Adrian Belew - Side One

Adrian Belew
Side One


First Appeared in The Music Box, January 2005, Volume 12, #1

Written by John Metzger


Fans of the curiously idiosyncratic ruminations of Adrian Belew undoubtedly will find plenty to enjoy among the nine tracks on his latest solo affair Side One. In the span of a mere 33 minutes, the well-respected guitarist and sonic sculptor — with the help of drummer Danny Carey (Tool) and bass player Les Claypool (Primus) — manages to explore many of the more eccentric avenues open to a power trio format. Fusing an undercurrent of propulsive percussion with an array of rubbery bass patterns and variegated guitar grooves, the ensemble delivers an eclectic stew of songs that range from the spastic funk-rock of Writing on the Wall to the swirling dissonance of Madness to the burbling, folk-infused, space-rock of Under the Radar. Unfortunately, for all of its experimental textures, much of Side One lacks the creative spark that frequently has fueled Belew’s work with King Crimson, and although there are hints of better songs lurking within his new material — at times, Walk Around the World hints at the alterna-pop of The Bears, while the spaciousness of Matchless Man drifts into the realm of Pink Floyd — many of the tunes sound like half-baked segments plucked from a jam session and stitched haphazardly together to create an album. starstar ˝

Side One is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2005 The Music Box