Having had more albums released of his work posthumously than in life, Jimi Hendrix's career is both impressive, a little confusing, and fairly tragic. In life he released just three albums and an LP, but since then multitudinous albums of 'new' and rehashed music, compilations and recording outtakes. The latest is an album named People, Hell and Angels.
While it must be fun for die-hard fans to hear more music from their idol, it must also be considerably frustrating. While no reviews say as much, much of the praise is given to where Jimi was going with his music. Of course, however, he never got there, and is down to our mere imaginations to take us on from where Jimi started the journey.
The Guardian gave the album 4/5 stars and said the experimental direction evident in People, Hell and Angels "suggests Hendrix could have made a blistering metamorphosis into turbocharged electric soul." USA Today agreed, saying that "the material was strong, and it is clear that a new, fuller and funkier sound was about to emerge, with Jimi's Fender Stratocaster leading the charge." Rolling Stone also gave 4/5 stars, claiming; "Hendrix left us so much but in precious little time. Every shred counts."
Indeed, every shred counts, and while this latest album isn't full of the best shreds that Hendrix ever offered the world, they are all parts of the whole. Just because the frame of a painting isn't the reason to visit to a gallery, doesn't mean it isn't part of the experience and essential to the work itself. It seems in many respects People, Hell and Angels are for those who have already arrived at Jimi Hendrix and want to see the surround.