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Adrian Belew — Side Three
(Sanctuary Records 06076-84777-2, 2006, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01

Side Three Cover art

The last phase of Adrian Belew’s trilogy of contrasting approaches winds up the series on a firm up note. The Prophet Omega provides the opening rap to kick of the disc in a similar flair to that of King Crimson’s The Power to Believe before the guitarist turns in a dancing set of leads. Even compatriot Robert Fripp excels in a brief but airy solo on “Water Turns to Wine,” which works well within the dub / techno construct. The composer continues the haiku slice-and-dice approach used on the previous two releases with three songs. The best execution is on “Crunk” that rhythmically underscores a memorable wriggly lead. Less successful is the wash piece “Cinemusic” which serves as sonic counterpoint between “Drive” and “Whatever.” The latter track is one of two sessions Belew purposefully saved up with bassist Les Claypool and Danny Carey that carries the best vibe in the set. The tango version of “Men in Helicopters” also succeeds with an “Eleanor Rigby” style arrangement. Lastly Mel Collins’s emotive flutes grace “Truth Is,” making it the sole poignant ballad. With Belew’s new trio and Projekct Six on the horizon it’s only a matter of time until the current R&D endeavors gestate into the next roaring incarnation of the crimson king. No doubt Belew’s muse will be put to the test again based on his drive to push into go further into directions unidentified.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Adrian Belew, Les Claypool, Robert Fripp, Mel Collins

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