Robert Fripp – Exposure
This is Robert Fripp’s solo début released on June ’79 and it includes a huge list of guests making an incredible lineup including Peter Hamill, Phil Collins, (Admin note – Phil Collins does not make for an incredible line up) Peter Gabriel, Tony Levin and Brian Eno. You’ll notice that many of the musicians listed, Fripp has worked with before either collaborating or appearing as a guest musician. This is the first album where you hear Fripps new wave influence creeping in and start to become a dominant part of his work throughout the eighties, which if you are only aware of King Crimson’s seventies work, could sound like a very strange occurrence.
Throughout the album the songs take many shapes and forms from hard rock songs to ballads and ambience, which for a solo debut brings out the many sides of Fripp which we all know and love and it is perhaps to be expected from Fripps versatility. But in this case it can make the album feel unstable and have a lack of continuity about it. He also reuses many sounds and techniques you may recognise such as Frippertronics made famous by the help of Brian Eno which on many occasions gives you the feel of deja-vu. This isn’t the only sound which you’ll recognise as there are also such songs as “Breathless” which could be an unofficial reprise of King Crimson’s red and “Disengage” being a slightly altered Larks Tounge in Aspic II. Also a revisited version of Peter Gabriel’s “Here comes the flood” for a solo debut can’t help but diminish its quality making it feel like this album is a King Crimson B side. These are sounds which we are already familiar with and for a record which remains inconsistent in genre, it never fails to bother me. I would recommend this album for collectors/fans only and recommend you to hear Fripp & Eno’s evening star for the experimental ambient pieces and KC’S larks tongue and Red.
There’s some great ideas on the album and an amazing lineup of musicians but it doesn’t hold up to his work with the mighty King Crimson or have the ground breaking ambient appeal of Fripp & Eno’s No Pussyfooting.