At nearly 60, Robert Fripp continues to be an enigmatic asshole. Twenty years ago, he claimed that guitar gods Clapton and Beck didn't even know how to hold a pick. And while fronting whatever incarnation of King Crimson he chose to gather around him, he proved that he did. Fripp never boasts; he just plays, arrogantly and never feverishly, always in control, sitting down, surrounded by machines.
Love Cannot Bear is Fripp solo, recorded throughout last year's tour, although one would be hard pressed to hear a single hit of applause, God forbid a cough. Fripp's audience, like the artist himself, is hushed and academic. Although processed through countless computers and barely recognizable as coming from a guitar, Fripp's playing is the antithesis of indifference. The soundscapes of "On My Mother's Birthday" and "Easter Sunday" are some of the most tranquil and emotive of Fripp's lengthy career. Perhaps bordering dangerously close to new age territory, Love Cannot Bear nonetheless shows that Fripp's quest for new avenues continues unabated. Whatever you think of his snotty personality, you cannot deny his brilliance.
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