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Finch; James: Sum Of The Parts

If you're the sort of person who eagerly snaps up all of the latest instrumental guitar albums, then you could do a lot worse than check out the latest offering from James Finch, Sum Of The Parts.

To be fair I can't really pretend that what Finch has crafted here is original, nor can I hand on heart proclaim that it stands out from the pack in any great way in fact Finch even names checks all the usual suspects (Timmons, Johnson, Vai, Satriani, Van Halen, Ray Vaughn etc. etc) in the credits. However the man can play and he writes decent tracks which are varied and well put together. As is often the case these days in this musical arena, Finch relies heavily on a certain Mr Satriani for inspiration, and a similar touch and tone to the Satch meister makes that comparison hard to avoid. Although a slice of blues and an Adrian Legg like twist of Cajun twang, does offer up a few alternate ideas.

A multi-talented individual, Finch not only fires out crunching riffs, energetic solos and considered segues, but he also handles all bass duties, a hint of keyboards (even he jokes that he only manages to play eight bars...) and drum programming. Now that latter aspect is usually a sticking point for me, as I'd always rather hear a live drummer than an automated one, but Finch has a deft touch in this area, creating convincing breaks and beats and choosing sounds, which while on occasion obviously not "real", don't capture the attention through a staid synthetic feel.

The likes of "Cracked" or "Implode" are energetic bursts where a vocal melody is created and filled by some tasty guitar work, while the temptation to shred is skilfully avoided. Finch can, and does, have the skill to crank it all up, but he doesn't feel the need to cram his ability into every bar of every song and the reserved "Chloroform", or jaunty "A Walk In The Park" are all the better for it. The Cajun style touched on earlier appears slightly in "Shades Of Grey", and more obviously in "A La Coustic", which cleverly changes the pace and feel of an album which could otherwise have slipped into steady safe territory.

James Finch probably won't bother the big boys of the instrumental guitar scene, well not unless he can uncork something more individual and departed from what we've become used to hearing. However in a genre packed with seriously talented musicians all jostling for the same space, he does have the knowhow and ability to make a mark and Sum Of The Parts will quench the thirst of fans of this style of music with ease.

Track Listing
1. Implode
2. Breathe
3. Raspberry Moon
4. A La Coustic
5. Synergy
6. Cracked
7. Chloroform
8. Shades Of Grey
9. Walk In The Park
10. Warning Sign

Added: November 2nd 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: James Finch at CDBaby
Hits: 2153
Language: english

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