CD Review: Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp
By David Chiu

First released in 1979, Exposure was the debut solo album by King Crimson founder Robert Fripp.And just like on the previous Crimson records, Exposure furthers Fripp’s tendencies to shatter the boundaries of conventional (progressive) rock music with its tangents towards punk, avant garde, minimalism, and straightforward pop (and elements of Crimson’s ‘Red’ era). Guest vocal contributions from Peter Hammill and Terre Roche (whose shrieking vocals on the title song will draw comparisons from younger listeners to Bjork) graces the album; there is also a heartfelt performance by Peter Gabriel on “Here Comes the Flood.” The surprise to mainstream listeners is Daryl Hall (yes, of Hall and Oates), who proves himself a capable singer in any genre from the punk aggression of “You Burn Me Up I’m a Cigarette” to the wonderful “North Star.” Due to record company and managerial interference, some of Hall’s vocal contributions were removed on the record; those performances are restored on this expanded edition, which includes the original 1979 album, the third edition 1983 remix, and alternate tracks. Fripp, of course, remains Fripp the masterful guitar player who lays down the trademark bone-crunching metal-like riffs and atmospherics through his trademark Frippertronics. Exposure may be all over the place stylistically but it serves as an important bridge between the first era of Crimson to the group’s reemergence in the early ‘80s. And it also proves that it didn’t have to feature the King Crimson name on the album cover to establish a unique musical identity on its own.


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