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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Andy Summers


Review by Gary Hill

People who turn to Andy Summers' solo works looking for music like he did in the Police probably end up confused. His solo catalog is packed with music that lands in the territory of instrumental progressive music. He worked with Robert Fripp in the past, and really they seem to be kindred spirits musically. This new album is exactly what those in the know have come to expect from Summers.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 3 at
Track by Track Review
If Anything

Ambient sounds open this. The guitar rises up to move us in new powerful directions. This is a very powerful soundscape with some great guitar soloing.

The tuned percussion elements that create the backdrop on this are classy. The guitar has a rather tentative approach, and the whole piece moves forward slowly. There is definitely a world music element to this. I really dig the rhythmic elements on this a lot.
Starting with a bit of that world music thing, this works out to an almost jazzy vibe as it moves forward. There is a cool energy and a bit of a groove to this thing. This is quite an intriguing ride.
Elephant Bird
There is a major stereo effect back and forth on this piece.  Summers has worked with Robert Fripp in the past and to me, this feels like he carries a bit of that experience with him to this day. This seems a bit like something Fripp would do. In some ways it reminds me the 80s era of King Crimson. I love the shift it makes toward more rocking stuff for the guitar soloing around the three minute mark.
There is a real fusion feeling built into this. It has a bit more fire than some of the other music here. Mid-track it shifts to a spacey exploration. Then it grows back upward from there.
Haunted Dolls
I like the sonic aesthetics of this intriguing construction. There is some of the same atmospheric type sound early, but it works to a guitar solo based exploratory fusion type of jam after a bit.
The percussion is really striking on this piece. There are sections of this that lean toward jazz. There are other parts that get into some noisy instrumental prog territory. Some world music also in the mix at times. In fact, the closing movement is very much world music oriented.
Pukul Bunye Bunye
On the one hand there is a bit of world music thing running along the outside of this piece. The guitar soloing bit, though is full on rock. Then the whole thing shifts after a bit to something that feels like a celebratory world music arrangement. There are bursts of harder rock that show up as accents to that a couple times before the whole piece works toward more atmospheric sounds. A rocking movement ends the track.
Garden of the Sea
Textural atmospherics seem to chirp like birds around the arrangement at the start. Cello rises up, played by Artyom Manukyan in the only guest appearance the set. This has some intriguing musical textures as it works forward. This cut is quite pretty and does a great job of ending the set.


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