George Starostin's Reviews



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<> (10.03.2001)

This is the second Belew album I bought (the first was Young Lions). Like you, I got a kick out of "Oh Daddy," a good, if somewhat unusual opening to the CD. It sort of stands apart from the rest of the record - kind of like "Girl From The North Country" stands apart from the rest of Nashville Skyline. Must be Audie's vocals. The slide guitar riff is a hook, though it can be a little repetitious for some.
To me the real highlight, and the real start of the CD, is "House Of Cards." This is the most "Beatle-esque" cut, with Belew giving us an uncanny Lennon-like sound to his lead vocal. And the high harmonies that accompany him on the verses sound like Macca!
"1967" does remind me of the Beatles again but on a more subtle level, just recapturing the experimental "what will they do next?" kind of spirit from that year. Finally, cut him some slack on "Cruelty To Animals" which is simply a bonus track thrown on to the CD to pad it out. It does have some samples from "House Of Cards" besides!

Jerry Shickler (14.02.2002)

Regarding Adrian Belew's Mr. Music Head, I agree that "Oh Daddy" is the highlight of the album, but not mentioned was "Coconuts", which I feel is a close second -- a summer anthem with a simple, catchy hook that he just rips through. Also noteworthy is the sound clarity on the cd.


<> (10.03.2001)

This CD should have made Belew a star, or at least a much better-selling artist than he turned out to be. The songs are a little more accessible than on Mr. Music Head and a lot more so than on Desire Caught By The Tail. Maybe people listened and viewed him as too much of a Bowie sideman; I think "Pretty Pink Rose" was the song the record company pushed as the single. There really isn't a bad cut on this. "I Am What I Am" came about from Belew hearing a street preacher on the radio, so he got to sample Prophet Omega's radio rap and then put all this wild guitar around it. At one point he takes a file to the strings. No Beatles imitations here, but "Looking For A U.F.O." has a lot of a Motown feel with the bass line. I don't know why he rerecorded "Heartbeat" either, but this version has a cleaner sound to it. He likes to explore different sounds, like the African percussion on "Young Lions", the shimmering, rain-like guitars on "Not Alone Any More," the guitar-army of "Men In Helicopters," and that frantic paranoid rush of "Gunman" at the end. Bowie's great, too, his vocals give the album further variety.


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Alex Pacalov (02.02.2006)

Thank you so very much for your Adrian Belew site! I'm really satisfying to find a fan site dedicated to this wonderful artist.
Well, I read your review on Belew's Op Zop Too Wah. Thanks for the length of it!
But I don't agree with you on it. It's the best works I've heard of Adrian's!
I really like it. It's very adventurous and funny, very melodic, very Zappaesque, interesting and strong magnum opus, woven of beautiful songs.


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Dane J. Hitt (10.06.2005)

A surprising "comeback" from Belew, one that I paid a little too much money for, given its length. All the same, the power trio tracks alone make up for the lack of volume. Carey and Claypool sound like they could've just as easily fit in the 80's Crimson lineup, particularly on Absent Lovers. "Writing on the Wall" is to "Thela Hun Ginjeet" as "Under the Radar" (which is the most gorgeous song on this record) is to, "Matte Kudasai," perhaps. The Belew/Carey/Claypool machine is something that needs to continue functioning. Those three can really bring the walls down. Unfortuantely we'll have to wait until Side Three to hear from them again.
Your review is generally dead-on: the album suffers primarily in its abbreviation. But I do happen to like "Madness." Perhaps the art of droning hasn't quite worn out on me yet. This is a good 8/10 album for me. Looking very forward to Sides Two and Three!
Also note, Sides Two and Three have already been recorded, Two is scheduled for a July 12th, 2005 release, and Three will be later in 2005. Belew is intentionally dividing the Sides supposedly due to their considerable differences as records. The trio won't be returning until Three, that much I know.

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