond. “You can hear the music happening—a distinct, 21st-century pleasure that feels both quaint and mysterious.”
  • But Tom Sinclair of EW disagrees. If you’re expecting new musical frontiers “keep dreaming,” he writes. “Most of these tunes are glaringly familiar.”
  • In fact, a quick YouTube check reveals that diehard fans have already found these songs, notes Ann Powers of the LA Times. But Hendrix’s “guitar playing is an inexhaustible thrill, even when he's just messing around.”