Up until now, Barry Cleveland has been an unknown artist to me as well as some others. Hopefully more will be exposed to his music. My first exposure to his catalog is new album Hologramatron and quickly I’m reminded of some of Fripp’s solo and King Crimson vibes. In fact it’s a mesh of the Exposure combined with the 80’s Crimson trilogy. Along with the Fripp/Toyah band and album, Sundays All Over The World.
There’s a rawness quality to the entire Hologramatron album with the spirited vocals and lyrics of Amy X Nueburg. Amy has a way of showing her emotions from a somber to angry style of vocals, especially on the first track “Lake Of Fire“. “Lake Of Fire” is revisited at the end of the album in a remixed version minus the keyboard parts at the beginning. Both versions start and finish the album perfectly.
Some highlights are the opening and closing “Lake Of Fire“ , “Money Speaks“ which is closer in style to Sundays All Over The World. Not quite as acid tongued but effective emotionally. You can hear the Fripp/Gunn interplay between Barry and Michael Manring especially on instrumental “You‘ll Just Have To See It To Believe It“, which also present in an alternative mix.
The male vocals (courtesy of Harry Manx) on “Stars of Sayulita” remind me of solo Robbie Robertson (the 1987 self titled album). The song is a wonderful tapestry of music and lyric in a somber yet effective mode. Next up is, “Warning” which reminds me of what’s on Fripp’s Exposure album, most notably on “Chicago“ and to an extent, “NY3“
The album is has two flaws (slightly) in this album, first is on “What Have They Done to the Rain”, which disrupts the flow (in my opinion) of the album with a doo-wop style to it. The other is, “Telstar” which seems too “happy“ to be on this album. Maybe if Barry added some “darkness” or a remix of “Telstar”, it would have fit better. Other than that, the album is very enjoyable for fans soundscapes especially around Fripp 1979-84 era of music. Maybe in the future, Barry and Robert could collaborate on something. Until then, “Hologramatron” is a very enjoyable well crafted album that satisfies that craving and then some.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on June 23rd, 2010