Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
The Beatles were many different bands--ranging from the R&B shouters of "I Saw Her Standing There" to the baroque art-rockers of "A Day in the Life"--but when critics describe bands like Squeeze, XTC, Crowded House, Jellyf... more »
The Beatles were many different bands--ranging from the R&B shouters of "I Saw Her Standing There" to the baroque art-rockers of "A Day in the Life"--but when critics describe bands like Squeeze, XTC, Crowded House, Jellyfish and Greenberry Woods as "Beatlesque," they're usually referring to the intensely melodic, highly refined, slightly psychedelic pop-rock of the Paul McCartney tunes on later albums like "Revolver" and "Abbey Road." In that sense Adrian Belew's Here is very Beatlesque. --Geoffrey Himes
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His Absolute Best!
DL, Music Teacher | Grass Valley, CA | 07/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been an Adrian Belew fan for many years, since I first heard him on King Crimson's "Discipline" album of 1981. Being a huge "Crimso" fan, I followed this new lead singer/guitarist with interest, only to be amazed at every new effort of his; his versatility, his virtuosity, his creativity, and his mastery of the craft of songwriting have always been a big inspiration to me, a composer, arranger, performer, and music teacher. I first wet my feet with "Mr. Music Head," an enjoyable and experimental trip through Adrian's sonic arsenal, my personal favorite songs being "Bad Days," "One of Those Days," and the (obviously) Beatle-influenced "1967" (a must-listen for any Belew- or Beatle-fan). I enjoyed "Young Lions", most notably the environmentally-charged "Men in Helicopters" and the wistful "Phone Call from the Moon."
But ultimately "Here" is one of those truly GREAT albums - y'know, the ones you can't bear to part with; the ones on which every single song is a true gem, despite the HUGE variety of styles and moods presented on this album. I know it may not be his most experimental, or his most progressive; don't get me wrong - I'm definitely a prog head, but face it: this is GREAT songwriting.
The opening number, "May 1, 1990" is one of those songs that I absolutely CANNOT listen to without singing along. I was puzzled by the lyrics at first, but through some research discovered that they were about his meeting of his future wife at one of his concerts. Listen to the words; you'll see. The music is uplifting and optimistic. "I See You" is again a celebration of love as one carries it with him everywhere he goes. Listen to the line "The Autobahn I ride..." - you'd swear John Lennon was singing the track.
"Survival in the Wild" utilizes sitar-like sounds in a disturbing yet hopeful song about the aftermath of nuclear war. "Fly" is one of the most haunting and at the same time most beautiful songs Adrian has ever written. Shades of George Harrison's "Blue Jay Way" abound, with hints of mellotron and cello textures.
"Never Enough" is a rocker that hearkens Kurt Cobain; its final phrase of "That's enough!" always coaxes a grin. "Peace on Earth" is musically a redux of "Tango Zebra" from "Desire Caught by the Tail;" this one is a wonderful commentary on the state of the world.
"Burned by the Fire We Make" is just a tad preachy, but not unfairly. The lyrics are quite thought-provoking: Is our advance of science always heading us in the right direction? The first time I heard "Dream Life" I could have sworn I was listening to a Harry Nilsson song from "The Point." Nevertheless, it's a soothing tune - a lullaby I would have loved for my dad to sing to me.
"Here" is an expansive breath of fresh air. With ethnic sounds, instruments, and dreamy quality, this track can take you to far lands unknown. Truly worth a listen! "Brave New World" is a resolute praise of the upsides of technology, a nod to the inspired inventors of this brave new world. It's tempered with a warning: "Technology is a double-edged sword, especially when used for the weapons of war." But its view is overall optimistic - a nice change from his heavy-handed lyrics on some of the album.
"Futurevision" remains one of my favorite pieces here, probably because it's Belew at his progressive and satirical best. I've used this one to teach kids about how mindsets can really override race in setting people apart. Finally, "Postcard from Holland" is a charming little piece to round out the album.
On "Here", Belew not only shows his expertise as on of the most thoughtful, versatile, and inventive songwriters of our time, but also is able to display his wide sonic capabilities, playing guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, 'cello, and koto, among other sundry instruments. Although it may not be his most adventurous album to date, it is truly his most listenable effort I have found."
A fine & consistant release
Brandon Stanley | United States | 08/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Adrian Belew is one of the best guitarists alive. He doesn't play at impossibly high speeds, he doesn't write self-indulgent finger exercises that would only appeal to a limited few, and he doesn't have a contract with Ibanez. What he DOES do, however, is: write wonderful melodic tunes; he is diverse; he writes lyrics that can be both beautiful and confusing; and he can definetly play with soul. This album, released in 1994 on Caroline Records, shows how talented and amazingly moving his music can be.
From hard-edged rockers like "Never Enough" and "Burned by the Fire we Make", to moving pieces such as "Fly" and "Dream Life", it seems that Belew has no limits to what he can produce. Speaking of producing, he wrote all but one piece, which was co-written, as well as performed and produced every instrument on this album. It's not quite evident in this recording, but he is a fantastic drummer, and not such a bad bassist either. On "Here", there are an incredibly diverse selection of sounds, from guitars of every kind, to a koto (a Japanese stringed instrument; you can see Belew playing one in the sleeve art). While perhaps not the best work Belew has created (his best work has arguably been with the groups King Crimson and The Bears, which he has been either leader or co-founder of), it is incredible music, and it's definetly worth a listen.
One last note: while Mr. Belew has been compared to The Beatles in his solo efforts (which isn't a bad comparison at all), I find that his albums cannot be compared to anything else. In fact, his music easily fits within the folds of both pop AND avant-garde rock. Whether he's playing guitar on the newest Nine Inch Nails CD, or singing a bouncy & longing tune such as "I See You", you know that where he is involved, your'e going to have quality music."
Here Is Belew's Most Brooding Work
Lunatic Muse | El Paso, TX | 03/26/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Adrian Belew released "Here" in 1994 after a trifecta of his best recordings ever (1989's Mr. Music Head, 1990's Young Lions and 1992's Inner Revolution). Despite some personal setbacks, Belew had been able to create his most imaginative, brilliant work and was coming off of a career high point when he turned in this moody, often bitter look at emotional and environmental destruction. Once more, Belew wrote, played and produced all of the tracks, so there is a coherent style that one doesn't often see in the work of other artists. His guitar virtuosity is without parallel and his talent is without question broad and awe-inspiring. That said, most of the tracks on "Here" speak of dislocation from loved ones and the human race, which isn't to say that there aren't a few solid songs for the picking. "Survival in the Wild", a variation on the notion that Love conquers all, is driven by absolutely mind-bending guitar work, while "Never Enough" finds its propulsion in an insistant drum beat. "Burned By The Fire We Make" moves from an acoustic atmosphere to hard rocking, angry choruses, and "Postcard From Holland" is a delicate love song to the people of that particular country. However, Belew's songwriting isn't as strong as it had been previously and unchannelled bitterness still manages to seep in, as does the finger-wagging ecology lessons he began so earnestly on "Young Lions". "Here" is not a good introductory CD for those uninitiated with Adrian Belew's work, yet hard-core fans might find it modestly enjoyable for the four songs mentioned, if nothing else. Personal Favorites: the fiercely driven guitar of "Survival in the Wild" and the outstanding rhythm of "Never Enough". Representative Lyrics: "We're living in a world of hurt/ all the angry people fighting in the streets/ while all the children pray/ for peace on earth" ("Peace On Earth"); "This is the nature of the human race/ to kill off anything that gets in our way/ poor Mother Earth we disfigured her face/ Man is the maker of his own disgrace" ("Burned By The Fire We Make")"