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Robert Fripp - Robert Fripp & Andy Summers: Bewitched CD (album) cover

ROBERT FRIPP & ANDY SUMMERS: BEWITCHED

Robert Fripp

 

Eclectic Prog

2.84 | 51 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
3 stars Robert Fripp & Andy Summers 2nd collaboration 'Bewitched' is a more composed and structured album than what their first collaboration was. This album concentrates more on written compositions and less experimental and improvised music. The original intention, according to Summers, was to have an album with more of a variety, but it turned out to be one based on a softer jazz/rock fusion using 80's style drum loops and electronics with more carefully crafted instrumentals.

'Parade' starts out the album with what sounds like something recorded for a TV theme song or game show. It is penned solely by Summers and it doesn't really have much substance to it other than sounding like it was trying to be popular, but ends up sounding cheap.

'What Kind of Man Reads Playboy?' is the 2nd track, and again it uses automatic percussion, and a somewhat oriental sounding riff as the main melody, but at over 11 minutes, it is definitely more interesting. It does strive for the popular music sound, but there are some nice guitar and sax solos and later a nice bass line along with a funky vibe. What starts out as feeling canned, actually develops into a decent, yet accessible track.

After this track, the remainder are much shorter tracks, with only 1 going over the 4 minute mark. 'Begin the Day' has a dated sound, again it is upbeat, but the keyboards have the smooth jazz sound. Of course, the guitar is great with Fripp's signature sound, but everything else is annoyingly poppy. 'Train' at least has a more interesting vibe, but doesn't develop much outside of its theme. 'Bewitched' is something left over from 'The Police' with Summers' obvious sound. It is at first a decent enough track that lends itself to the typical Police instrumental with his atmospherics and it actually has some repeated vocals in the background. Again, there is no development and it gets too repetitive by the end, so it wears itself out.

'Tribe' is much better and features the sound you would expect to hear from this talented pair. The percussion is better and the music is more interesting. Taking sounds from both of their styles, the only drawback to the track is that it is too short. 'Maquillage' has a more experimental feel to it and could have fit on the 'I Advance Masked' album. It features a Spanish sounding guitar and a slow plucked acoustic accompaniment. No cheap electronic percussion, thank goodness. 'Guide' ventures into a spacey ambience which is very nice. 'Forgotten Steps' continues with the ambient feel, this time with more of Summers' atmospherics and Frippertronc-sounding sustained chords without the usual Fripp layering effects. 'Image and Likeness' ends the album with the shortest track. Plucked strings give that oriental vibe again, but with a shimmer that echoes behind each note.

This 2nd outing isn't near as interesting as the first as the first half of the album is too composed. The second half is more interesting after they lose the electronic 80's beats and get into more experimental territory. But, with the exception of one track, everything on here is too short. The length of the one long track works to its advantage even if it is on the weaker half of the album. I wish the better tracks could have been more developed. The stronger tracks tend to save this album from being a complete failure, but if you can suffer through those terrible 80s beats, its not too bad. At least it comes out of it with 3 stars, more for the guitar work of these 2 geniuses than the overall quality of the music.

TCat | 3/5 |

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