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


Adrian Belew


Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 39 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This album shows another side of Adrian Belew's talent as an artist. It is more popular in style, yet this work is a plus not a minus to a progressive rock musician's credit. The real test of a performer who has made his mark in one area of music is to reach out to other types of music with equal skill and imagination. He succeeds very well in applying his musical talents to producing very pleasing compositions in a mostly different genre. Each tune is less than about four and a half minutes and every piece is trimmed down to just the right length. Belew's lyrics are thoughtful, sometimes carefree, or witty. There's a really nice variety of lyrical and melodic themes here. Taken together, the compositions are fluid, not rigid; an excellent quality for a composer to possess. It would be asking too much that all the solo albums from the members of the big prog bands from the "good old days" were as good.

I offer impressions of a few randomly selected tracks: Of bow and drum: Begins with a primal screaming guitar theme that speaks oceans of emotion, raw and energetic, but never crosses the boarder between madness and melody. Really funky! You can't help but feel it. Each outburst is separated by a layered mellow vocal track that tells the story of bow and drum. Rhythmically continuous throughout with the natural sound of tribal drums done with the snare drum "off". Word play drum beat: There is no semblance of pop-music in this piece. The whole thing consists of a rock drum solo blended with multiple voices speaking two-word phrases. Belew seems to be experimenting with a kind of 21st-Century beat-nick inspired poetry piece. There are lots of possibilities here. Six string: Belew at his best. He has a voice to be coveted. This is a fine love song with a classic riff played with what sounds like a great Fender guitar in the hands of a man who doesn't play it, he charms it to utter sounds. You just can't help but to be swept up in the soaring and squealing guitar solo interludes. Conversation piece: Again the same guitar, undistorted, played just two notes at a time. All her love is mine: Rhythmic polyphony and a base line that groans evocatively. All the while, a synthesized sitar-like sound rings in harmony. The rhythm section is very cool and distinctive. Oop Zop Too Wah: Its all built around a 5:4 key signature and a funky bass line, and it works! Belew is a tasteful drummer who knows his limits, and never over extends himself. Adrian Belew plays all the instruments on this album, but he will always be a guitarist..and really great one. Something to do: A catchy pop tune; much along the lines of a study of Paul McCartney's style. High Wire Guitar: That title says it all. You could call it three and three quarter minutes of a Crimson guitar fit. The whole track is laid over Indian clay pots that seem to fit in just right. Sky Blue Red Bird Green House: Another funky little theme with not much more to say than the title. Its interweaving of rhythm and plucked guitar is distinctive. A real pleasure. On: An excellent finale.

convocation | 5/5 |


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