Former Police guitarist Andy Summers is no stranger to collaborations, and has paired himself with a bevy of intriguing artists (Robert Fripp, Bill Evans, Fernanda Takai) over the course of his 12 studio albums. Jazz, fusion, avant-garde, and tropicalia have all been explored by this prolific guitar hero, but the one thing he hasn't done since the Police's 1986 breakup is form a legitimate rock band. Working with Rob Giles of L.A. super-songwriter combo the Rescues in what turned out to be a full-on band project, Summers revisits the punchy pop/rock style that made the Police one of the biggest and most influential acts of the 1980s.
The former Police guitarist's first solo instrumental album turns out to be a gentle, thoroughly domesticated continuation of his looping soundscapes with Robert Fripp earlier in the 1980s ("I Advance Masked"). Keyboardist David Hentschel is … Full Descriptiona co-conspirator on several tracks, though Summers is perfectly content to go it alone on others. With its repeated guitar loops, interactive counterlines, gentle washes of keyboards, advancing and receding waves of effects, Summers is out to sooth and refresh, not to challenge and disturb – and the music drifts lazily toward the shores of the soporific New Age.
He can't sing like Sting, but Andy Summers demonstrates some good pop sensibilities on this solo album, his first since the breakup of The Police. "Scary Voices" is melodic if unusual, and overall, this is more of a pop album along the lines earlier Police work than a brilliant solo breakthrough for Andy Summers, but it's a decent listen, and fans of him or The Police may want to check it out.
While Andy Summers is best known as the guitarist of the Police, he has since forged a successful and acclaimed solo career with new age-influenced contemporary instrumental music that, like his work with Sting and company, draws on his love for jazz and his fascination with creating instrumental textures.