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Compression

Billy Sheehan

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Album Review

Is it progressive rock? Is it hard rock/metal? Yes to both — this album combines those two genres into a musical stew that at times seems to call to mind Rush, but still carves out it's own niche in the garden of sounds. The rhythm section really seems to captivate and steal the show more than the rest of the group many times, but that is to be expected when you are talking about a project by bass legend Sheehan. Still, his bass playing is not the only strong link in that chain. The drumming on the album is stellar, although much of that is also his work — he does give the job to a couple of others on some songs, (most notably Terry Bozzio). Also, the vocal work really catches one's attention and puts in a strong showing. Again, that is another feather in Sheehan's cap, though, since he handles that chore as well. If you are a fan of hard rock that isn't limited to three chords, by all means, check this one out.

Customer Reviews

The State of Bass Guitar

After years of receiving almost every award possible as a bass guitarist, Billy Sheehan (tours with David Lee Roth and his own band Mr. Big) finally released his first solo album. The reality is that after Mr. Big called it a day Mr. Sheehan stepped up and delivered something most of us in the bass world didn’t expect. Instead of putting together a series of self indulgent bass jams Billy spent the time wood shedding on good solid song writing with tasty grooves and excellent production. The man known for some of the best lead bass work in the business even provides vocal duty on all of the tracks. My hat is off to him because he could have used this an opportunity for endless amounts of bass noodling and over the top showmanship but instead he took the opportunity to show us that song writing is where his heart is. Ok, maybe the better description is song writing with lots of zingy notes and massive crunchy, compressed bass tones. From the world famous bassist who knows more about compressing low notes than anyone on the planet comes an excellent rock album with smart lyrics and excellent sound production. I should also mention that Billy also took the time to play most of the guitar tracks himself. Talk about dedication to your art….I challenge you to find one track on this album that doesn’t drip with hours of care and attention. Stand out tunes include the massive sounding slow groove of “What Once Was” the riff heavy “Chameleon” and the crisp “Feed your Head.”

Even better than expected

Surprisingly, this is not a bunch of solo opportunities masquerading as songs. Rather, they are actually songs first with some really cool bass playing within them. My only complaint about this album is that the drums are not real. Outside of that, this is pretty cool stuff. (His 2nd and 3rd solo album have actual drums, provided by the stellar Ray Luzier. Check those cd's out, too.)

Biography

Born: March 19, 1953 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Often called "the Eddie Van Halen of the bass," Billy Sheehan just happened to catch his big break playing with former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth. Although Eddie Van Halen gets the lion's share of credit for popularizing the two- handed tapping technique on guitar, it's been rumored that Sheehan began utilizing the same technique around the same time, albeit on his bass, resulting in a debate during the '80s (among guitar geeks, at least) as to who was the true originator. Hailing from the...
Full Bio

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