Cross, David - Closer Than Skin

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Noisy Records Ltd.
Catalog Number: Noisy 003
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:32:00

Proggers will know David Cross mostly from his stint as violinist on several King Crimson (KC) albums, including my all-time favorite, Larks' Tongues In Aspic. David Cross' new album, Closer Than Skin, fits well into the KC family tree, but, oddly, the songs -- and especially the vocals of Arch Stanton -- bring to mind Adrian Belew, current vocalist and guitarist for KC. Coincidence? I don't know. I do know that Closer Than Skin is one great album and a work that seems to improve with each listen.

One might expect an electric violinist like Cross to turn in an instrumental jam album along the lines of Jean Luc Ponty's work, but Closer Than Skin offers a set of well-developed pieces with strong melodies, pieces that focus on the songs rather than on instrumental flash. Not that instrumental prowess doesn't ooze from the tracks; well-played would be an understatement for the musicianship here.

Sure, Cross tucks echoes of KC into the notes, but he avoids plundering the past. For example, while the track "Only Fooling," could fit on a KC album somewhere in the era between Larks and Beat, Cross finds a comfortable middle ground and stamps it with his unique identity. Just for fun (or maybe as an ephemeral link to the past), in the track "Awful Love," guitarist Paul Clark quotes Larks' famous guitar riff, albeit in modified form, as he does again in the track "Tell Me Your Name." The recording and production is spot-on, offering a sonic delight on the par with the best KC. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4/5

Are We One? / States of Deception / Over Your Shoulder / Only Fooling / Awful Love / Counting / I Buy Silence / Valley of the Kings / Tell Me Your Name / Anybody

David Cross - electric violins, keyboards
Lloyd - drums
Mick Paul - bass
Paul Clark - guitar
Arch Stanton - voice

Low Flying Aircraft (1987)
Memos From Purgatory (1989)
The Big Picture (1992)
Testing To Destruction (1994)
Exiles (1998)
Closer Than Skin (2005)
Alive In The Underworld (2008)
David Cross and Andrew Keeling - English Sun - Vol 2 (2009)
Starless Starlight (w/Robert Fripp) (2015)
Cross & Quinn - Cold Sky Blue (2016)
Sign Of The Crow (2016)
October Is Marigold (w/Andrew Keeling) (2016)
Being Cross (2017)
Unbounded (w/Naomi Maki) (2017)
Stick Men - Midori (2016)
ESP - Invisible Din (2016)
Dialeto - Bartók In Rock (DC feat. on 1 track) (2017)
Vincenzo Ricca - The Rome Project III (2017)
Another Day (w/David Jackson) (2018)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: October 30th 2005
Reviewer: Clayton Walnum
Artist website:
Hits: 1602
Language: english


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