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Robert Fripp

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Robert Fripp A Blessing of Tears 1995 Soundscape-Vol 2 - Live in California album cover
4.33 | 31 ratings | 7 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Live, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Cathedral of Tears (Jan. 26th, 1995) (6:30)
2. First Light (Feb. 1st, 1995) (7:59)
3. Midnight Blue (Jan. 26th, 1995) (6:06)
4. Reflection 1 (Feb. 1st, 1995) (6:06)
5. Second Light (7:25)
6. A Blessing of Tears (8:37)
7. Returning (4:00)
8. Returning II (5:12)

Total Time: 51:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Bill Forth / tour promotor & manager
- Mark Perry / possible merchandising
- Tom Redmond: Hell Boys
- David Singleton / sound engineered
- John Sinks / stage manager, guitar technician & assistant FOH sound engineer.

Releases information

CD-Discipline-DGM 9506-UK-1995

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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ROBERT FRIPP A Blessing of Tears 1995 Soundscape-Vol 2 - Live in California ratings distribution

(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ROBERT FRIPP A Blessing of Tears 1995 Soundscape-Vol 2 - Live in California reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is a masterpiece of spiritual music on a hour of sadness. Pure beautifulness and emotions emerge from the simple synthesized & looped solo guitar of Mr. Fripp, allowing listener to sense his psychological state and catharsis of mournfulness. Though the tracks are cut from DAT- recordings of Fripp's Californian tour 1995, this is not a completely authentic live album, as there are small edits done afterwards. Last two "Returning" tracks have been altered on post-production phase; the second one interestingly presented as backward reversed edit, emphasizing the probabilities of metaphysical movements in space-time and human mind. These edits were explained clearly in the booklet and they appear logical within the context of the album, creating more meaning to the music than purist live concert capturing. Many people who have not liked King Crimson due its neurotic tendencies, have enjoyed this serene music much, being aesthetically pleasing and quite easy to access. Still I have found lots of musical information from it, as there are several long processes going on simultaneously. "A Blessing of Tears" is also an example of perfect manufacturing and production quality of Fripp's DGM record company. Booklet is informative about the musician's thoughts along with recording's technical description, beautiful in its design and the CD contains also a neat digital label sampler.
Review by Heptade
4 stars This is unquestionably the album that listeners curious about Fripp's soundscapes should sample first. Some of the soundscapes albums can be quite dissonant in places, which can be offputting. This one features 8 shorter pieces, all soft, mellow and beautiful. It's amazing to think that all of this music originates (before being run through effects and loops) from a guitar. Track 8 is a reverse of track 7...and it may be best piece on the CD! The theme of this album is a soul's transition from life to death (or another state), and leaves no doubt that Fripp feels this is a positive change that should be welcomed. It's a theme he refers to often in this series of recordings ("That Which Passes" is a much more noisy and dissonant album based on the same topic) This is an uplifting listen. While I can't call it a progressive "masterpiece", it is definitely a masterpiece of ambient music, up there with the best of Steve Roach (why isn't he here on the Archives?), Brian Eno or Harold Budd. If you like ambient and you like Robert Fripp, don't delay, go and get this CD!
Review by Thulėatan
5 stars The second volume of the 1995 series follows a focused tangent that started with 'Elegy' on the previous release, and groups together several of Fripp's live forays out into the deeply contemplative, mournful, and peaceful dimension of Soundscapes. Once again these are performed entirely on guitar through synthesized sounds, with Fripp slowly building the tranquil waves of strings to create sonic environments of great depth. Each piece explores a profound space rich with impressions of gently emerging awareness, questioning, realisation, and acceptance, content which according to the liner notes was catalysed for Fripp by the death of his mother. Of course, these Soundscapes ring out much more universally. The themes are carried by near-meditative pacing, and layers of sound which build with such logic and grace that the 'looped' nature of the music is almost imperceptible. Pieces such as the opener, 'The Cathedral Of Tears', and 'Midnight Blue' also feature faster, fleeting sounds as they become more developed, suggestive of the transcendence and liberation that can come from acknowledging the deepest thoughts and emotions.

'A Blessing Of Tears' is by far the Soundscapes release that is least abrasive to the ears, since not a single track ever breaks the trend of solitude, sadness, grief, or departs into discord, and as such to the casual listener the album can seem one- dimensional. But the focused material and uniform instrumentation belies the unique difficulty in listening to this particular album... trying to attain a level of attention and relaxation where each note can be appreciated, trying to avoid the music just becoming something in the background. Other Soundscapes make their presence felt - with this one, you have to look and feel for it. And it is worth it. I cannot drop even one star just because of the similar atmosphere of each track, because in truth there are countless subtleties and moments within each one that make this an altogether powerful journey - reflective, captivating, and inspiriting.

Review by laplace
3 stars Another installment in an enduring series of ambient guitar loops. This one is less relaxing than many and can be disquieting at times and since the echo and reverb have been tuned down, the pieces are more active, with sensible progressions and generally more notes played per minute. For this reason I feel that the album is worth three stars even though the progressive factor here is slight.

This is a disc that captures a live performance but it'd be difficult to know that if it wasn't stated on the CD cover as crowd noise is removed or was barely audible in the first place. I don't recognise these song titles from other releases so there is possibly a degree of improvisation at work, but then, we'd suspect the same of any release bearing the name of Robert Fripp.

Review by admireArt
5 stars Starting from today; my 5 "star" rating will go; as when young and there were no ipods-ipads-iwhatever: There were only "Albums" and "Cassettes" each in unities. So the question went like this. Which 5 "albums" would you take to a desert island; of all? Well this one. Robert Fripp- "A Blessing of Tears" -1995. The most universal "soundscape" album before the last one(?) ("At the End of Time"-2007). It is quiet a thrill to see how people who are not prog-related react when exposed to this project. The soothing non-melodic (as usual); soundscape lines have a different feeling, a different focus and touch. They come close to the listeners“s "human nature" universal aural experiernce. As close as Fripp can get... And yes everyone gets caught by the unorthodox beauty; like not other of his works. There is this "universal" quality some works possess. Among other peoples“s works and their own. Therefore; it is mystery to me, that music, which by far is built on a "non-mainstream" structure and basis (to call it somehow) can be instantly appreciated as such; without prejudice by all kind of audiophiles. No -" nice-melodic "new age" tinker-bells melodic sounds"- found here! ...These are huge, astounding, frail structures, which happen to be so "hospitable" because they deal with a shared human felling; by poor or rich; powerful or not, prog-or not;- Human nature“s impotent effort to deal with sadness; as such. And sadness; as you know, is overwhelming and wild, as huge as small. This work captures the human spirit of Mr. Fripp in such a stage (mourning to be exact); and this time the invitation is really for everyone. (understanding that Fripp is Fripp wherever). So feel welcomed to feel "A Blessing of Tears". *****5 "Masterpiece" stars

Latest members reviews

5 stars The guitar or Robert plays very beatifully in this Album. I do not think that it is totally improvised music. I have observe that when you make someone to hear the music in this album, the person gest in a special trance. Fripp did this after his mother death. He shows a feelings that every woma ... (read more)

Report this review (#236126) | Posted by amontes | Monday, August 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A beautiful album... not a masterpiece of prog but a great emotional instrumental album. Soundscapes are created from Robert Fripp's guitar with loops and synthetizers that build a soft atmosphere of ambient music. The eight pieces on the album are quite similar - it is better to listen to it a ... (read more)

Report this review (#72421) | Posted by zaxx | Monday, March 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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