The final instalment of Adrian Belew's trilogy, which I'm sure is supposed to represent some high musical concept or other, takes the best elements from its predecessors as well as a very obvious influence from Belew's work with King Crimson, to make it the strongest of the three - by a little bit.
The spoken word stylings of the first two songs and the presence of electronic percussion make this instantly comparable to King Crimson's 'The Power to Believe,' and Robert Fripp even comes over to assist as a background player along with former Crimson alumnus Mel Collins and, most significantly, the rhythm section of Les Claypool and Danny Carey who made the first half of 'Side 1' so memorable. Claypool's bass is especially noticeable on 'Whatever,' while Belew continues the 'Side 2' synthesiser experiments with the enjoyable 'Beat Box Car' and the less enjoyable 'The Red Bell Rides a Boomerang Across the Blue Constellation,' and overall it's this mixing of eclectic styles that makes this such a satisfying listening experience, even if some of it is inevitably below par.
It's presumably intentional that this "finale" album features a clash of styles, but Belew's distinctive guitar sound still wins out, even when modulated to funk ('Incompetence Difference') or something more ethereal ('Water Turns to Wine'). His vocals are less prominent here than before in this largely instrumental album, only really coming to the fore in the narrative of track two (the first being handled by The Prophet Omega), and as a progressive album it's nice to see call-back references to earlier parts, mostly from the first album, without these being overdone.
Belew's trilogy is a vanity project that transcends ego and proves highly enjoyable for those of a progressive or experimental mind-set, and even though it will only ever seem like a secondary career to modern King Crimson (itself hugely diluted from the band's golden era in the seventies, before Belew was even a member), it's nice to know that the musician is still going strong with his innovative works, rather than relying on past successes.
2. Incompetence Difference
3. Water Turns to Wine
6. Men In Helicopters v4.0
7. Beat Box Car
8. The Red Bell Rides a Boomerang Across the Blue Constellation
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Incompetence Indifference
3 Water Turns to Wine
8 Men in Helicopters v4.0
9 Beat Box Car
10 Truth Is
11 Red Bull Rides a Boomerang Across the Blue Constellation