ARTIST:

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

(SWEDEN)
TITLE:

BLUE LIGHTNING

(2019)
LABEL:

MASCOT LABEL GROUP

GENRE:

GUITAR HERO

TAGS:
80's, Bluesy, Covers, Guitar-Hero, Technical
"With "Blue Lightning", Malmsteen tries a blues album. But where Yngwie goes, the groove dies."
NEWF (15.03.2019)  
1/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Ringard, has been, outdated, megalomaniac, pretentious, temperamental, angry, everything or almost everything has been said about Yngwie Malmsteen. Well, you know what? Yngwie doesn't care. Worse, he plays it with undisguised pleasure. To be convinced, just look at the video clip of "Sun's Up Top's Down", a single from his new album "Blue Lightning" and visible at the bottom of this column. Yngwie shows us his collection of Fender guitars, Marshall amps and Ferrari cars, while the song's lame lyrics are superimposed. If it's not a finger addressed to his critics, it looks strangely like that.

Unless mercantilism prevails over cynicism and the promotion of brands is an additional source of income for the Swede. Either way, it's distressing. Is Yngwie so untouchable that no one around him is able to explain to him that the 1980s are definitely over? While the vast majority of his fellow guitar heroes are working hard to modernize their style and sound, Malmsteen remains locked in his ivory tower and continues to live on his achievements, convinced that the mere fact of having invented neoclassical metal gives him a lifetime legitimacy.

"Blue Lightning" is not a neoclassical album, however. Composed of eight covers and only four original tracks, Yngwie claims it as a tribute to the blues and guitarists he respects. The latter are so few in number that the tour of the question is quickly completed. It is first of all 'Foxey Lady' and 'Purple Haze' by Jimi Hendrix who have the honour of being massacred by the master. Even when he swaps his beloved harmonic minor scale for the pentatonic scale that is the essence of the blues, Yngwie Malmsteen can't help but add notes everywhere. In addition to being a complete negation of Hendrix's style, it's a particularly effective way to kill the groove forever. Blues is a music based on hollers, those famous musical phrases in question-answer whose silences are used to keep the tempo alive. Although a great lover of classical music, silences are not part of Malmsteen's scores, as he resembles a speaker who expresses himself with words but rarely with sentences, making his speech totally meaningless. The cover of Eric Clapton's "Forever Man" is emblematic of the Swedish's lack of discernment, capable without any remorse of transforming this funk soul monument into a hard rock eighties totally has been. Where Yngwie goes, the groove dies.

Alone in the world in his studio, the guitarist dares everything and that's how we recognize him.'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' by the Beatles becomes an uninterrupted succession of upscales, 'Paint It Black' by the Rolling Stones is particularly served by Yngwie's insecure singing and 'Smoke On The Water' by Deep Purple ends up losing the listener on the road as his cover is only pleasing to Malmsteen himself. As for the original titles composed by His Lordship, they most often shine through their lack of originality and inspiration ('Blue Lightning','1911 Strut').

So is there nothing to remember from this kitsch maelstrom with its dated and messy production? Two tracks: the cover of 'Blue Jean Blues' by ZZ Top for which Malmsteen finally respects his initial specifications, proof that when he really wants to play blues, he can do it without any problem and the original track 'Peace Please' on which Yngwie does what he knows how to do best since the beginning of his career, namely to mix like no other a grid of rock chords and neoclassical solos. It's a pity that there are so few of good moments. They certainly don't save the album from its unfathomable mediocrity but a few more tracks of this kind would have saved us from shooting the ambulance. Even if Malmsteen doesn't care, it's still unpleasant.


More informations on https://www.facebook.com/officialyngwiemalmsteen





TRACK LISTING:
01. Blue Lightning
02. Foxey Lady
03. Demon’s Eye (Deep Purple)
04. 1911 Strut
05. Blue Je.an Blues (ZZ Top)
06. Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix)
07. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles)
08. Sun’s Up Top’s Down
09. Peace, Please
10. Paint It Black (Rolling Stones
11. Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple)
12. Forever Man (Eric Clapton)

LINEUP:
Yngwie J. Malmsteen: Chant / Guitares / Basse
   
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