once in a while, an album simply doesn't connect with me. Ironically, the album
this time is called "Disconnect" by John Wesley. Wesley has a long history in
progressive music, being attached to Fish and Porcupine Tree at various times.
multi- instrumentalist capabilities have taken him far. However, here he is with
his sixth solo offering, and he has a full band behind him.
excellent guitarist, "Disconnect" is really a guitarist's album. Guitar is front
and centre, to a fault, I believe. Indeed, Alex Lifeson even guests on guitar
for one of the tracks, "Once a Warrior". So, if you love guitar, this might be
your thing. I'm rather disappointed, though, as I find that every thing else
about this album is completely average or worse. Drums, bass. and even vocals
are all humdrum and uninteresting. And don't get me started on the lyrics,
which, for the lyric enthusiast, are not worth your time.
Yet, I can
complain about the rest of the instruments on this album, but I think the major
problem is the horrible mix and the domination of the guitar. For whatever
reason, I cannot stand the guitar tone on this record. It literally gives me a
headache, even on low volumes. It's steel-hard, loud, and bombastic. It
completely masks the rest of the instruments to the point where the band never
really feels like a band, but instead seems like background musicians keeping
time for the guitarists to bore us to death. Solos go on and on forever without
ever having an ounce of soul or emotion. Technical feats come and go without
anything truly interesting ever happening. Indeed, most songs sound the same:
lame attempt at a verse and chorus followed by a few minutes of guitar drudgery.
since I saw the weirdly sexual music video for "Disconnect", I knew this album
would never pan out for me, and I was correct. I tried, but I can't get past the
boring songs, the pretentious guitar work (especially on "Any Old Saint"), and
the aura of arrogance that I can't seem to shake. Rough, blasting guitars mean
nothing when the artist can't seem to give them any meaning within a song
structure. Indeed, it's difficult to base all your writing on guitar without
paying attention to the other instruments, melody, and rhythm. In the end, this
album feels like one big set-up for John and company to show off on guitar. You
know what, though? The guitar never really impresses anyways.
Overall, "Disconnect" is a
disappointment and a failure.