Sound — 8
The sound of The Jimi Hendrix Experience on this album is that of a new band who sound like they are on to something good. What I like about this album is that it has a great feeling that it's not all about Jimi and it reminds you that you are listening to an band, not just a guitarist. I like that this album has some great rhythms and "riffs" by Jimi along with some great soloing to top the songs off. While there is no denying that Jimi Hendrix was a fantastic rock guitar soloist who probably perfected the style, I must say that I am particularly fond of some of Jimi's chord progressions and main song riffs. You can really get the idea that Jimi likes to experiment with sounds. He likes to make all kinds of crazy noises and squeals with his instrument. Along with that, Noel and Mitch are spot on and tight, carrying the listener into another world for just a little while to relax and enjoy the sounds... and the sights.
Lyrics — 6
I've never really thought too much of Jimi Hendrix's lyrics or singing skills. I don't think Jimi is a wonderful singer by any means, but I think he knew what he was good at and stuck with it as far as singing. He has a deep, masculine voice that explain and fittingly accompany the eb tuning on the guitars. The lyrics on this album seem to generally about one of two things: women and drugs. All the individual subjects stem from those two things. The drug induced psychedelic trips into another world are created by the mood set by the music, Jimi's smooth voice, and the descriptions of various "groovy" experiences. I wouldn't necessarily consider the lyrics on Are You Experienced to be sophisticated or deep, but they act as a great compliment to the music.
Overall Impression — 8
I think that in comparison to Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland, this album is quite a different animal. I feel like this album creates an image of an entirely different band than the other two do. This one seems more heavily rooted in the blues than the later ones do. I would say the most impressive songs from the album are Purple Haze, Hey Joe, The Wind Cries Mary, and Foxy Lady. I love both Jimi's cleaner and more soothing guitar playing and his rip-roaring, rocking out, fuzz-laced jamming on the guitar. I love the overall band feeling of this album. What isn't top notch is the lyrics necessarily. They aren't too bad, but I described how I felt above. I also honestly find 3rd Stone From the Sun to be one of the most boring tracks he produced. Overall, this album is a great listen and I would recommend it as the first album one should listen to when they want to get into Hendrix.