Adrian Belew — Belewprints: The Acoustic Adrian Belew Volume Two
(Discipline DGM 9802, 1998, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-01-01
The second volume of acoustic performances by King Crimson lead vocalist Adrian Belew is a different reading than Volume One from a few years ago. No bones about it, Belew is a gifted composer; his songs stand up with or without added arrangements. I suppose that's the true testament to a song, sung by itself with only minimal accompaniment and one hundred percent inspired delivery. There are many gems to investigate here, including three new sound collages (the best being the combination of the other two): "Nude Wrestling with a Christmas Tree," which is like a musical samba through the jungle of Belew's demeanor. Also there are two Crimson pieces: "Cage" and "Dinosaur." "Cage" benefits from an acoustic guitar rhythm backing, while "Dinosaur" still has an impressive power even without the punch of a Bruford / Levin bass / drums combination. Then there are the nine solo album reworkings split between guitar or piano tracks (depending on how the song was conceived). Piano-based recordings include "Everything," where Belew lyrically relates his astute experience as a true romantic. One of two priceless performances come from the opening track, "Men in Helicopters," which benefits from an extremely Beatlesque string quartet backing. The last is the surprise live recording of The Beatles Anthology single, "Free as a Bird," sung missing the second verse (he knew the original Lennon track from a bootleg). As lyricist and vocalist, Belew succeeds at placing focus directly on his impassioned singing. His personal recollections and smart pop psychology again confirm his multi-faceted genius. Disc sleeve notes include a timeline account of Belew's work on these recordings.
Related artist(s): Adrian Belew
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more