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Fred Frith - The Top of His Head CD (album) cover

THE TOP OF HIS HEAD

Fred Frith

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.08 | 4 ratings

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CPicard
3 stars When talking about guitar heroes, one could easily quote Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Blackmore, Vai, Satriani, Zappa (that's a lot of Italian-American musicians now), Fripp... You can go on and on, name-dropping until the first rays of the sun. Yet Frith is closer to a free jazz tradition (Derek Bailey is the first name to come if looking for a possible influence) and the soundtrack reviewed here come in this tradition: past the title theme, don't expect solid rock riffs and obvious melodies. The album appears as a collection of atmospheres, Frith using more often tapes and sound effects than his guitar: a few piano notes here (Lucy leaves a note), drones in the backyard, samples of telephone conversations, a lot of unidentified sounds... On Channel Change, a melody explodes, a variation on the title theme; Underwater Dream gives a sad temper... Until Jane Siberry sings This Old Earth, the only true song of this record. Right after, you can dance to Donuts. Then, back to the ambient. Because this album obeys to the definition of ambient music given by Brian Eno: a discreet music.

Don't get me wrong: The Top of His Head is not a bad album. It needs to be known, it has its moments, its moods, it's not easy to be loveable and is not recommended (of course: it was published on Crammed records) to the beginners.

CPicard | 3/5 |

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