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Robert Fripp - Robert Fripp & The League of Crafty Guitarists - Intergalactic Boogie Express CD (album) cover


Robert Fripp


Eclectic Prog

3.93 | 26 ratings

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4 stars This album is an aural, guitar lovers delight. This album also demonstrates the reason why so many people and artists consider Robert Fripp a guitar God. It's nothing but a bunch of guitars playing with each other in some amazing ways.

Fripp took 10 of his best students and put together a tour with them that featured music mostly taken from "Show Your Hands" and "Live I" and travelled all over Europe. If it wasn't enough to put together a series of shows and fund it by selling some of his own rare guitars, then think about how much of a crazy organizational nightmare it must have been to put this together. That in itself is a feat of wonderment. But listening to how these amazing musicians can pull this off in a live setting is simply astounding. This album has no percussion, no keyboards, no vocals, nothing but guitar, and for the most part, it holds up very well and manages to not get boring at all. There is quite a variety of musical styles here, from baroque music to traditional to rock to avant garde. You can hear this amazing group of people tackle Bach and then suddenly switch to "Wabash Cannonball" with the greatest of ease. You also hear the bare bones of what would be future King Crimson classics such as "Thrak" and "ConstruKction of Light" and even the basis for the "Discipline" album.

The group of guitarists play complimentary or contrasting arpeggios against melodies and they sound like an orchestra of guitars, because that is what they become. It is amazing to listen to and marvel at how they can do it and be so precise, in time with each other. There are so many artists here with their own individual styles and personalities, that it is quite a dizzying prospect to think of how they can so effectively pull of such a concise and excellent team effort.

Quite an amazing and sometimes even dizzying listen, this is an album that seldom gets boring except when there are a few tracks back to back that sound similar, but this happens seldom. It does tend to weaken the overall power of the album and some of the slower tracks lose their impact, but the lower points of the album are few and over quite quickly. Also, ideas and concepts are not dwelt upon for too long because the tracks only last from just over a minute to not quite 4 minutes, so the music is almost always moving forward.

Because of some similarities between tracks, this is not exactly a masterpiece, but it is still quite excellent and any lover or student of guitar should hear this. KC fans and RF fans should also hear this to understand the master's contribution to music and to also hear how the transition between incarnations of KC actually came about, it makes the period of time between "Red" and "Discipline" make a lot more sense, and may make some of those who were lukewarm as far as enthusiasm towards the sound of the KC from the 80s appreciate that era of KC's discography better. Easily an important time in Fripp's history and also an excellent addition to your prog rock collection, especially your King Crimson/Robert Fripp collection.

TCat | 4/5 |


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