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David Cross - Exiles CD (album) cover


David Cross


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.65 | 51 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Tonk

This solo album by ex-King Crimson man David Cross is named after the King Crimson song Exiles which originally appeared on 1973's Larks' Tongues In Aspic to which Cross contributed. The version featured here as the opening track is a new studio recording of the song in a different arrangement with original vocalist John Wetton guesting. It sounds fantastic! Also Robert Fripp guests here on three tracks, two of which also features Peter Hammill from Van Der Graaf Generator on vocals. This is an interesting combination of talents with Tonk being the strongest of these in 1970's King Crimson heavy style.

Slippery Slope is an instrumental Jazz-Rock/Fusion number more in line with what was found on some previous David Cross albums. Not bad at all but considerably less King Crimson-like. Cakes is another track that features Fripp and this time it is an ambient instrumental. Not my cup of tea but it would have been quite acceptable considered as an interlude if it had only been shorter, but about halfway through it tends to get boring. Wetton's voice returns for This Is Your Life, a Pop Rock song that would not have been out of place on one of Wetton's lesser solo records but which sounds rather odd in the present context. Fast and Troppo (the other Fripp/Hammill combination) pick things up again somewhat and the closer Hero can be said to combine all of the elements mentioned above.

Overall, Exiles is a rather strange mix of Heavy Prog, Jazz-Rock/Fusion and Pop Rock. Several good moments, but not the best place to start with David Cross. I recommend to begin with the live album Alive In The Underworld which provides a good overview of Cross' career featuring songs from his four most recent solo albums including the present one plus three classic King Crimson numbers. Also the more recent studio album Closer Than Skin is recommended over Exiles.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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