Review Summary: The soundtrack to a beautiful, yet doomed, journey.
Many fans of Robert Fripp, founder/guitarist of progressive giants King Crimson, know of his prolific solo career and of his collaborations with composer Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, (aka Brian Eno) but too few know of his more recent, and very beautiful, collaborations with saxophonist/flautist Theo Travis. Utilizing an updated version of Fripp’s collection of ambient loops (he calls Frippertonics) along with Travis’ take on the same concept (he calls Ambitronics), Follow
has a special kind of serene backdrop not heard in either of the men’s previous releases. This brilliant use of technology combined with the expertise of both Travis and Fripp coalesce, making Follow
an experience easy to recommend.
Both conceptually and in execution, Follow
is beautiful. At parts one can hear the music Shakespeare would have used in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” while other parts a heavy sadness is recognizable. Every single minute sound is crystal clear and by extension every emotion and mood is fully realized in the music. While there aren't many changes in the tone or mood throughout the record, the ones evident are projected very well. The somber and airy instrumental work create a powerful omnipresent aura that along with the intricate glacial soundscapes created by both men; turn the record into a fully realized journey. This holistic approach to the writing almost demands the record be experienced in its entirely in order to fully appreciate it. Actual stand out moments are few but this lack of overt variety serves the record well as the premise is to lead you down your imagination highway. Then the end of “Rotary Symmetrical” starts to play, and leading into the closer “So There”, the end of Follow
lies in stark contrast to the rest of the album. The groovy, vintage guitar work by Fripp and the jazzy saxophone can either throw off the slow-burning pace exhibited up till this point, or just as easily affirm the ingenuity of the record as a whole.
As mentioned before, Follow
is beautiful. Sad without sounding bleak and uplifting without sounding joyful, the simple-sounding exterior of the album masks the complicated moods underneath. These men have over 70 years of professional experience pouring into this record and with these calming, ephemeral layers of sound serving as the backdrop for their expertise, it’s no wonder Follow
is one of the best ambient albums I’ve ever heard.