Adrian Belew - Side Three
Progressive Rock
12 songs (38'45)
Release year: 2006
Adrian Belew, Sanctuary
Reviewed by Marty
Completing the trilogy of albums that began with last year's Side One and Side Two albums, Adrian Belew presents us here with Side Three. Side One was more of a power trio format with Adrian on guitar, Danny Carey on drums and Les Claypool from Primus on bass whereas Side Two was a more experimental undertaking with Adrian playing all the instruments and using mostly electronic percussion effects. Side One was interesting a pretty solid offering from Adrian whereas Side Two was very "out there" with strange electronica and ambient overtones. With Side Three, we get a little of both in that the atmospheric ambient elements are still there but the inclusion of Danny Carey and Les Claypool on a couple of tracks gives the album a much needed infusion of energy over Side Two.

The tracks on Side Three are very much like those on Side One (with a few exceptions) in that they are catchy, have a solid groove and feature Adrian's trademark "weird" and off the wall guitar sound. The album gets going on a high note with Troubles in which swooping bass lines accompany Adrian's pitch-bending guitar runs with a narrative vocal style that describes all the troubles we have in our lives from physical to personal and even financial ones. Incompetence Indifference uses a mix of clean and distorted guitar tones in a Zappa style rant about some of the incompetent, rude and dishonest people that have left their mark on Adrian's life. Water Turns To Wine is an interesting piece that has 60's era Pink Floyd overtones with fellow King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp providing some very cool flute-like guitar effects. Several of the tracks on this album are short instrumental pieces that are merely sound effects with electronic percussion and other effects and act as bridging tracks. Whatever once again unites Adrian with Danny Carey and Les Claypool and the great driving bass lines combined with "real" drums is a nice refreshing change. Adrian's work sounds the best in this "power trio" format. Men In Helicopters v4.0 sees Adrian paying homage to classic Beatles with it's Eleanor Rigby-like arrangement with the vocal style and orchestration. Beat Box Car is a re-working of Beat Box Guitar from the Side One album and features some wailing saxophone work by Mel Collins. Other mentionable tracks include a re-working of Ampersand also from Side One only now this time it's known by the symbol &. With a dreamy and psychedelic Pink Floyd touch, this one's a harder rocking interpretation with different lyrics

All in all, I think Side Three is the better album of the trilogy with Side One coming in at a close second. Fans of Adrian will find lots to like about this album. I'm still trying to grasp why this wasn't released as a 2 CD set and not as three individual releases. It would be cheaper in the long run for fans wanting to buy these releases and with the reprises of two songs on Side Three that were on Side One, it sounds to me like it was intended (by Adrian anyway) to be an extended double disc release. It's hard to believe but he probably succumbed to pressures by the record company and released the trilogy this way. He's a man of extreme integrity and is very passionate about his craft. This album completes the trilogy that is being heralded as some of his best work ever.

Killing Songs :
Troubles, Incompetence Indifference, Whatever and & (Ampersand)
Marty quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Adrian Belew that we have reviewed:
Adrian Belew - Side Two reviewed by Marty and quoted 55 / 100
Adrian Belew - Side One reviewed by Marty and quoted 70 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 1 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:13 pm
View and Post comments