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Adrian Belew - Op Zop Too Wah CD (album) cover


Adrian Belew


Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 39 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Adrian Belew's stab at the "avant-garde" album in the vein of Mike Keneally. Filled with varying pieces and little odd numbers in between, Op Zop Too Wah is a captivating experience that takes the listener on a journey through the more quirky and silly side of Adrian Belew. Throughout the 21 pieces, you feel as if you're going through a kaleidoscope of varying moods, tempos, structures, and feelings, but what I get out of this album to most is the quirky, experimental edge that was missing in Belew's works for so long (I don't think he's been this quirky or experimental since Lone Rhino, and it's more experimental than The Guitar As Orchestra).

Songs that really show what this album is about is the opener, Of Bow and Drum, which makes many lyrical nods to the Larks Tongue in Aspic era of King Crimson. Word Play Drum Beat feels like something off of a Mike Keneally album or one of the haiku pieces from The Mistakes' album, with it's odd words juxtaposed with intense music backing it. In the process of this album, you also can hear some of the influences of Belew, from Zappa to the Beatles, even some King Crimson moments come up now and again. I think that's what makes this album so great, is that he's taking his influences and creating an experience that shows so many sides of his character.

Overall, Op Zop Too Wah would be a great precursor to his Side trilogy. Shades of what those albums would be show up in this album here and there, making this album act more or less as a bridge between the older, pop oriented Adrian Belew and the newer, more cutting edge and experimental Adrian Belew. I highly recommend this album to those who like albums by Mike Keneally or The Mistakes, but also to people who want a great overall experience and enjoy their music more on the experimental side. Highly recommended.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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