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Robert Fripp - Robert Fripp & Andy Summers: Bewitched CD (album) cover

ROBERT FRIPP & ANDY SUMMERS: BEWITCHED

Robert Fripp

 

Eclectic Prog

2.84 | 51 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 20th Century Schizophrenic Album

Obviously Summers' fascination f Fripp got him a second album collaboration, but this tilme he produced it himself, and the least we can say is that we indeed hear it right, with a New-Wavey/Police type of production. A vastly different album than its predecessor, Bewitched is very much a product of its time and has not aged well, even if there are traces of great guitar parts throughout the album. One would've hoped that the pop influences would've come from the Discipline-era Crimson, but this is definitely not a major factor in bewitched. Andy and Robert concentrate on guitars and synths on this album (even if Robert Fripp's brother Ertronics appears as well ;o))))), the bass and drums/percussions are handled by friends.

The opening Parade could be a police track, if it was sung by Sting, and comes with an atrocious 80's sounding drum, but it also comes back in the 11-mins What Kind Of Man Reads Playboy (Robert probably only read the articles ;o)))))), although as I said, there are some wild guitar parts, but the pleasure is ruined by the 80's production and drumming. Anyway, the A-side of the album is a little too 80's poppish for my liking and unfortunately makes this album almost dispensable. Fortunately there is better to come?.

If the first notes and rhythms of Train opening the flipside are just as discouraging as the A- side, the ambiance is much less pop and quite moody, and it is announcing a change of soundscape. The gentle and subtle title track is a bit of a return to the previous I advanced masked. Tribe is the would-be title track (the front cover artwork's name is Tribe) and is very atmospheric (but not like Fripp does it) and Forgotten Steps is very much in the same mould, even if it ends as a solo classical guitar piece. The two compadres hit it solid in Guide, a Spanish-sounding theme which borders Flamenco and it my fave track on the album. The album closes on the ambient and atmospheric Image And Likeness, where the Frippertronics make their usual appearance in a Fripp album, but the Spanish guitar work is again breathtaking. .

Too bad this album is marred by everything we hate about the 80's on the first side, but Bewitched compensates with a very pleasant flipside, making this album an interesting musical psychiatric case. Despite it's unevenness, Bewitched is probably slightly more interesting than Masked, which sounds too much like other Fripp albums, at least compared to this one.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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