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David Cross - Closer Than Skin CD (album) cover


David Cross


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.06 | 32 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
4 stars

I have to confirm Krimson biographer, Sid Smith's comments in the 'Closer Than Skin's' press release, that this is probably the best album released by a former member of the 'Larks Tongue In Aspic' perod of King Crimson. However, in no way does 'Closer Than Skin' dwell in the '72 to '74 period of Krimson, in fact it is album of modern rock and prog rock, the best I've heard for severla years - and in passing don't take the fusion tag that Progarchives use for Cross's music too seriously.

This record takes references from a much broad range than simply the Krimson of 30 years ago, indeed a lot of the new, and melds them into tunes which sound very 21st Century and better still: exciting. The KC references provide that contact to 72-74 , with the enimatic lyrics by Richard Palmer James, or one very brief but pungent instrumental sample about 3 and half minutes into Awful Love (track 5), here you'll find a classic Fripp guitar riff (from 'Lark's Tongues' itself), employed to provide both a dramtic break and a counter-rhythm to the middle eastern feel in the song. At the end of listening to 'Closer Than Skin', I left with the thrill that I'm hearing a modern album loosely in the style of the mid 70's King Crimson but significantly affected by 30 years of experience and change in David Cross, tempered by the young musicians who has around him.

The band David Cross has gathered is very good. Mick Paul with an excellent no thrills electric bass, Paul Clark on rock guitar (who Cross told me is always being pushed into new territories slightly beyond the fringes of rock and excelling in them - and he is into Dream Theater), Arch Stauton (who has a warm mellow voice - there are moments when he reminds me of the vocals on the High Tide album - and again Cross has let on that Stauton was auditioned singing the song heard on track 6), and Lloyd with some great drums.

And compared with two other David Cross albums in my collection (i.e. 'Exiles', 'Testing To Destruction'), this is a far more satisfactory and consistently good album. A must for Krimson fans. As I'm reluctant to commit to 5 stars at this early stage in the album life - e.g. will it survive time and me! I have no hesitation for going for Progarchives' 4 stars.

Dick Heath | 4/5 |


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