Andy Summers Music/Cargo Records [Release date 15.01.16]
A new solo album from Andy Summers? He of the heavily arpeggiated, chorused but always ear-friendly guitaring? He’s released a string of solo albums since ‘XYZ’ in 1987 and his last release was the excellent ‘Circus Hero’ with collaborator Rob Giles in 2014.
The opener, and title track, ‘Metal Dog’ is the scene setter and you’d be hard pressed to know this is the same person twiddling his guitar knobs. It’s the antithesis of his late 1970s/early 1980s heyday.
With synthesized instrumentation played by Summers throughout, the all-instrumental album explores various musical moods often punctuated by sometimes intrusive, and occasionally weird, industrial sounding synth sounds.
The whole album sounds like something cooked up in Summers’ back room in down time between peeling grapes in LA. Soundscapes and atmospheric rather than anything more specifically melodic and with underpinning world flavours. This is best summed up on the closing tracks ‘Oceans Of Enceladus’ and ‘Mare Imbrium’ which – in the time period that Summers consolidated his greatest success – we would have called ‘New Age.’
‘Animal Chatter’ develops from a semi-reggae rhythm into a jazzy, sometimes Beck-esque workout but with heavily treated guitar sounding more like a tentative synth. ‘Vortex Street’ features more processed guitar and an eastern undertow with an Oldfield-esque coda. ‘Qualia’ is dirge-like and perhaps best demonstrates the album’s unsettling juxtaposition of “fusion flavours” with synth guitar and swing time signature.
There is nothing wrong with pushing the boundaries of instrumental guitar albums but there usually has to be a semblance of tune. More than most, Andy Summers has been exploratory as a musician outside the commercial strictures of The Police, including collaborations with Robert Fripp and – in 2005 – a concerto with classical guitarist Benjamin Verdery. Whilst we might not expect anything similar to Sting & co. this must remain a muso’s album and of wider interest only to previous band completists. ***
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 22 May.
Next session: Sunday 17 July.
Check out previous videos here: https://www.facebook.com/getreadytorockradio
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 19 June 2022.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 21 June 2022.
How to Listen Live?
Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)
Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.
More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com
Power Plays w/c 27 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
REVIVAL BLACK Broken Home (TMR Records)
FLOYA Epiphany (indie)
TWISTER Own Worst Enemy (indie)
MODERN MIMES Down And Dead (Curtain Call Records)
TUNGSTEN Northern Lights (Arising Empire)
THE GREAT LESLIE Feel Alive (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 27 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GRACE Hope (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CLASSLESS ACT Welcome To the Show (Better Noise Music)
14:00-16:00 TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT Day By Day (indie)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!