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Adrian Belew - Side Two CD (album) cover


Adrian Belew


Eclectic Prog

3.51 | 49 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Now this album blew me away. Side 1 while very good, was nothing to rant about. I only bought Side 2 on a curious whim. Never has one of my whims paid off so heavily. Adrian treads ground he's never walked over before, and that's saying a lot for such an accomplished musician. The only flaw is that the album is only 33 minutes and 12 seconds. It does not have enough substance to be a masterpiece.

The sparse simplistic vocals paired with the looping makes an amazing trancelike atmospheric sound. Every time I listen I'm completely absorbed into the patterns that lay the foundations to the songs. Now this wouldn't be Adrian Belew if there wasn't some his trademark drowning in whammy guitar. Id say the greatest accomplishment of the album is that despite its short length once you get to the end of the experience it doesn't leave you wanting more. You are completely satisfied with where the album has brought you, the thought that it evokes is impressive. Belew's lyrics don't get more than an amused smile from me, but he manages to pull you in emotionally and cognitively this time. Despite the fact the album is minimalist in nature, Belew and the guest musicians manage to pay some well put together and difficult compositions.

There isn't a weak track on the entire album, from the raw power of "Dead Dog On Asphalt" and its assault on the soul with Belew's furious yet held back guitar, right to "Sunlight" and its uplifting looping synth textures you don't lose interest once. Highlights include "Asleep" this song uses all of the albums focus very well, its a moving and creepy song which the synth/drum loops combine seamlessly with guitar instead of almost playing against each other as with the rest of the album. Also "Happiness" in where the song seems to mock the title, its short but gets across its meaning brilliantly.

Like I said just short of a masterpiece rating, and so far (with it being August 1st 2005) this is the album of the year. Id suggest you buy it even if you couldn't stand Side 1. Adrian fixes every fault (musically and conceptually anyways) and has made a very strong addition to an already great discography. Side 3 has a lot to live up to.

Hangedman | 4/5 |


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