Rapaport, Greg - Wyrd
Year of Release: 2001
Catalog Number: n/a
Total Time: 42:50:00
Okay, so when you first play Wyrd, you think that Greg Rapaport is giving you another instrumental shred fest that is all bluster and energy and no substance. But then you begin to realize something as you really listen -- this isn't anything like that at all. Oh, yes, Rapaports shreds ? you better believe it, baby! But he mixes in jazz and funk to create just the sort of eclectic blend that I find I'm coming to love more and more. And I know you will, too.
Rapaport comes charging out the gate aflame, kicking things off with the thrilling "11th Portal." And he doesn't just do it on the guitar ? yes, listen to those fat bass groves on "Bugjuice" coming at you with a funky cool sexy riff. And it's Rapaport on programmed drums, too, that hardly seem they could be. Yes, when you get nitpicky, you hear a little bit that they are. But it doesn't spoil the music one iota. There is a sense of depth and interplay that one imagines must be hard when you can't feed off anything but your own energy. And yet, here is proof that it can be done. And done with warmth ? the arrangements have a nice amber glow about them, which suggest to me that Rapaport plays more for feel than for technique ? though both are there to be sure. Wyrd is neither too crunchy nor too over-the-top, though it goes with the territory that a guitarist that is showing his chops is going to be a little showy.
I'm smacking myself silly that I let this CD sit unheard for so long (it's been about 18 months) ? there's just one tasty morsel after another. Just listen to Rapaport burn it up on "Diminished Returns," for example. Of course, by then you're already sold because that's track 6. And if you're in for some white-hot tangoing, then just listen to "Powderburn" or the funky, danceable, spicy "Slik." And metal heads will love "Darkmatter," which goes from dark, heavy chugging bass and drums with some sweet soloing to something a little more atmospheric with eerie whispered vocals to somewhere in between and back.
On the heavier, more metallic pieces, Rapaport sounds like hyper-souped-up 80s-period Rush ? specifically something like "YYZ" only much hotter. But also there are some Lifeson like elements when Rapaport throttles back to play with a little more subtlety (as on "11th Portal"). Though I should point out that Lifeson is not named among Rapaports influences ? Scott Henderson, Allan Holdsworth, Greg Howe, and Jimmy Page are.
Oh hell, let's not beat around the bush. This is great stuff. Head on over to Greg's website and buy this! NOW! Don't be like me and sit on it. But, for those who aren't convinced, you can hear clips of this album at his site, too. But you'll end up listening to them just to tide you over while you wait for the post office to deliver your package containing the real thing.
PS ? Rapaport did all the artwork, too.
11th Portal (5:56) / Madah (4:31) / The Unconscience (6:18) / Bugjuice (4:30) / Trust (5:05) / Dimished Returns (4:18) / Powderburn (5:31) / Slik (3:56) / Darkmatter (4:35)
Greg Rapaport ? 7-string guitars, bass, keyboards, drum programming
Nero - Finally (1998)
Waiting For Darker Skies (1998)
Azarael Block (2003)
Genre: Progressive Rock
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