Are You Experienced was a groundbreaking record. It would be very hard for Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, and Mitch Mitchell to duplicate such an effort. However, there are plenty of strong moments on Axis: Bold As Love.
The title track is probably the strongest track. The melody is quite captivating and the tones shift very nicely from loud to soft. A good drum sequence transitions the song to a enjoyable conclusion.
Little Wing is probably the most familiar tune for those not so familiar with Hendrix tunes. Its a song that touches on Jimi's sensitive side. You've Got Me Floating has a nice groove if a limited melody Wait Until Tommorow has a hip chorus with nice backing vocals. She's So Fine touches on the psychedelic as Noel Redding gives that flavor with his vocal style.
The remaining songs are certainly pretty good even if their melodies are not overly captivating. The guitar playing is solid if not overly varied. Nonetheless, a solid three-three and a half star rating sounds fair.
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Glenn Wiener (Glennster2008)
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Jimi Hendrix's second album doesn't resonate through rock history the way its gatecrashing predecessor,Are You Experienced?, does. In places, it almost seems as if Hendrix is cruising, albeit sublimely. Yet it's a vital album, containing some of rock's molten milestones. There's the fluid psychedelia of "Castles Made of Sand," the viciously funky "Little Miss Lover," and the so-beautiful-it-hurts "Little Wing." Hendrix really hits altitude with "If 6 Was 9," where he waves his "freak flag high" over a tidal wave of guitar and a cacophonous army of Moroccan flutes, and he ends with "Bold As Love," based around Hendrix's typically far-fetched hankering for the axis of the planet to be tilted, thereby transforming life on earth. It works up into a head-melting frenzy of distorted guitar, a precursor to the staggeringly expansive leap forward he would take with 1968'sElectric Ladyland. Hendrix dreamed the impossible and achieved it on his guitar.--David Stubbs