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Robert Fripp - Exposure CD (album) cover


Robert Fripp


Eclectic Prog

3.66 | 256 ratings

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4 stars Even with the temporary disbanding of King Crimson, Robert Fripp was a busy musician. He was playing session guitar with a host of bands including Talking Heads, Blondie, The Roches, Peter Gabriel, Daryl Hall and so on. He was also working on his first solo album which originally was supposed to be the last part of a trilogy that somehow was connected with his work on Daryl Hall's solo album and Peter Gabriel's 2nd album. Things didn't quite work out the way they were supposed to though, even though all 3 albums were eventually released to the public. Mr. Hall's solo album was not as commercial as the record company wanted. They were afraid that it would hurt the success of Hall & Oats, so the album was shelved. In the meantime, Robert Fripp's original plan for his own solo album was supposed to be completely sung by Daryl Hall, but, again the record company tried to intervene and wanted the album to be headlined by both Hall and Fripp and wouldn't back it any other way. So, Fripp got other lead singers to sing on some of the tracks and hence, you have several singers which I think actually adds to the album in a positive way. Also, there were a few different versions of the album because Fripp had some issues and thus a few versions of the album are out there, some are quite rare.

As far as the album, it is a pretty good collection of tracks. There are some great tracks here, however, because of the issues the album experienced, it is not always very cohesive. The variety in the music is great, but it does have a feeling of disjointedness, but not to the extent as to completely ruin the album. There is a mixture of past and future King Crimson sound here, some pre-Frippertronic sounds, vocals and instrumentals and sound/voice bits mixed through the album. It actually works quite well as a bridge from past to future albums for both Fripp and King Crimson. I can't help but think that if things had gone as Fripp wanted, that this would have been a masterpiece, because there are echoes of genius throughout. Some vocals are harsh sounding and some are very nice. Peter Gabriel's vocals on "Here Comes the Flood" are beautiful, Daryl Hall's vocals are sometimes very obvious while on other songs are surprisingly different. Terri Roche's vocals are very well done and even sounds similar to Joni Mitchell at times to a great effect. Peter Hammill's vocals are quite harsh and sometimes hard to listen to, but it doesn't distract from the overall feel of the album too much. The instrumentals are very obvious Robert Fripp tracks though. You get the industrial sound of KC's Discipline album on tracks like "Breathless" and "Disengage" and you get beautiful sustained notes that are obvious Frippertronic sounds on "Urban Landscape" and "Water Music II".

Overall, there is a lot going on here. It's a shame the cohesiveness that could have been there is lost probably mostly due to the issues that the record company were causing trying to compromise artistic freedom for commercialism, we all know that isn't the first or last time that would ever happen. But, even with all of that, this still turned out to be an excellent album. It is also a milestone as far as RF and KC fans are concerned as it show the transition from styles. The new KC sound that was to come makes a lot more sense and doesn't seem so abrupt now. Anyway, I still feel that RF was able to pull of an excellent album and I am proud to have it in my vinyl collection as I think anyone should be. 4 stars.

TCat | 4/5 |


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