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ADRIAN BELEW

Eclectic Prog • United States


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Adrian Belew biography
Adrian Belew was born Robert Steven Belew on December 23, 1949, in Covington, KY, Belew's first instrument of interest was the drums, as he soon kept the backbeat in his high school's marching band. But not long after his discovery of the Beatles, Belew picked up the guitar, teaching himself how to play and to write original songs. In 1975, he officially changed his name to Adrian (because he liked the name).

During the mid/late 70's, Adrian did work with FRANK ZAPPA, which in turn led to his meeting with BRIAN ENO, which in turn led him to his work with the TALKING HEADS. After the album that he worked on with the group came out, Robert Fripp approached Adrian and asked if he would like to join a new version of KING CRIMSON. "Discipline" came out in 1981, and the album featured Adrian's Roland Guitar Synth, which provided many bizarre sounds to the already stellar sound. His first solo album, "Lone Rhino" was released in 1982. In the following years, Adrian would release many other solo efforts, and would collaborate with such artists as David Bowie and Porcupine Tree.

In 2005, Adrian released the first third of his concept piece titled "Side One". This album featured the talents of Les Claypool (Primus) on the bass guitar and Danny Carey (Tool) on the drums. This album had many bizarre Krimson-esque sound and was acclaimed by fans and critics. "Side Two" was released on July 12, 2005. It features a more electronic approach to the sound, but still has some Krimson guitar sounds.

Adrian Belew pushes the envelope with his musical direction and spirit. I highly recommend that you delve into the depths of Adrian Belew's catalogue.



Why this band must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
The majority of his output is progressive in my opinion, and fellow Krimson members Robert Fripp and Trey Gunn are included.



Discography:
Lone Rhino (1982), Studio Album
Twang Bar King (1983), Studio Album
Electronic Guitar (1985), Video
Desire Caught by the Tail (1986), Studio Album
Mr. Music Head (1989), Studio Album
Oh Daddy/ Peaceable Kingdom (1989), Single
Young Lions (1990), Studio Album
Not Alone Anymore (1990), Single
Desire of the Rhino King (1991), Studio Album
Inner Revolution (1992), Studio Album
Acoustic Adrian Belew (1993), Compilation
Here (1994), Studio Album
Peace on Earth (1994), Single
Guitar as Orchestra (1995), Compilation
Op Zop Too Wah (1996), Studio Album...
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Adrian Belew official website

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Lone Rhino / Twang Bar KingLone Rhino / Twang Bar King
Remastered · Import
BGO Records 2015
Audio CD$9.37
$9.36 (used)
Live at Rockpalast 2008Live at Rockpalast 2008
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$14.14
$19.37 (used)
Mr. Music HeadMr. Music Head
Warner Bros Mod Afw 1990
Audio CD$8.00
$2.48 (used)
HereHere
Caroline 1994
Audio CD$4.94 (used)
Young LionsYoung Lions
Atlantic 1990
Audio CD$18.97
$1.40 (used)
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ADRIAN BELEW discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ADRIAN BELEW top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 53 ratings
Lone Rhino
1982
3.16 | 20 ratings
Twang Bar King
1983
3.31 | 19 ratings
Desire Caught By The Tail
1986
2.78 | 22 ratings
Mr. Music Head
1989
2.24 | 31 ratings
Young Lions
1990
2.76 | 25 ratings
Inner Revolution
1992
3.40 | 26 ratings
Here
1994
2.53 | 13 ratings
The Guitar As Ochestra: Experimental Guitar Series, Vol. 1
1995
3.53 | 17 ratings
Acoustic Adrian Belew
1995
3.98 | 33 ratings
Op Zop Too Wah
1997
3.91 | 13 ratings
Belew Prints: The Acoustic Adrian Belew, Vol. 2
1998
3.47 | 50 ratings
Side One
2005
3.40 | 38 ratings
Side Two
2005
4.04 | 66 ratings
Side Three
2006
3.98 | 26 ratings
e (The Adrian Belew Power Trio)
2009

ADRIAN BELEW Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.21 | 10 ratings
Side Four
2007

ADRIAN BELEW Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ADRIAN BELEW Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.19 | 7 ratings
Desire Of The Rhino King
1991
3.93 | 6 ratings
Salad Days
1998
3.83 | 3 ratings
Coming Attractions
2000
4.00 | 1 ratings
Lone Rhino/Twang Bar King
2005

ADRIAN BELEW Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Big Electric Cat / The Lone Rhinocerous
1982
3.33 | 3 ratings
Pretty Pink Rose
1990

ADRIAN BELEW Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Side Three by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.04 | 66 ratings

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Side Three
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars One thing you know or should know about Adrian Belew's solo projects is this crystal clear fact: He does not asssume himself as any kind of reference or musical- line. In fact he as his sometimes music colleague, Frank Zappa, rather be joking than been taken seriously. This guy sets the tone for this kind of sophisticated "clowning" performances with an undertoned virtuosism. The great thing of course is his multi-skilled talents with other instruments, as his "Zappa", "Crimson" guitar "mastership" level. So, that is the whole "package", and from there he will go anyway, his fancy takes him of. So, to balance his talents, he can turn out to be sometimes amusing, boring, intelligent, frantic, spiritual, etc., etc., etc. Therefore some of his self-titled efforts can be as excellent, as so-so, or plain down expendable. But they are always and almost, by rule, "no-compromises", daring projects. As he has no kind of ambitious/vicious "goals" beyond his association with any kind of Prog "legends". He pens down his music compositions, but really anything can happen they turn around in any kind of different directions and atmospheres. Now, considering this "hazardous/blessing" process in his solo efforts, "Side Three" is perfectly matched, both in aspirations, as in song-writing...Therefore, this album is a flawless display of Mr. Belew's antics and skills. As diverse, as fun. As intelligent; as to withhold the whole project, without losing a drop of all his best attributes, and still be irreverent and deep in the whole conception, without being or becoming pretentious and even less, sounding like that. If you like this musician tone and skills; here he sets some new standards even for himself!. ****4 "We were long overdue!!", PA Stars.
 Side One by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.47 | 50 ratings

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Side One
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

4 stars King Crimson meets The Mars Volta.

It's a pretty simple combination, really. You take Belew's experience from King Crimson's 80's days with electronic beats, soundscapes and good lyrical composition with the frantic panic of TMV's angst-filled prog punk. It makes perfect sense when you hear it.

Take "Ampersand". You can already hear TMV influences from the massive feedback intro to the breakbeat drumming that accompanies the steady chords, yet Belew manages to make it a good listen by providing us with wonderful harmonies and great compositional skills. Now, it's probably not a catchy chorus that you'll be singing all day in your office cuticle, but it can easily get stuck in your head as a simple head bobber, until the very end, where the frantic drumming and loud guitar screams are completely evidence of TMV's influence on this particular record. I, as a drummer, could not even fathom how exhausted Danney Carey must've been once that song was over.

"Writing On The Wall" almost starts in a similar TMV fashion, but the bass is more evident, almost like Les Claypool from Primus infamy is slapping the bass on here (oh wait, he is!). That obviously contributes to the more funky side of this particular track, but the particular drum patterns here emphasize the hi-hat to extreme use, while Belew continues to showcase his fuzzbox-ish guitar sounds, but the similar playing of TMV's Omar Rodriguez- Lopez keeps coming to mind on this track. More similarites? Maybe.

"Matchless Man" is an absolutely wonderful piece. I remember finding this disc 4 years ago, listened to it for a good year, then sort of fell to the wayside, but once I picked it back up again, it was love at first listen...again. The opening chords sends chills down the spine as Carey shows off again, this time with the infamous Indian tablas. This is also where Belew's King Crimson days kick in, where the songwriting of those "popular" tracks kicks in. More than that, though, it almost seems his voice is absolutely perfect for the mood created in this track, almost a hypnotic, intoxicating environment, also evidenced by the addition of Gary Lee Tussing's cello.

"Madness" has a creepy intro similar to TMV's creepy outros. Even the atonal chords from Belew's guitar resemble TMV's...atonal...chords. Little bit of resemblence? Maybe, but Claypool seems to attempt a funky rescue mission that ends in vain. If you focus on Belew, the song really goes nowhere (so it seems), but if you focus on Claypool, you can pick up a funky melody (a trait he does so well in Primus, even though I personally don't like that band). Of course, that pretty much goes on like that for the rest of the track.

Quick interruption from the review; Out of the three "Side" albums Belew has recorded, "One" is obviously my favorite. I personally love King Crimson and TMV, so this a perfect mix of prog and accessibility thanks to Belew's experience with King Crimson's 80's records which tended to appeal to radio listeners more than prog fanatics. "Two" is a comparitively heavier release with even more electronic influence, almost like a Nine Inch Nails record, while "Three" is almost a combination of both "One" and "Two". Obviously the experimentation is there from "Two" ("The Red Bull...", "Cinemusic", "Incompetence Indifference"), and the funk is still there ("Troubles", "Whatever") along with the atmospheric tunes ("Drive", "Water Turns To Wine") and a potential Coldplay killer? (Men In Helicopters V 4.0)

However, it continues to be the diversity of tracks on "One" that, while they are a bit experimental, the melodies are still there and they keep get me coming back to these tracks. "Walk Around The World" is no exception. The 2 second intro is a bit TMV-ish, but the funk comes back, the beat is ever prevelant, and hell, sometimes I just get up and dance to the beat! No, it's not a club beat, but it gets you moving. Yet you can hear it easily; the experimentation mixing with melody, catchy verses/chorus as well as Belew's easily accessible voice. "Beat Box Guitar" is another good beat (perhaps evidenced by the name). It's not necessarily a fast beat, but it's another funky beat that can get you moving around, and while these tracks are pretty easily listenable (in my opinion), it's the few tracks after that may get a bit complicated.

"Under The Radar" sort of begins where "Beat Box Guitar" ends, and it's a sharp contrast from the former, as it's a mostly acoustic guitar-laden track with atmospheric sounds and Belew's voice, once again, bathing the air with solace and serenity. It seems to be a good track to just soak in a spa, until the weird car honking-esque noises piss you off. "Elephants" starts off with some BBC broadcast, then goes into a seven beat chord progression and Belew's hardcore heavy guitar playing (more Buckethead-esque if you ask me) behind what sounds like a jet engine starting up along with some weird guy talking in the background about elephants getting exterminated and eradicated or something like that. And of course, such disc ends with "Pause" starting off with the sound of burning fire, taiko drums, weird clicking noises, somber cello and of course, the sound of death itself (that omnious sound that reminds you of a dark howling wind, except you know something bad is going to happen, like what happens in horror movies; nothing good happens in horror movies).

In all, King Crimson fans of all shapes and sizes should give this disc a listen (along with "Op Zop Too Wah" and "Side Three"). This disc pretty much gives you that "radio-listening" ability 80's King Crimson discs (80's records period) provided along with experimentation of King Crimson old and of course, Belew's guitar playing himself. There's really nothing here that should catch any long-time fans off guard, so any good fan of eclectic prog will be delighted with a purchase of this disc.

 Lone Rhino by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.86 | 53 ratings

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Lone Rhino
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

5 stars This album arrived on the music scene in 1982 like a shooting star--the critics couldn't love Adrian enough. I am still awed by and love the amazing array of noises Belew could get out of a guitar--cat, rhino, momur, Japanese tears, whale, desert island heat, city fear, elephant--a veritable zoo of animals came from his guitar. Plus, he's really not a bad singer--has some clever, witty lyrics.

5 star songs: "Big Electric Cat" (10/10), "Momur" (9/10), "Naive Guitar" (10/10), "The Lone Rhinocerous" (10/10), "Addidas in Heat," (9/10), and the duet with his 4-year old daughter, "The Final Rhino" (9/10). A genius of the guitar--a different kind of genius than Hendrix, Fripp, Frith or Cooder, but a genius nonetheless.

 Lone Rhino by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.86 | 53 ratings

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Lone Rhino
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by Slartibartfast
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After successful stints with Zappa, Talking Heads, David Bowie, and King Crimson, Adrian Belew was on a roll and put together his own group for this self titled album.

As Adrian was in King Crimson at the time, you'll find a lot of similarities between his work with that band in the music offered here. This album has plenty of Belew's trademark electric guitar animal imitations and of course he wastes no time getting down to business with Big Electric Cat, big electric cat, big electric cat. He really takes this album as a opportunity to show off sounds on the guitar that you've never heard a guitar make before.

Then his wife turns into a momur. Any guy who's been married for long enough can identify with this one. Sometimes your woman can get into a crazy mode. "She backed me in a corner, tried to kill me with a broom." Look out!

Stop It a more appreciative ode to his significant other. Sneaks in a reference to the Waffle House.

Man In The Moon is a really touching tribute to his departed Dad. "for a moment in time you held me there, father and son, home again".

Naïve guitar is the first of three instrumentals on the album. If you don't like Adrian's vocals, he almost always delivers superb instrumentals on his solo albums. This track needs no accompaniment from the band or his vocals.

Then the Hot Sun rises on the horizon making some really spooky sounds.

Next up, the title track, sort of. An ode to a species being driven to extinction. He's doing those animal sound imitations again although I'm pretty sure rhinos don't sound like that. "Is beauty such a big commodity, I always heard it was only so deep". Lyrics are from the perspective of the animal.

Apparently has a thing for trains. Swingline is one of at least two songs he's done about trains. This one's about all the interesting things you might see while riding as a passenger.

Adidas In Heat injects more humor into the album. "You have the paraphenelic regalia Of an athletic supporter." What?!?

Animal Grace. Animals again?

Final Rhino instrumental wraps it up. Mournful instrumental.

Not quite a concept album, but there is a bit of theme going on in the tracks on here. Lots of good solo albums would come later, but he hasn't really topped this one.

 Side Three by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.04 | 66 ratings

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Side Three
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Side Three' - Adrian Belew (5/10)

Now this is eclectic if an album ever deserved the title. The talented guitarist and singer Adrian Belew seems to pack about as many different sounds and styles into a half hour as could be considered healthy... Bringing some of the best musicians around in for this project (virtuoso bassist Les Claypool, King Crimson's Robert Fripp and drummer Daney Carey of Tool fame, to name a few) and covering everything from industrial to ambient, funk, and baroque pop, it goes without saying that this was an ambitious project to undertake. Despite the obvious effort that went into this undertaking and some superb musical moments however, 'Side Three' doesn't really feel like a cohesive piece of work, much less a masterpiece.

'Side Three's state of being very scattered may have been unavoidable. Trying to go in too many directions always runs the risk of going in no particular direction at all. As a result, 'Side Three' feels more like a collection of unfinished musical ideas. With most songs around or under the three minute mark, few of the tracks get much, if any of a chance to really flourish and reach their potential. Only a handful of tracks feel like they have been properly crafted into songs; mainly the first two tracks (the playful numbers 'Troubles' and 'Incompetence Indifference') and the beautifully arranged 'Men In Helicopters,' which wears a 'Sgt. Peppers' influence on it's sleeve.

Despite the criticism of structure, much of the actual music itself on 'Side Three' is very good, if short lived. Belew presents some very tastefully done ambient ideas, and seems to give a sample of just about everything else he was into at the time of recording. Things even seem to take a dive into the realms of noise and industrial, which may turn some people off of this record but not to worry; even the less enjoyable tracks are over before you know it.

Adrian Belew is certainly a talented individual. The ability to coordinate such a wide variety of musicians and styles and release it all under a single title is no small feat. However, it may have suited the man better had he decided to hold back on throwing so much different material onboard, and took the time to develop a few of the ideas more fully. Had this happened, I have no doubt that 'Side Three' would have become a much more enjoyable, and satisfying release.

 e (The Adrian Belew Power Trio) by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.98 | 26 ratings

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e (The Adrian Belew Power Trio)
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars It's been a while since we had another King Crimson album. During this time Adrian Belew has managed to release quite a few albums and this completely instrumental 2009-offering came right after the completion of the Side-series.

Unlike the previous albums e features a steady lineup of Adrian Belew on guitar, Julie Slick on bass while her brother Eric Slick handles the drums. According to Julie Slick's myspace website the band formed in March of 2006 when they took the stage at the Knitting Factory in New York City for a performance of Frank Zappa's City Of Tiny Lites. After that performance the Adrian Belew Power Trio went on a long tour which they then followed by recording this album.

e or Planet e, as it was originally titled, is roughly divided into five different sections where each one, except for c, is split into one or more sub-sections. According to Adrian Belew the compositions can be listened to as individual pieces of music, but they do interact through the overall theme that binds them together. Musically this is as close as Belew has ever managed to capture the sound of the two latest King Crimson releases on his solo album. Although unlike the cold and mechanical-sounding King Crimson compositions this release actually manages to maintain the human element which most likely has to do with the excellent rhythmic section!

The whole album is packed with some of the most elaborate playing that I've heard from Belew and I'm quite surprised to be the only one reviewing this album since it has been out since July 2009! Granted that there are a few sections that make me think that Belew is just sliding around in different scales there are always other elements of the sound that capture my attention besides the guitar work.

I recommend e to everyone who is looking to a worthy follow-up to The Power To Believe since it might be awhile until we get a better substitute for a King Crimson album.

***** star songs: a2 (3:37) b2 (3:36)

**** star songs: a3 (3:07) b (6:12) b3 (1:21) c (6:19) d (6:00) d2 (2:50) e (0:55) e2 (7:57)

*** star songs: a (0:30)

 Mr. Music Head by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1989
2.78 | 22 ratings

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Mr. Music Head
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

2 stars Mr. Music Head has Adrian Belew playing all of the instruments, except bass on a couple of tunes. The songs are mostly pop, and therefore, not terribly exciting to me. However, Belew manages to blend in some of those weird guitar tones that he has become known for here and there.

Of note, House Of Cards is grace by an eerie sustained guitar background throughout the song. Hot Zoo with animal noises, could have been a track on Lone Rhino. Motoer Bungalow has a cool rhythm track, and a nice Belew elephant solo. But all of the songs, while slightly inventive, are juat too mundane to capture my interest for any sustained period of time. Unfortunately, that hold true for too much of Belew's solo material.

 Lone Rhino by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.86 | 53 ratings

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Lone Rhino
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars Listening to this album gives me more of an idea of what he adds to King Crimson. His guitar wizardry is just amazing.

Big Electric Cat opens the album. The composition is similar to some of Eno's better simple rhythmic tunes. And Belew's otherworldly guitar carries it away. The Momur could be a Talking Heads song, but with better guitaring (yes, Ade played with the Heads, but his work is more out front here). Stop It is a slightly funky romp. Upbeat, but forgattable. The Man In The Moon is another straightforward tune, but features that soaring sustained guitar heard in many a Crimson tune, and a very cool weird break. I imagine Naive Guitar, a brroding guitar solo, is the type of piece that endear him to Fripp, and helped get his gig in the great band.

Hot Sun sounds like a companion piece to Big Electric Cat, with a more subtle rhythm, and Belew making low roars from his axe. The Lone Rhinoceros has Belew making deep. moaning rhino sounds now. And he works in a way to rhyme "species" and "feces". Swingline starts out sounding like ROI, before it settles into a more traditional rock groove (Belew style). Adidas In Heat is funky and energetic. Animal Grace is helped by more guitar animal sounds. The Final Rhino has Belew plaing airy sounds over a light piano improvisation.

While this may not be prog in the traditional sense, it's inventive and interesting enough to command attention from the adventurous prog fan.

 Here by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.40 | 26 ratings

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Here
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator 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? ...an 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)

 Inner Revolution by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.76 | 25 ratings

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Inner Revolution
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars We all have our ways of coping with different issues. But when Adrian Belew goes through personal problems he prefers to do an album session instead!

I really love these kind of personal albums because they bring out the artistic personalty and put the music in a whole new different perspective! This is one of the two Adrian Belew albums I own and originally I was very confused about his Eclectic Prog-categorization because both Inner Revolution and Here are straight forward contemporary pop/rock albums without any progressive rock in them. Having said that I still love them dearly because there are just so many great songs here!

The album begins with a weird fade in effect sound but as soon as the vocals of the album-titled composition come in it's obvious that Adrian is not trying to disguise his basic songwriting and is instead just having great fun with it.

My personal favorite composition here is Birds because it has such a care-free feel to it. The pre-chorus lyrics gives me goosebumps every time I hear the words: "Dear god, I know sometime I'm gonna die and when I do I hope you'll give me one more try up in the sky with those birds". Do I even have talk about the great guitar solo? All that in less than 2,5 minutes of pure bliss!

These types of personal albums deserve a genre of its own and although Inner Revolution may not be the Imperial Bedroom of the genre it's still very enjoyable from star to finish! Unfortunately the rules restrain me from giving the album anything more than a 3-star rating but hopefully this short review gave an indication of my actual rating.

***** star songs: Birds (2:24)

**** star songs: Inner Revolution (3:13) This Is What I Believe In (3:29) Standing In The Shadow (3:45) Big Blue Sun (3:49) Only A Dream (3:33) I'd Rather Be Right Here (3:08) The War In The Gulf Between Us (3:30) I Walk Alone (2:47) Everything (2:57) Heaven's Bed (4:05)

*** star songs: Member Of The Tribe (3:11)

Thanks to Cygnus X-2 for the artist addition.

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