Al Di Meola
Across The Universe
Look, I’ve done some things in my life that I’m ashamed of. Obviously. We all have. So I’ll admit it here. Seems the place to do it. I have – in the past – bought albums by Al Di Meola. I even liked two of them. And if push comes to shove – which would seem to be what it might take in this case – I’d probably say I still do like those albums, particularly because one of them featured two better guitarists than Al Di Meola. The other was tango music and it filled a gap in my collection at the time – maybe I’m not going in to bat for that one any longer.
But one thing I take very seriously – is covers of songs by The Beatles. Well, certainly whole-album collections
And this is a second bludgeoning of the cherry for Di Meola.
We open with Here Comes The Sun and subtlety be fucking damned. Di Meola plays at his guitar like a man waters the lawn when he must pick a hose that’s already been turned on. Spraying himself all over the song he isn’t so much interested in paying tribute as he is pouring his own guitar pheromones all over it. Fear he moans! This guitar will not gently seep. It’s all a thunder-gush unfortunately.
Golden Slumbers is then of course a series of golden showers.
But if he’s coming on too strong and far too heavy in the opening brace things do calm down. His Dear Prudence is quite lovely, I guess.
But even if Norwegian Wood and Mother Nature’s Son also get a pass mark by virtue of being ‘lowkey’ in the world of Di Meola by the time of Strawberry Fields Forever he’s back and packing his noxious strain of virtuosity to stomp all atop the song.
At a punishing 61 minutes this is onanism. Nothing more. Often a whole lot less.
Di Meola never met a Beatles song he didn’t want to dry-hump the leg of it would seem.
In the Amazon capsule reviews a customer gushes that “no one else plays guitar like Al Di Meola”. I’m certainly thankful for that. I probably won’t get to meet the judge that made that call but I appreciate there being a court-order and pray it’s forever upheld.
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