Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
Nice, but nothing special
on 23 July 2009
If you're a dyed in the wool fan of LC, this is guaranteed to please, though personally, I've always felt most of his best work to have been on other peoples' albums and he's certainly appeared on hundreds of those. Over the past 30 years, I've bought an LC album here and another there, but then gradually lost interest in all of them. This one just about hangs on in my collection, but I only play it very occasionally.
For Fingerprints, LC went to a couple of studios in Franklin Tennessee, very probably in search of a different environment to lend some fresh inspiration away from his home town of LA. To an extent, it's worked because, apart from the awful vocal track featuring Michael McDonald, whose voice I've never liked, this is fairly enjoyable album. Several of his LA contemporaries such as Vinnie Coliauta, Abe Laboriel, Kirk Whalum and Steve Cole came along for the ride, whilst Paul Brown provided his inestimable production talents on a few tracks, which has certainly helped.
It's an album of reasonably good compositions, impeccably arranged, played and recorded, much as you'd expect from a musician of Mr Carlton's calibre and pedigree. But, when all is said and done, it really isn't anything special. There are no flashes of compositional inspiration (though the closing track comes close, I will allow) or technical virtuosity to be found here ~ it's just, well, nice. Looking through the rest of my collection, it's not been at all hard to find ten albums by other guitar players, every one of which I rate above anything LC's ever done under his own name, including this one.
As less than positive reviews of just about any album always seem to garner NO this wasn't helpful votes, before you move to click, check out Andy Summers' World Gone Strange (1991) and The Last Dance Of Mr X (1997), Govi's Guitar Odyssey (1997), Brian Hughes' Straight To You (1995), Gary Carpenter & Tribal Heat's Sirena (2007), Wayne Johnson Trio's Grasshopper (1984), Steve Laury's Keepin' The Faith (1993), Lee Ritenour's Wes Bound (1993), Chieli Minucci's Jewels (1994), Ray Obiedo's Sweet Summer Days (1994) and Chris Standring's Love & Paragraphs (2006). In my book, they're all better albums in one way or another, several of them by quite some margin. His collaborative album with Lee Ritenour is better too, though mostly, I have to say, the tracks written by Lee Ritenour.
If you like not a single one of these other recommendations, though, and still think that Larry Carlton can do no wrong, then and only then vote NO. I just feel that his principal talent is as a fine sessions player rather than as a writer.