Though perhaps best (or at least better) known for his work with the Police, guitarist Andy Summers seems to be doing rather well for himself. He may not be filling arenas and attracting screaming teenage girls, but their mothers can scream pretty loud as well, and as it is to them that Summers now appears to be playing, his maturity and ability to look forward work in his favor. Backed by bassist Tony Levin and drummer Gregg Bissonette, Summers works well as a frontman. A captivatingly atmospheric voyage round Summers's bleached jazz roots. Dominated unsurprisingly by Summers's intricate fretwork, these 11 instrumentals comprise chiefly originals and homages to jazz maestros.
Many a guitar fan would have predicted that a summit between legendary guitarists Andy Summers (the Police) and Robert Fripp (King Crimson) would result in a guitar solofest. But the music on their first collaboration together, I Advance Masked, stresses guitar textures and moods over indulgent soloing. Although the recording sessions weren't entirely enjoyable for Summers (who was experiencing marital problems at the time), some very beautiful music can be found on the resulting album. The music for the track "Girl on a Swing" does an excellent job of conveying the song's title in one's mind, and the duo's guitars weave wonderful polyrhythmic guitar lines throughout "China – Yellow Leader." "The Truth of Skies" is an atmospheric piece, created by a wash of keyboard sounds and guitar dissonance, while "New Marimba" would have sounded right at home on an early-'80s King Crimson album. I Advance Masked has a dreamlike quality to it, and is definitely not typical rock music. It's highly recommended to fans of these two great and original guitarists. ~ by Greg Prato
"Start The Fire" is RPWL's first live album after their album success "World Through My Eyes". Disc one is featuring songs from a "Rockpalast" show highlighting the band’s first three albums ("God Has Failed", "Trying to Kiss the Sun" and "Stock") with a special appearance of Ray Wilson ("Roses", "Not About Us"). Disc two, on the other hand, is a tour de force that reflects RPWL's live experience from three tours. More upbeat and borderline sublime - punctuated by some Pink Floyd covers like the surprise version of Syd Barrett's "Opel" or the great "Welcome To The Machine". The album concludes with the complete 12-and-a-half-minute version of the evocative "New Stars Are Born" Only the first seven minutes of this song were included on "World Through My Eyes".