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Op Zop Too Wah - Adrian Belew

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Genre: Rock - Classic Rock / Artist: Adrian Belew / Import / Audio CD released at Passenger

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      22.03.2008 01:40
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      Adrian Belew's tenth album (1997).

      Finally, Adrian Belew has stopped trying to gain favour with a mainstream audience that would never really accept him, and has thrown himself fully into creating experimental, avant garde and primarily weird music to give orgasms to his fan base. 'Op Zop Too Wah' is Belew's most experimental record up to this point, and it doesn't even matter that so much of it is obviously forced when the end result is this entertaining and amusing. This is just the sort of avant garde I like: music that messes around, doesn't take itself too seriously, and at some points is even possible to appreciate on a musical level.

      It should be obvious what you're getting from the title; twenty-one wildly unbalanced tracks of Belew playing music in his home studio with seemingly little regard for the conventions of the genre, whatever exactly that is. As ever, it's his guitar work that remains the most distinctive and inspired, but the prevalence of speedy tribal percussion, farting fretless bass and Belew's admittedly quite good vocals also help to make this a highly enjoyable and accomplished album, with many songs that would be enjoyable by a wider audience (such as 'I Remember How to Forget' and the Beatlesesque 'Time Waits') if only they weren't buried amidst the other oddities.

      Odd is the only real word to apply to the shorter tracks that bulk out the playlist (2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14 and 15), and average at around one minute each. These are brief ideas and experiments more than songs, some being traditional musical interludes, namely the two-part instrumental 'What Do You Know?' that moves from acoustic to electric guitar, while others such as 'Word Play Drum Beat' in particular are curious for curiosity's sake; this track plays out much as its title suggests, with a drum beat and various voices chipping in to finish each other's sentences.

      I'm not so much a fan of the music as a whole, as I am of the album's attitude, but saying that there are still some very good songs. 'Of Bow and Drum' is a great freestyle instrumental piece that eventually forms into a proper song (of all things, I ask you), while 'High Wire Guitar' is one of the most amusing things I've ever heard, clearly aiming for the very literal image of Belew playing his long and zany, King Crimson style guitar solo on a high wire above a roaring and appreciative circus crowd. This is not the most original or ground-breaking experimental album ever, but it allowed the musician to break free of the monotonous blandness of his previous discography, and paved the way for the heights he would subsequently achieve. You would probably hate this.

      1. Of Bow and Drum
      2. Word Play Drum Beat
      3. Six String
      4. Conversation Piece
      5. All Her Love Is Mine
      6. I Remember How to Forget
      7. What Do You Know?, Pt. 1
      8. Op Zop Too Wah
      9. A Plate of Words
      10. Time Waits
      11. What Do You Know?, Pt. 2
      12. Modern Man Hurricane Blues
      13. In My Backyard
      14. A Plate of Guitar
      15. Live in a Tree
      16. Something to Do
      17. Beautiful
      18. High Wire Guitar
      19. Sky Blue Red Bird Green House
      20. The Ruin After the Rain
      21. On

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 Of Bow and Drum
    2 Word Play Drum Beat
    3 Six String
    4 Conversation Piece
    5 All Her Love Is Mine
    6 I Remember How to Forget
    7 What Do You Know?, Pt. 1
    8 Op Zop Too Wah
    9 Plate of Words
    10 Time Waits
    11 What Do You Know?, Pt. 2
    12 Modern Man Hurricane Blues
    13 In My Backyard
    14 Plate of Guitar
    15 Live in a Tree
    16 Something to Do
    17 Beautiful
    18 High Wire Guitar
    19 Sky Blue Red Bird Green House
    20 Ruin After the Rain
    21 On