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Side One

3.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 25, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Side One is the first in a series of three studio albums from one of rock's true unsung heroes. It features appearances from Danny Carey (Tool), Les Claypool Primus) & others. Says Belew of the record, "There are three different attitudes that I've recently discovered in my writing, & this album is a representation of the first one. Side One deals with the concept of the 'power trio' & writing in that headspace. As the guitar player in that equation, you're only as good as your rhythm section, & I can't imagine a better rhythm section in a power trio than Les Claypool & Danny Carey." We know you'll agree.

Review

"Employing omni-present Les Claypool and Tool's Daney Carey as the ass rattling rythm section, Belew keeps his guitar loud." -- Guitar One-5 stars review-pt 2

"Like his former boss, Frank Zappa, Belew combines musical chops, melody and humor." -- Relix

"a member of King Crimson, Belew played with everyone, David Bowie & Frank Zappa to Trent Reznor & David Byrne." -- Billboard.com

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ampersand
  2. Writing On The Wall
  3. Matchless Man
  4. Madness
  5. Walk Around The World
  6. Beat Box Guitar
  7. Under The Radar
  8. Elephants
  9. Pause


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 25, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • ASIN: B00070EBSK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,051 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Adrian Belew - member of King Crimson, famed session musician and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire - has reemerged with a brand new solo disc entitled "Side One"-the first in a series of three CDs to be released throughout 2005.

Although almost all the music was written and performed by Belew alone, he does have a little help from some friends on this disc most notably Primus's Les Claypool and Tool's Danny Carey who provide respective bass and drums to the albums opening three tracks.

"Side One" only runs for 33-minutes total but there is still plenty of great and varied music in spite of this. The opening track "Ampersand" sounds almost like a Beatles tune performed with an extremely odd time signature while other tracks such as "Writing On The Wall", "Matchless Man" and "Walk Around the World" resemble Belew's work with King Crimson (the latter track sounds like an outtake from "Three of a Perfect Pair"). Elsewhere on the disc, Adrian shows off his experimental side with the 7-minute instrumental "Madness" which features a thick distored bassline, heavy percussion and layers of sustained delayed guitar phrases. "Beat Box Guitar" is also experimental and also echoes King Crimson in their current phase.

The closing three pieces are short in nature and form sort-of a mini-suite. "Under The Radar" is an atmospheric ballad with a slight Pink Floyd vibe to it which leads directly into "Elephants" a minimalist piece in which Belew improvises some wildly outrageous guitar leads over a repeated riff. This leads into the short final track "Pause" which consists of ambient sound effects and a very brief phrase of guitar arpegggios.

This is a very well-put-together and entertaining CD and displays Adrian Belew's eccentric talents at their best.
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Format: Audio CD
Adrian Belew is in hard Crimsonesque mode here (though occasionally pulling in his other musical incarnations as well). The talent bleeds out of every corner, from Belew's multi-instrumental attack, to the powerful support work of Les Claypool and Danny Carey, among the other contributors. While that should be assumed on a Belew project, there are no dead moments, no frustratingly short snippets (like on his Op Zop Too Wah or on King Crimson's Thrak, both very good & enjoyable, but imperfect albums), and no lyrical misfires.

The sound is tight, and the words are impressionistic & evocative. The music has a powerful and intricate rhythmic feel & consistency, going from hard crunching ("elephants", "madness", parts of "ampersand"), to bright sounding rock or pop ("writing on the wall" or "walk around the world"), to the sinister fluttering-cool air of "matchless man". The transitions happen quickly and organically, without any seeming out of place.

It is a quick tour at 33 minutes, but the length felt right for the material. I do not believe in throwing around five star ratings recklessly, but this release deserves it.
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Format: Audio CD
First: This is Adrian Belew. Don't buy this CD expecting to hear Adrian sing TOOL. With an active drummer such as Mr. Carey, Claypool's job is to solidify the rhythm. Between Msr's Claypool and Carey, they lay down a sonic canvas on which Mr. Belew paints with broad sonic strokes. "Madness" is pure genious. "Beat Box Guitar", "Under the Radar", and "Walk around the World" are really one masterpiece in 3 sections. This is the best work of Adrian Belew by far. Fantastic.
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Format: Audio CD
From what I understand, Adrian Belew was interested in releasing a short album like back in the day when you got a 30-45 minute record 'LP' with a 'side one' and a 'side two'. Just enough music to hold your interest for at least a half hour. Problem was that he had enough material for more than one album, so he decided to release the album 'sides' as two separate cd's. But it didn't stop there. He still had enough for a third 'side'. Hence the titles 'Side One', 'Side Two', etc. That's the concept behind this. Like getting only half of Abbey Road on a cd and the other half on a whole other disc. Album sides on CD. Ingenious. Or you could just call them EP's.

Adrian Belew is a clever cat who has many 'sides' to his career: On one side he's an experimental guitarist who can make his guitar sound like anything from a hippopotomus being electocuted to a telephone ringing. On the other he can play the part of multi-instrumentalist one-man show or the hired sessionman or equal bandmate who adds his own input wherever it may compliment the music. He's a singer-songwriter with Beatles sensibilities and a Roy Orbison/David Byrne hybrid voice.

Anyway, Adrian Belew has been busy with King Crimson and The Bears(as well as producing other artists) since the mid 90's, and 'Side One' is his first new solo album studio material since 1996's underrated 'Op Zop Too Wah'. So this was a long time coming. What's it like? Well, it kicks. It jams. It's got a killer power trio on a few cuts(Tool's Danny Carey and Les Claypool of Primus), so it's a more rocking, crunching set of tunes. Lyrics are often minimal. This will irritate anyone more interested in his more melodic, 'Beatles-esque' solo material from albums like 'Mr. Music Head'(1989), 'Inner Revolution'(1992) or 'Here'(1994).
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