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Thursday, October 14, 2010

HERBIE HANCOCK: The Imagine Project

The latest recording from the keyboard master and citizen of the universe, Herbie Hancock, is a "theme album" featuring songs with uplifting lyrics about the unity of mankind and, you know, stuff like that.

Will, why are you being so grumpy about good intentions?

Check out my Popmatters review HERE.  Basically, my complaint is that the music is unfocused, eclectic to a fault, a mushy mess.  Not that I don't like the Susan Tedeschi/Derrick Trucks-driven "Space Captain" or the convincing "A Change Is Gonna Come" featuring James Morrison.  But for the most part The Imagine Project is a collection of pop covers featuring too many guest stars and not enough Herbie Hancock.

The title track, John Lennon's done-to-death anthem, featuring Pink and Seal AND Inida Arie.  AND guitarist Jeff Beck.  AND African singers.  It reminds me of the recipe I came up with a few summers ago for "Cake Awesome":  carrot cake with chocolate chips and coconut icing.  Too much stuff in one cake.  No matter how good my intentions, that cake was a mess.

A thought for Mr Hancock's next project.  Get a band together, a trio or quartet.  Heck, go nuts and make it seven pieces.  No singers, no superstars.  No "project," no theme.  Write and play great original music.  Now that would be an event.

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