New Music Review
Andy Summers – Triboluminescence
By Andy Upton
Yes – that Andy Summers…. but go ahead and throw out everything you think you know about his music because this isn’t a new Police album. Triboluminescence is Andy’s 14th solo album since his days with Sting & Stewart and this one continues his desire to craft crisp, clean guitar virtuoso work. As a songwriter and composer, he is taking the time to make every little aspect of each piece much better than the last. I know I got lost listening to the beautiful sounds contained in his music and hope you do too.
“If Anything” kicks this masterpiece off with Andy’s soaring guitar work with minimal background music accompanying it as the notes went from high to low and back. The title track one ups that by adding in some subtle, yet effective, tribal drumming in the mix as Andy’s guitar gently wails away. The introduction of horns in “Adinkra” adds a nice smooth jazz feel to the proceedings while “Elephant Bird” (where does he come up with these names?) keeps it moving along with great tempo and enough glaring sounds that will keep you guessing what instrument he used to make them all.
Andy’s ability to mix a multitude of different sounds together will keep you totally mesmerized on “Shadyland” and the emphasis on percussion during “Haunted Dolls” will almost make you forget about his clean guitar picking that lies underneath. The bass guitar finally gets its share of the spotlight in “Gigantopithecus” as it fights with crisp drum work. Andy continues to dazzle on “Pukul Bunye Bunye” as the music goes in many different directions but is tied nicely together in the end. And finally, “Garden of the Sea” is mystically haunting with a brilliant underlying cello making wonderful sounds in the distance. Triboluminescence (defined as creating light from dark) is an enjoyable album that you might fancy while doing some house work or as background music to a quiet night of reading. Andy Summers has gone above and beyond in his quest to make a new musical genre he calls “New Exotic” and I believe that he has provided the world something totally different to feast their senses on.
Purchase Triboluminescence on iTunes out now.