Exposé Online banner

Adrian Belew — Belewprints: The Acoustic Adrian Belew Volume Two
(Discipline DGM 9802, 1998, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-01-01

 Belewprints: The Acoustic Adrian Belew Volume Two Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Adrian Belew

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Pinhas - Rhizosphere / Live, Paris 1982 – At last, a reissue of Pinhas' first and certainly most purely electronic album recorded under his own name. It also marks a time when this was the distinction between Pinhas' solo material and...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues