Victor Wooten

A Show of Hands

This album is appropriately titled. Victor Wooten, the bassist of Bela Fleck and the Fleckstones, is the one displaying his talents in a highly self-indulgent manner. There're only two instruments in this album: Wooten's bass, and his vocals. His vocals are minimal, and there are apparently no overdubs. You can imagine that going through an entire album of mostly bass could be monotonous, and it is---at first. But as I listened to this, at about the third listen, I really started liking the songs! Every song is carefully written to capture the attention of the listener and hold it. My favourite tracks are U Can't Hold No Groove, which has a really catchy slapped bass-line going through the song, and More Love (yes, the lyrics kinda suck), which has some beautiful bass processing. This is not only a definitive work of art, in the sense that it takes a instrument that is usually a part of the rhythm section not just at the forefront of the other instruments, but all the way to the top, devoid of any background for comparison. No artist I know has done this. Wooten not only has done something innovative and novel, but has produced a well-crafted and highly listenable album. I think it would be an interesting experiment to see what would happen if Primus, one of my favourite groups, covered some of these songs.

Music ramblings || Ram Samudrala ||