YNGWIE MALMSTEEN – Blue Lightning [Japan Blu-spec CD +2] (2019)

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN - Blue Lightning [Japan Blu-spec CD +2] (2019) full

This Japanese release on Blu-spec CD of YNGWIE MALMSTEEN‘s new album “Blue Lightning” has 2 bonus tracks (not available on the regular CD), and a Yngwie-themed tin badge key chain plus other extras.
To call legendary Swedish guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen a ‘maestro’ or ‘virtuoso’ is to state the obvious. But such terms don’t do sufficient justice to either his talent or impact.

There are innumerable guitarists who have emulated a small part of the vast musical spectrum that defines him, but nobody comes close to achieving what he has done over a period of nearly four decades.
Now, with ‘Blue Lightning’, the man highlights not only his enduring dexterity and diversity, but also pays homage to those from the blues world who have fueled his artistic spirit for so long.

Anyone who is expecting Malmsteen to copy exactly the way the original versions sound is in for a shock, because that is not what he has done here.
He has masterfully transformed classics like ‘Smoke On The Water’, ‘Purple Haze’ and ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ into his idiom, and wrote and recorded 4 new tracks for this album, including the title track which brings to mind his ‘Eclipse’ album.

Yngwie doing ‘bluesy songs’ covers is fine, because he was cleverly enough to not pick classics such as BB King or Muddy Waters; the cover songs here are from Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, etc, and he has been doing these songs all over his career.

‘1911 Strut’ is a short instrumental for those who miss Yngwie’s ’80s years, short but plenty of heaviness. And fortunately, it’s quite good.
The other two remaining originals are the slow burner heavy blues ‘Sun’s Up Top’s Down’ (very Hendrixian), and the power ballad ‘Peace, Please’, also instrumental with a sound recalling his first 1984 album.

“Blue Lightning” is much, much better than I expected, easily Yngwie’s best album in the last twenty years.
It’s well arranged and produced, and seems he has recaptured focusing at play.
Highly Recommended

01. Blue Lightning *
02. Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix cover)
03. Demon’s Eye (Deep Purple cover)
04. 1911 Strut *
05. Blue Jeans Blues (ZZ Top cover)
06. Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix cover)
07. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles cover)
08. Sun’s Up Top’s Down *
09. Peace, Please *
10. Paint It Black (The Rolling Stones cover)
11. Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple cover)
12. Forever Man (Eric Clapton cover)
13. Little Miss Lover (Jimi Hendrix cover)
14. Jumping Jack Flash (The Rolling Stones cover)

* New original tracks


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