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Adrian Belew - Here CD (album) cover


Adrian Belew

Eclectic Prog

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4 stars This set demonstrates why Adrian Belew could be the heir to the musical tradition that was the Beatles. There isn't much this guy from Kentucky cannot do. He breathes rock and roll and psychedelia. On "Here," Belew spend less time trying to imitate animals and sound like Jimi Hendrix. It pays off. The title track alone is worth the price of the CD. No wonder a tight-assed guitar techinque freak like Robert Fripp is willing to share a stage with this guy. If you haven't seen Belew live, DO IT! He could front any rock or progressive band, with or without his vocals. Incidentally, this boy can really sing.
Report this review (#66671)
Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars At this point in his career, Adrian Belew was working pretty much exclusively on his solo career, with King Crimson being defunct for nearly 10 years and having no major collaborations in the distant future or past (besides essentially running one of David Bowie's early 90s tours). Here continues the trend that began with Young Lions and continued with Inner Revolution. It has Belew experimenting a bit more with different than on the previous few albums, but it still has that strong sense in melody and songwriting rather than raw instrumentation.

Belew's influence from the Beatles is rather evident on this album, with songs that experiment in the vein of Love You To from Revolver in terms of the almost Indian sounds. The song that I speak of in particular is Fly, with its ethereal soundscapes and the twangy acoustic guitar coupled with Belew's multi-harmonied Beatles-esque vocal approach.

Still, Belew's quirky style is at the foray, with his sharp and lightly distorted guitar sound magnificent when juxtaposed against his squealing leads that add a bit of that classic King Crimson flare that made up most of Belew's playing on that trilogy of albums. His solos on Never Enough and I See You are superlative to his easily identifiable style.

One of my favorite pieces on this album is the strictly acoustic piece Dreamlife, which reminds me of a Pete Townshend number in terms of the fingerpicked guitar styles and the emotive vocals. The lyrical material even has a bit of a Pete Townshend feel to it (although not directly, I get a hint of it along with John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

In all, I'm finding that I like Here the most of his early 90s albums. His next album, The Guitar as Orchestra: Experimental Guitar Series, Vol.1, would explore more Avant-Garde stylings and be a totally different experience than this album, which would be consequently the final by-the-numbers pop album by Belew. Not very progressive, but the strong songwriting and quirky instrumentation alone merit it a 3 star review. Hope you enjoy.

Report this review (#107926)
Posted Friday, January 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars So what can we expect from an Adrian Belew solo album after his highly prolific career with King Crimson, The Bears, Frank Zappa David Bowie and Talking Heads to name a few? What's that? album of pop tunes with some Crimsonesque sounds here and there?

This is a nice little album which indeed sounds nothing like any of the Belew-collaborations which is probably because here he decided to do it all himself. By that I mean literally everything! The compositions are your straight forward rock songs but they have just the right hooks to keep me going from start to finish. The album even manages to deliver a few nice surprises like the atmospheric Fly or the Paul McCartney-sounding vocals on I See You which makes me smile every time I hear it!

The songs might have a straight forward structure but there is a definite Adrian Belew twist to it all that makes me want to revisit this album from time to time. My favorite track is Burned By The Fire We Make which is a cliché environmental song about people harming the planet but it just hits the right nerve with me and the chorus is just great.

After all the great things I had to say about this album I'll still have to settle for a non-essential rating since there is definitely no prog here.

***** star songs: May 1, 1990 (4:02) Burned By The Fire We Make (3:10)

**** star songs: I See You (2:42) Survival In The Wild (4:09) Fly (4:45) Never Enough (3:43) Peace On Earth (2:55) Dreamlife (2:29) Brave New World (3:44) Futurevision (4:15)

*** star songs: Here (4:28) Postcard From Holland (2:49) Hidden Track (1:46)

Report this review (#263268)
Posted Friday, January 29, 2010 | Review Permalink

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