"Manifest Destiny" (Ripp Music; 2018)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

As I've said on these pages before, the difficulty in reviewing a guitar instrumental album are two-fold: 1) Does the album do more than showcase the talents of the particular guitarist and 2) How many times can I find adjectives for words like shred, virtuoso and tone?

Then along comes former RAT ATTACK guitarist Leslie Ripp and his CD, "Manifest Destiny," which falls somewhere in-between the categories of stand-alone album and showcase. With song titles like "1812," "Night Crawler" and "Tumble Weed Express," it sure sounds like there's some story-telling going on here, even though other song titles like "Midnight Jamboree" seem to indicate more of a showcase.

Song titles aside, "Manifest Destiny" sure plays like a showcase. Each track is filled to the brim with Ripp's amazing guitar effort and the one thing you can't help but come away with after listening to this CD is that Leslie Ripp is a hell of a guitarist. He's a virtuoso who shreds and has an excellent guitar tone (See? I got all of those buzz words into one sentence).

The problem with  showcases, however, is they tend to be dull and repetitious. Unless you're a guitar player who's interested in technique, even a master guitarist gets boring after awhile. And though "Manifest Destiny" does tend to wear out its welcome by the time the final track winds down, it's still more interesting than many other showcase albums I've heard ... which bring us to this ... it's probably more than a showcase.

So, I'm taking the easy way out. Just let me say that Leslie Ripp's "Manifest Destiny" is an amazing showcase of Leslie Ripp's undeniable talent and, at the same time, is more than just a showcase album, even if just by a little.

For more information visit https://leslieripp.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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