After the last review of a Live album and now Adrian Belew, you might be forgiven for thinking that IDHAS had changed its remit. Belew is neither new or under appreciated I hear Pedants cry, before they browse the review and head off to listen to more Big Star or Badfinger.
Many will know Adrian Belew as the man who brought King Crimson out of hibernation or for his many sidekick activities with anyone who is anyone. Most people will have never listened to The Bears to realise that the man can in fact be a Pop star, certainly a Pop Rock star.
True he is an incredible and inventive Guitarist that can be three chord, play on a riff if you like, but he can also be avant-garde and Prog and Psych and is never ever uninteresting and on Elevator, he demands your attention/This album is wonderful Pop Rock.
Listening to the three opening songs that invention and variety provides a snapshot to what is in store for you. A13 is great Pop, at times a little ELO with an Express Train riff. A Car I Can Talk To is almost Rockabilly and XTC comparisons are ten a penny, but Backwards And Upside Down is very very Andy Partridge, wonderfully so.
The Power Of The Natural is gentle pastoral Psych Pop, all needs is a chant. You Can't Lie To Yourself is even a gentle Ballad, Beatle-esque maybe? Did I mention XTC? Well Attitude could easily appear on English Settlement and even gets a bit Sparks symphonic.
Back To Love is cinematic, at times an electronic Prog Psych cross and more than a little 80s. Beauty is a superb pop song and Seventy Going On Seventeen is an awesome closer, lyrically adept with unexpected breakouts everywhere on what is essentially a Busker song.
It is true to say that Elevator is all over the place and that is its charm. If one song doesn't hit the spot, the next one will and the vast majority do. It is fair to say that no one but Adrian Belew could create an album such as this. Creative, catchy and a lot ready to surprise you.
Do get out and see the Power Trio Live if you get the chance as the reports coming in are ecstatic. As for Elevator, Belew's next album will most likely be very different, but this is a tour de force. Yes Adrian Belew may be a Pop Star this week, so enjoy it while you can.