Valleys Of Neptune

Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. 93
    With the promise of 12 fully-completed, untainted studio recordings that have otherwise gone unheard by the public (and even the most inventive of bootleggers), I arrives with considerable significance to all things guitar-worthy.
  2. The album’s crisp production captures every nuance of Hendrix’ technical wizardry—drums snap and guitars burble in simpatico, offering a hazy and heavy backdrop to road-trip yarns (“Stone Free”), flirtations with bluegrass (“Crying Blue”) and show-stopping covers (“Sunshine of Your Love” and “Bleeding Heart”).
  3. Some tunes were “inexplicably excised from the original multitrack master,’’ the liner notes say, but the bottom line is that this is a potent release full of Jimi’s improvisatory guitar mania.
  4. With three exceptions, the tracks are blissfully free of the overdubs and other studio manipulations that mar many of his posthumous recordings. Instead, we get a you-are-there document of Hendrix in the last volatile days of his great power trio with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, the Experience.
  5. Are these tracks "finished" as Hendrix would've intended? Probably not. But as a glimpse of the guitarist extending his reach beyond the Experience trio, it's thrilling.
  6. Revisited ‘Are You Experienced’ cuts ‘Fire’ and ‘Red House’ set the tone for power trio workouts topped by the title cut, while live favourites ‘Hear My Train A Comin’’ and ‘Lover Man’ show that Hendrix needed his own studio to replace the rubble they’d have left behind at NYC’s hallowed Record Plant.
  7. On Valleys of Neptune, from ''Stone Free'' to ''Red House,'' most of these tunes are glaringly familiar. The good news: The alternate versions don't seem (too) redundant, since Hendrix was one musician whose castoffs ?and outtakes are worthy of obsessive scrutiny.
  8. As completist-pleasing collections go, this has a lot to recommend it. Just don’t mistake it for anything but a postscript to a postscript to a brilliant career.
  9. Of these 12 songs, half are relatively unfamiliar, although a journey into YouTube reveals that hardcore Hendrix fans have uncovered them all before, with different names or in different forms.
  10. Uncut
    60
    Enjoyable stuff. But you have to wonder how this really aids our understanding of what Hendrix was up to, other than by reminding us that whenever he rehearsed, he recorded the session. [Apr 2010, p.108]
  11. While it doesn't rise to the level of his other studio albums, Valleys of Neptune is a welcome catalog addition from a tremendous talent who died too young.
  12. Mojo
    60
    Taken as a whole, these poignant moments never threaten to cohere into a greater whole. [Apr 2010, p.111]
  13. Q Magazine
    60
    It is lighter sonically than the Hendrix classics and laced with a handful of instruments that, despite spotlighting the guitarist's jaw-dropping fluidity, might be of limited appeal. [Apr 2010, p.127]
  14. The fact that the climax comprises the closest thing to a substantial recording on the album is an indictment of a release that one suspects would not have made the stores had the Hendrix estate not wished to offer a bone to new label Sony following the end of their distribution deal with Universal.
  15. For a visionary guy like Hendrix, this glorified compilation isn't as imaginary as it could be.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 27, 2010
    6
    Probably the worst Hendrix album I own, Valleys of Neptune is still a decent album with a couple of highlights. The title track is a nice,Probably the worst Hendrix album I own, Valleys of Neptune is still a decent album with a couple of highlights. The title track is a nice, psychedelic affair and 'Bleeding Heart' keeps Jimi bluesy, these along with Hear My Train A' Comin' are the best tracks on the album. But, the album is made worse by instrumentals that are nothing special. The album seems to forgot, Jimi's most underrated aspect, his superb voice and it serves to its detriment. Full Review »