In 1996 guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen released his 9th studio album called ‘Inspiration’ and it was an album filled with covers of bands that influenced Malmsteen. Now, 23 years later Malmsteen comes up with ‘Blue Lightning’, which is again an album filled with covers and, thank god, also 4 new songs. I am not really a fan of covers, as you might know by now, but I am glad that Malmsteen also recorded 4 new tracks and these are all very blues-oriented. The title track, ,,1911 Strut” [named after the famous guitar brand], ,,Sun’s Up, Top’s Down” and ,,Peace, Please” are all excellent blues-related tracks with lots of typical Malmsteen guitar playing; meaning fast and ferocious solos and arpeggios. Best new song, as far as I am concerned is ,,Sun’s Up, Top’s Down” [a typical Malmsteen title by the way..] featuring lots of mean and nasty guitar licks and solos proving that Malmsteen can also play blues like no other guitarist! The ten covers [with two bonus tracks which are only featured on the deluxe CD] are three Jimi Hendrix classics (,,Foxy Lady”-known as ,,Foxey Lady" in North America, ,,Purple Haze” and ,,Little Miss Lover”], two Deep Purple rockers [,,Smoke On The Water” and ,,Demon’s Eye” which is also featured on Malmsteen’s ‘Inspiration’ album], two Rolling Stones songs [,,Paint It Black” and ,,Jumping Jack Flash”], ZZ Top’s ,,Blue Jean Blues”, The Beatles ,,While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and last but not least Slowhand’s ,,Forever Man”. As I mentioned before I am not really a fan of covers but Malmsteen does not play exact copies of the original versions, but he adds his own guitar vibe and personality to those classic tracks. ‘Blue Lightning’ is self-produced and sounds great, but I prefer a “real” Malmsteen album with his own songs…. Listening tips: ,,While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and ,,Sun’s Up, Top’s Down”.