Monday, May 08, 2006

Sacred Songs

Back in March I did a piece on Robert Fripp's Exposure album from 1979 (which gets reissued tomorrow as a single CD and as a special edition double CD set). I posted a couple of songs that featured Daryl Hall on vocals. Yes, that one, from Hall & Oates. I then went and picked up Mr. Hall's 1980 solo LP Sacred Songs. Also produced by Robert Fripp, it was actually recorded in 1977. The liner notes refer to it as "a record motivated purely by musical and personal concerns, making no concessions to the demands of the marketplace." This is a pretty admirable attempt considering that at this time Hall & Oates were one of the big names in music, having had a bunch of big chart hits. This record has elements of Hall & Oates, but Fripp and his array of guitars and effects render the sound very differently. It is a harder rocking affair, combining prog and funk and art rock filtered through blue eyed lenses. I dig it. There are a few instrumentals, some ballads, and both of the tunes from the aforementioned Fripp LP are also tacked onto this reissue. Something In 4/4 Time is the album's mission statement personified. It's a sharp dig at his "day job" with one hell of a glorious break in the middle where Fripp let's his guitars do the talking. Blue eyed prog. NYCNY is flavored by that city's then burgeoning post-punk scene and is an uptempo, skronked out riff driven rocker with Daryl shouting and screaming at ya. I like. Blue eyed post-prog.

A Related Item

Ambulance LTD. put out a little EP back in March called New English EP. I am still listening to it at least once a week. It features a couple of new songs, a few demos and alternate takes of songs from their debut LP, and a fantastic cover of Pink Floyd's Fearless. On Arbuckle's Swan Song they let their inner Hall & Oates fly with a song that to me is totally reminiscent of some of that duo's best moments - a mellow soulful groove with some Spandau Ballet True guitar riffs and sweet, soulful vocals. Very nice.

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