Child prodigy develops into as serious guitar wizard could be the headline for Johan Randen's very young career. At age 12, he played guitar with Sweden's eclectic prog trio Freak Kitchen. At age 14 he cut his first album, at 17 a second. Along the journey Randen performed with the likes of Bronk (Staffan Astner, Per Lindvall, Sven Lindvall), Janne Schaffer, Simon Andersson (Pain Of Salvation), Andreas Brobjer (Lady Gaga), Jonas Reingold (Flower Kings, Karmakanic) and many more. Cripes! Did this kid ever take time to watch Power Rangers?
Even the most cursory listen to his third album Summary reveals Randen's skill and genius. He's not only an exceptional guitar player, echoing everybody from Steve Vai to Jeff Beck to Steve Morse, but also an excellent composer. Every song displays his skills in an attractive arrangement, offering a complete experience.
Most tunes are a fusions of styles. Yet they also have themes like the funk groove of the aptly named Funk It! With horns, some of that funk and roll, you may think Randen could re-interpret Lowell George and Little Feat. Other times he just rips it up as on Tres Hombres, or echoes a peer like Morse on Country Maniac.
At the end of the day, Johan Randen's Summary is a delight to listen to, nearly easy listening ear candy. But mostly it shows the depth of Randen's impressive guitar skills and music composition. Quite recommended, for both guitar enthusiasts and learners.