Critics seemed at a loss to understand Maynard James Keenan's (Tool, A Perfect Circle) first solo effort as Puscifer. From the project and album's odd, seemingly sexist titles (V Is for Vagina), to the groove- and growl-based song structures, this wasn't the Keenan of recordings past. Gone is the progressive, storming art rock of Tool in favor of atmospheric vibes. And the glorious instrumentation and catchy hooks of A Perfect Circle are replaced with shuffling bluesy drums and jazzy strings more in tune with Barry Adamson or Angelo Badalamenti. Getting past the album's frequent sexual themes isn't that difficult, knowing that the project's name is taken from a Mr. Show sketch that featured Keenan…
This is probably Walter's best CD since "For Your Pleasure",a fine example of good smooth contemporary jazz.
The infamous Moonchild/AstronomeTrio of Patton, Dunn and Baron returns to the studio this time aided by the searing organ of Jamie Saft, the complex electronics of Ikue Mori and a small female chorus to realize Zorn’s latest project Six Litanies for Heliogabalus. Inspired by the decadent excesses of the Roman emperor/child-god who made Caligula and Nero look like reasonable human beings—smothering his dinner guests to death in a rain of perfumed rose petals—these six compositions (including an outrageous new piece for solo voice) explode with color, imagery and intensity. A startling blend of Metal, Contemporary Classical, Jazz and Mediaeval Music, this is one of Zorn's most extreme and original creations.
Bach's organ music towers above so much else in the Western canon, that it needs no comment. But as one who enjoys going deeply into a composer for sever days, I found this set superb. I've listened to the entire set from start to finish several times; there's simply nothing else I've ever heard that compares. I'm not an organist, so I can't speak to the technical details of the performance - but Marie-Claire Alain, to my ear, delivers the perfect match of restraint, virtuosity, and grandeur for this work.