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Axis: Bold As Love
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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
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