Jan 2023 01

Album CoverAdrian Belew
Album: Elevator
Category: Rock / Pop / Experimental
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2022-06-15


One might wonder how with such an extensive and storied pedigree Adrian Belew maintains such a prolific output. When he’s not touring or recording with virtually everyone else in the world of music, or designing apps and pursuing advances in music technology, he’s writing and producing his own material, with Elevator marking his eighteenth studio effort as a solo artist. Those already familiar with Belew’s extensive catalog needn’t pretend that they don’t know what this record has in store; the man’s reputation as a tonal colorist and exploratory producer is well established. As such, Elevator doesn’t necessarily see the man breaking new ground as much as he is basking in the joy of his craft.

“A13” begins the proceedings with his signature angular riffing and dreamy vocal harmonies, the chorus transporting the listener to the psychedelic ‘60s as an antidote to “What a frightful year it’s been.” From the cool cat jazziness of “A Car I Can Talk To,” the rhythmic locomotive fury of “Taking My Shoes Out For a Walk,” to the acoustic-driven solemnity of “The Power of the Natural World,” “Beauty,” or “You Can’t Lie to Yourself,” Belew pulls all the stops with his usual whimsy and eccentricity, every song featuring examples of his uniquely textured production and expressive guitar – seemingly off-the-cuff and noisy, but always controlled and deliberate. Such can also be said of “The Saturday Morning Roar of the Lawn Mowers,” in which lovely synth arpeggios and bouncy guitar lines make for a funky and upbeat rhythm, the lyrics almost a calmer suburban antithesis to the chaotic urban hustle of King Crimson’s “Neurotica,” while “Attitude” subtly demonstrates Belew’s forays into industrial soundscapes, the beat metallic and muscular atop ostinato strings and his distorted voice encouraging positivity and gratitude.

Of course, one could strip away all the bells and whistles… and crackles and farts… and horns and howls… or really, whatever sound effect the man injects, and the results would still be a set of heartfelt and very personal songs. But c’mon, we’re talking about Adrian Belew here, and he’s always going to masterfully balance his finely tuned sense of composition and songwriting with wild sonic abandon, making even the simplest song the groundwork for a maniacal and quirky exercise. In that sense, Elevator is an appropriate title as the man elevates the parameters of modern music with each step he takes.
Track list:

  1. A13
  2. A Car I Can Talk To
  3. Backwards and Upside Down
  4. The Power of the Natural World
  5. Good Morning Sun
  6. You Can’t Lie to Yourself
  7. The Saturday Morning Roar of the Lawn Mowers
  8. Attitude
  9. Taking My Shoes Out For a Walk
  10. Back to Love
  11. Beauty
  12. Seventy Going on Seventeen

Adrian Belew
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, Instagram
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

Leave a Comment

ReGen Magazine