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Adrian Belew - Coming Attractions CD (album) cover

COMING ATTRACTIONS

Adrian Belew

 

Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 2 ratings

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convocation
4 stars "Coming Attractions" is a musical delight. In Belew's CD notes he calls it a preview of work to come. Moreover, it is mostly a collection of projects in various stages of development, revealing some interesting aspects of Belew's music writing process. However, one does not have to be a musician to appreciate this material; it is great as it is. While not really essential, there is enough new music of really fine quality and innovation here to warrant a four-star rating. "Inner Man", "Predator Feast", "117 Valley Drive", "I Know What I Know and That Is All I Know and I Know It", "No Such Guitar", and "Animal Kingdom" only seem to appear on "Coming Attractions". This reviewer found them no where else among Adrian Belew's releases; at least, not under these titles. The rest are earlier versions of material that later made it into "Inner Revolution", "Op Zop Too Wah", "Mr. Music Head", "Lone Rhino", "Acoustic Adrian Belew", "Desire Of The Rhino King" and "Thrak" with King Crimson.

"Inner Man" borrows some percussion samples from "Mr. Music Head" and makes a great opener. The lyrics are about ".the downside of being a nice person", and explores the inner anger and social frustration that comes with it; the guitar and rhythm section - the power guitar trio - really bring it to life. "Predator Feast" is a real assault on culture..well, he learned from the very best. The guitar dinosaurs are magnificent. The entire piece is driven by mechanical-sounding percussion loops. "117 Valley Drive" reminisces about Belew's first band. It has a very pleasant melody that frames this brief autobiographical account. "Inner Revolution" is a solo acoustic guitar version of the song also found on the CD "Inner Revolution", released in 1992. The earlier version was great; in comparison, this live recording is very personal and also quite likeable. "Time Waits" is from "Op Zop Too Wah", released in 1997. This is another acoustic piece, which unlike the earlier version, is unaccompanied. The reverberations from the performance space enhance the way this song really showcases his wonderful singing voice. "I Know What I Know and That Is All I Know and I Know It" is another pleasure from The Prophet Omega, the great voice on "I Am What I Am" from "Young Lions" (1990). The music is a variation on the same tune. As Belew puts it, Omega's voice is absolutely inimitable; however, the title of "I Know." has little to do with this unrehearsed ad for a moving company. Although the title might be misplaced, frankly, its just good to listen to his style and extemporaneous performance. This is an early demo of "People", which later became part of "Thrak" with King Crimson. This version is less complicated, as one might expect; but it's also funky-sounding, which provides another glimpse into the process of how Belew and The Crimson practice their art. "No Such Guitar" is quite apt here. It seems to have lain unfinished for years. Just drums and guitar; the percussion is complicated sounding and highly repetitive, but very good. The guitar playing seems to explore the higher tones in a myriad of interesting ways using various electronic effects. "Bird in a Box" is newer version of the track on "Mr. Music Head", released in 1989. This version enhances the drum part of the original song; it really brings out more of the potential there and is a credit to his originality at integrating meaningful and complex drum parts into a song. "House of Cards", also from "Mr. Music Head", is sort of a stripped down version with more emphasis on the piano part and less percussion. Even the flock of geese figure more prominently. "The Man in the Moon" appears in different forms on "Lone Rhino" (1982), "Desire Of The Rhino King" (1991), and "Acoustic Adrian Belew" (1995). "Animal Kingdom" is filled with lots of percussion and animal sounds; hollow tube drumming is particularly prominent. It is strictly instrumental, and more likely to please the avant-garde music fans, but there is nothing dissonant or arrhythmic about it. It sounds like a trip to the African savanna. He calls it "National Geographic for your ears." Belew also refers to it as a work still in progress, but it is very pleasing to hear what this idea has become so far.

convocation | 4/5 |

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