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Mistaken Identity

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Album Review

Vernon Reid constantly dazzles with his astonishing technique. From his days with Living Colour and his collaborations with Bill Frisell, to Mistaken Identity, his first solo album, he has demonstrated that he can play vast array of styles and licks, as well as considerable ambition. In addition to being a skilled guitarits, Reid is a musical theorist and he likes nothing better than consciously mixing genres, creating unique, unpredictable fusions. Unfortunatley, these hybirds work better in theory than they do in practice, as Mistaken Identity proves. Reid can play everything from hip-hop and reggae to jazz, funk and rock, but he has problems uniting these disparate strands into a cohesive whole. Too often, he relies on his instrumental skill to hide his lack of compositional skills — not one of the songs on the album makes an impression as a song, only as an instrumental showcase. And, for anyone but guitar players, a ceaseless series of solos gets a little tiresome after a while. For those guitar fanatics, however, Mistaken Identity is well worth a listen.

Customer Reviews

Some music critics should find other careers!

It's funny how Vernon is supposed to "rely on his instrumental skills to hide his lack of compositional skill" when it was Vernon who did most of the composing for Living Colour. This dude has no idea of what he's talking about. Cp Time is as good and memorable a composition as anything that Satriani has put out. Just because a critic doesn't get it, he/she shouldn't crap on it, unless they can do better.


This is one of my favorite headphone albums. It is not for everyone and I find most of my music friends don't like Vernon Reid much. I find his command of the instruments he plays to be of high standards and the compositions are very interesting.


Born: August 22, 1958 in London, England

Genre: Rock

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

As the lead guitarist of Living Colour and a co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition, Vernon Reid has done a great deal to undermine stereotypical expectations of what music black artists ought to play; his rampant eclecticism encompasses everything from hard rock and punk to funk, R&B and avant-garde jazz, and his anarchic, lightning-fast solos have become something of a hallmark as well. Born in London, Reid and his family emigrated to Brooklyn while he was a child; he began playing guitar at age...
Full Bio

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