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Adrian Belew

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Adrian Belew Inner Revolution album cover
2.83 | 40 ratings | 6 reviews | 2% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Inner Revolution (3:13)
2. This Is What I Believe In (3:29)
3. Standing In The Shadow (3:45)
4. Big Blue Sun (3:49)
5. Only A Dream (3:33)
6. Birds (2:24)
7. I'd Rather Be Right Here (3:08)
8. The War In The Gulf Between Us (3:30)
9. I Walk Alone (2:47)
10. Everything Belew (2:57)
11. Heaven's Bed (4:05)
12. Member Of The Tribe (3:11)

Total time 39:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Adrian Belew / vocals and instruments, producer

- Mike Barnett / string bass (2)
- Chris Arduser / drums (2,3,11,12)
- Alison Lee Jewer / violin & string arrangements (4)
- Jean Dickinson / violin (4)
- Lizbeth Getman / viola (4)
- Martha Pickart / cello (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Sotto Voce with Michael Wilson (photo)

LP Atlantic ‎- 7567-82370-1 (1992, US)

CD Atlantic ‎- 7 82370-2 (1992, US)

Thanks to Cygnus X-2 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ADRIAN BELEW Inner Revolution ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(2%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (60%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ADRIAN BELEW Inner Revolution reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Adrian Belew's 1992 release has him treading into upbeat and mainly poppy avenues. Still, his quirky style of guitar is quite evident, and he creates some truly interesting music, even if some of it is simplistic. As with his previous releases, Belew takes the liberty of performing all instruments on the album, save for a few string instruments and a string arrangement. It may not be Belew's most progressive, his most creative, or even his overall best album, but none the less there is something to enjoy about it.

Inner Revolution opens the album with a strong chord progression and some nice bass/drum interplay. The chorus is also catchy and concise. This Is What I Believe In has a strong opening riff that sounds like some of the interplay between Belew and Robert Fripp on the 80s King Crimson album (Three of a Perfect Pair specifically). Although the choruses are a bit contrived, I'm quite fond of the vocal performance as well. Standing in the Shadow has some overdriven and extrememly fuzzy sounding guitars and some distorted vocals from Belew. It's a pop song by and by, but it's a strong pop piece to say the least. Big Blue Sun is one of the more experimental pieces on the album. It is augmented by a variety of string instruments and has a very bleak yet majestic feel to it. Belew's underlying acoustic guitar molds quite well with the simple yet effective piano progression. It's a nice song that really invokes feelings of The Beatles and other artistic pop bands of the late 60s, albeit with a more modern edge. Only a Dream has some great drumming from Belew and some simple yet catchy guitar chords and vocals, and the solo at the end brings back memories of more energetic guitar efforts like Na´ve Guitar and Hot Sun.

Birds has a quirky feel to it, with a lot of background distractions and some catchy piano and guitar work. It's not the best piece, but it's not a bad one at all. I'd Rather Be Right Here has a formulaic approach and an unimaginative chord progression, but all in all it's a pretty safe pop piece that gets its point across fast. The War in the Gulf Between Us has some solid drumming and a catchy chorus, but other than that is pretty uninteresting. I Walk Alone has a mellow feel with some intuitive percussion/snapping and an interesting bass/piano motif. In my opinion one of the more creative pieces on the album. Everything has some guitar leads and some creative riffing as well as some precise drumming and a cohesive bass line. It's reminiscent of the song Bad Days off of Mr. Music Head. Heaven's Bed has a persistent guitar rhythm and a nice walking bass line, as well as an underlying guitar arpeggio that really creates an uneasy atmosphere for the song. Very cool song, in my opinion, with a great acoustic feel and a quirky guitar solo towards the end. Member of the Tribe closes the album with an upbeat feel by and by. It has a cool ascending guitar riff and some intuitive drumming and some fun lyrics as well as some underlying guitar sound effects underneath the mix. It ends the album on a high note and very well at that.

In the end, Inner Revolution isn't a very progressive album. So if you're looking for progressive rock, you'll be hard pressed to find anything of that style on this album. Although here and there you can detect some very creative ideas and some imaginative pieces, on the whole what you'll find here is a glorified pop record. Fans of Belew will probably like this one and 80s King Crimson fans may find some enjoyment out of this, but if you want some really cool Belew, go with one of his three latest albums. It's a good album, just not progressive. 3/5.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Sorry Ade, you are not a Beatle.

Adrian Belew's Inner Revolution has very little outwardly revolutionary. The songs here are just plain pop. If it wasn't for Belew's somewhat interesting guitar sounds, there wouldn't be much to liten to here. The song all sound like Belew was trying to imitate the Beatles. In a slight way he succeeds, but in doing so comes across more like a wannabe like Jeff Lynne. His voice even sounds quite a bit like Lynne throughout the album. Although, one track, "I Walk Alone", sounds somewhat like Roy Orbison, and it precedes "Everything" which sound like George Harrison, so maybe he was going for a Travelling Wilburys sound.

If you like Belew's guitar playing, there are much better ways to get a fix than this disk.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars We all have our ways of coping with different issues. But when Adrian Belew goes through personal problems he prefers to do an album session instead!

I really love these kind of personal albums because they bring out the artistic personalty and put the music in a whole new different perspective! This is one of the two Adrian Belew albums I own and originally I was very confused about his Eclectic Prog-categorization because both Inner Revolution and Here are straight forward contemporary pop/rock albums without any progressive rock in them. Having said that I still love them dearly because there are just so many great songs here!

The album begins with a weird fade in effect sound but as soon as the vocals of the album-titled composition come in it's obvious that Adrian is not trying to disguise his basic songwriting and is instead just having great fun with it.

My personal favorite composition here is Birds because it has such a care-free feel to it. The pre-chorus lyrics gives me goosebumps every time I hear the words: "Dear god, I know sometime I'm gonna die and when I do I hope you'll give me one more try up in the sky with those birds". Do I even have talk about the great guitar solo? All that in less than 2,5 minutes of pure bliss!

These types of personal albums deserve a genre of its own and although Inner Revolution may not be the Imperial Bedroom of the genre it's still very enjoyable from star to finish! Unfortunately the rules restrain me from giving the album anything more than a 3-star rating but hopefully this short review gave an indication of my actual rating.

***** star songs: Birds (2:24)

**** star songs: Inner Revolution (3:13) This Is What I Believe In (3:29) Standing In The Shadow (3:45) Big Blue Sun (3:49) Only A Dream (3:33) I'd Rather Be Right Here (3:08) The War In The Gulf Between Us (3:30) I Walk Alone (2:47) Everything (2:57) Heaven's Bed (4:05)

*** star songs: Member Of The Tribe (3:11)

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Inner Revolution" is Belew's sixth solo album and was recorded during Belew's divorce from his first wife. The music on this one centers around poppy, accessible songs with some crazy guitar antics thrown in at various places. Belew is not a bad songwriter, but I have always found that his vocals don't fit in to well with a pop-like setting. If he is dabbling in art pop, then they tend to work better, but this album takes most of the "art" aspect out and delves into straight forward pop.

There isn't much in this album that will remind you of his days with Zappa, Talking Heads or King Crimson. There is one track, "This Is What I Believe In", that borrows from his KC years by using a Crimson-like riff and building a pop song out of it, and, granted, it is probably the most interesting track here. It is part of the first three tracks, which, while they are obvious attempts at accessible music, they are the best part of the album as Belew uses a lot of his guitar stylings making them at least somewhat interesting. However, after those first three songs, thing seem to spiral down hill as he tries to make not only his music, but his vocals fit in to the pop world.

Belew has always been fond of The Beatles and has been able to effectively incorporate that into his music at different times in his career. He does the same thing in this album. Unfortunately, he ends up sounding more like Jeff Lynne's Electric Light Orchestra trying to sound like The Beatles, especially in "Big Blue Sun" which sounds like a rip-off of ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky". Many times through the rest of the album, he takes on the ELO approach, another track that is an example of this is "Birds". But he doesn't stop there. He also takes a few stabs at copying the band Squeeze and their unique way of turning songs about domestic problems into happy pop songs as in "The War in the Gulf Between Us" and "Heaven's Bed". Of course, he uses his own domestic issues at that time as lyrical inspiration, but it's obvious that he is using Squeeze's formula, and it unfortunately doesn't work for him.

The 8 songs that make up the middle and main part of the album are quite uninteresting and even the occasional use of his guitar antics can't save these songs. They just don't have any hooks or any pop-like traits that reel you in. Only the last track is any good as he turns to a more rock-n-roll style track with "Member of the Tribe", but even if it's good, it just isn't worth wading through the last several tracks to get to it. Really, the only saving grace on this album is when he does what he does best; utilizing his guitar to create some amazing sounds. But this usually doesn't work to well with straightforward pop songs unless they swing more towards an art-pop style, which, other than the first three tracks, he doesn't even attempt.

Belew has made some great art-pop and even progressive solo albums, but this is not one of them. There just isn't that much to get excited about here. The only reason it gets a three star rating from me is his unique guitar work on a few of the songs. The rest of it is quite uninteresting and often steals directly from other bands. The best thing to do is stay away from this one and find one of his better, more experimental albums, especially if you are looking for progressive music.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Adrian Belew's sixth solo studio output is a strange shot at pop. Oddly simple, short, and vocally-led, Inner Revolution does not exactly offer the listener with anything fresh, unique, or stunning. Furthermore, it's mildly predictable, poorly produced, and, in short, lackluster. However, a few we ... (read more)

Report this review (#134170) | Posted by Shakespeare | Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Not the best way to introduce yourself into Belew's solo discography. A nice album indeed but a little poppish and full of Beatles reminiscenses; simple and short songs even when all the album is perfectly composed and played by Adrian (he plays all the instruments on this album). At the end, ... (read more)

Report this review (#115368) | Posted by progadicto | Friday, March 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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