"Are You Experienced" is one of my favorite albums, and one of the best albums to come out of 1967 (and many great albums came out in that year). One of the things that will hit you instantly is Jimi's fabulous guitar playing. Jimi makes his guitar an extention of his brain - whatever he imagines, he creates on the fretboard (and off the fretboard, for that matter). There have been guitar players who could play more accuratly or faster, but no one has matched Hendrix for sheer imiganation and creativity in guitar playing.
Eventually, when you move past the brilliant fret-work, you will notice the fine songwriting. "The Wind Cries Mary", "I Don't Live Today", "Purple Haze", and "Manic Depression" are among Hendrix's finest compositions. The songs are mostly very "pop structured" (three-to-four minutes long, verse-chorus-verse-solo-chorus pattern). In some ways, Hendrix wrote better songs in this format, but he needed to expand eventually, such as the work on "Electric Ladyland". Even so, his compositional skills here are excelent.
Also, the contributions of the band are not to be overlooked. Mitch Mitchell is one of the most under-appreciated drummers, probably because Hendrix's firey guitar overshadowed him. But Mitchell's awesome drumming often inspired Hendrix. And Noel Redding was more important that he often gets credits for. True, he wasn't really a great bass player, but his down-to-earth timekeeping is what keeps Mitch and Jimi's cool.
So, overall, this is an amazing album. Very, very influental. Everyone should own this, or at least hear it.