Search - Allan Holdsworth :: i.o.u.

Allan Holdsworth
Genres: Jazz, Rock
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1


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All Artists: Allan Holdsworth
Title: i.o.u.
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Release Date: 11/8/2005
Album Type: Import
Genres: Jazz, Rock
Styles: Jazz Fusion, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1

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CD Reviews

One of the all-time classic fusion albums
Steward Willons | Illinois | 04/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have no idea why Allan Holdsworth is still largely unknown to the jazz/fusion community. Once a musician has a substantial body of uniformly excellent work, he or she should stop appearing on "most underrated" lists and take their proper place as recognized masters.

"I.O.U." is still my favorite Holdsworth album. The songs are complex and a bit strange, but it's all so compelling that you don't even notice how unique the music actually is. Similarly, his guitar playing is so fluid and melodic that his virtuosity remained hidden from me until I realized he was a favorite of one of my shredder friends. With a guitarist like Buckethead or Joe Satriani, the technique is right out front dominating the music, but with Holdsworth, it's so understated that, unless you're listening for it, all you hear is . . . great music. I don't have anything against shredders - it's fun stuff - but I'm even more impressed with virtuosic technique when it's so musically done.

The album has a variety of textures. It's not as "rocking" as some might expect based on some of the reviews. There are some aggressive parts, but there are also a lot of mellow parts to balance everything out. I suppose I can understand how some people call this a rock album, but I hear it as a jazz album. That may be part of its magic - it can be many things to many people.

His band is tight and although Holdworth's guitar dominates the album, the other musicians do get opportunities to shine, especially Gary Husband's energetic drum solo on "Letters of Marque." Paul William's vocals have a distinct 80s sound with some of the most enigmatic lyrics I've heard outside of an "art music" setting. They're not always easy to understand, but it doesn't matter. Holdsworth uses the voice as another instrument more than as "speaker of a text." Sure, the lyrics matter, but the sound of the voice in general is more important in this context.

With all the questionable jazz fusion available today, it's a shame the *real* fusion records are so difficult to find. I'm sure at any given mainstream CD store I could find dozens of copies of Rippingtons CDs, while nobody even knows about Holdsworth. If you're a fan of serious fusion, you must check this out. It doesn't much matter if you like jazzier or rockier fusion - I.O.U. is such a great balance that you're sure to enjoy it no matter what."
Classic and Timeless !!!
Michael Balazki | Petaluma, CA USA | 12/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Holdsworth fans consider this one of his best albums. It's raw and to the point. Just four guys making a recording that was way ahead of it's time. Shallow Sea is, to me, the Holdsworth sound. This album is fantastic !!!!"
Guitar Virtuoso!
Mr. Midnight | Tijeras, NM | 05/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Holdsworth is a living legend! Forget all the other "so called" guitar gods, this guy is the real deal! There is no such thing as a "bad" Holdsworth album, so lay your money down and have no fear!!!"