Venus Isle Review

artist: Eric Johnson date: 03/01/2010 category: compact discs
Eric Johnson: Venus Isle
Release Date: Sep 3, 1996
Label: 1996
Genres: Guitar Virtuoso, Instrumental Rock, Fusion, Album Rock
Number Of Tracks: 11
Venus Isle nevertheless seems like a lost opportunity because he never departs from his standard bag of tricks.
 Sound: 8.5
 Lyrics: 7.5
 Overall Impression: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) 2 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Venus Isle Reviewed by: Poisonous_Toxin, on april 22, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is a remarkable album, this is a must have for Eric Johnson fans and anyone one who enjoys good guitar playing. The sound on this album is awesome, it just wraps all around you, makes you really feel it, it's like watching a good movie at the movie theaters for the first time, it is just amazing. 01. Venus Isle - is probaly one of my favorite tracks, his singing is just remarkable, he has this jazzy feel to it, I just love it. 02. Battle We Have Won - is another good singing track, the lyrics on this is just so powerful it just really speaks to you, ah, it's like a fine wine. 03. All About - another singing track, it's alright. 04. S.R.V - is the instrumental track that he dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughan, his brother Jimmy Vaughan plays the first solo on the song, and Eric plays it just like SRV. 05. Lonely In The Night - another singing track, it's alright. 06. Manhattan - is dedicated to Wes Mongomety, it is a good instrumental. 07. Camel's Night Out - another great instrumental, has more of a rock feel, heavier than the stuff he usually does. He Plays this song on a Flying V. 08. Song For Lynette - wow what can I say about this one, it is really good, not that much guitar on this song but it has good piano playing in it, one of my faovrite tracks. 09. When The Sun Meets The Sky - another singing track, I really don't listen to this one that much. 10. Pavilion - is really exciting, really pumps you up, the solo is really exciting. 11. Venus Reprise - last instrumental and song on the album, it's really good too. // 10

Lyrics: They are really good, they really speak to you, though he only sings on four of the eleven tracks, the songs are really good, my favorite is either Venus Isle or Battle We Have Won. And his singing ability is awesome, wish I could sing that good, if I could sing like anyone, it would be like Eric Johnson. // 10

Overall Impression: This is one of my favorite Eric Johnson albums, it took him six years to make it and it was well worth the while. He is by far my favorite guitarist and singer. He has really influenced my playing a lot. I love everything about this album, I really don't hate anything about it, the only is that I wish he would make more albums. If this was stolen from me I would defintely buy it again. // 10

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overall: 6
Venus Isle Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 01, 2010
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Venus Isle is probably the weakest album of EJ's studio output, which of course is a small amount to begin with. But there are some moments of trademark EJ greatness that makes the album worth owning. The guitar playing is outstanding throughout; it's just the over-produced gloss of EJ's vocals (never a strength of his) that tend to thread a near over-inspirational aspect through the fabric of the record. At times the overall production feels over-cooked and too bogged down by the overbearing adult-contemporary sound. Thankfully, tracks like "All About You" (with a cool ascending guitar riff), S.R.V. (a cool jazz-like instrumental tribute to his fallen friend), "Camel's Night Out" (more bluesy and reminiscent of his past work), and "Pavilion" (a signature Johnson song) remind us of why EJ is such an incredible guitarist and songwriter. // 7

Lyrics: The lyrics in the songs on "Venus Isle" thematically seem connected with the narrator searching for love or belonging. There is an over-arching theme of love and spirituality combining to reach a kind of nirvana. Eric Johnson can sing, it's just his vocal tone has a thin, almost Brian Adams-ish pop feel, which serves his music well (especially on "Tones" and "Ah Via Musicom" but doesn't always ride well alongside some of the heavier, faster songs. // 5

Overall Impression: This might not be the most important Eric Johnson release, but for the fan of instrumental guitar, virtuosic rock, or experimental pop, it could be interesting. This album is not bad; it just seems like its ideas are either too cluttered with over-production or maybe a little too elemental as far as the atmosphere it creates. But it makes for an interesting listen nevertheless. // 6

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