by Mitch Myers
What is it that (Paul) Simon sez? "One mans ceiling is another mans floor?"
Well, this little artifact was recorded in 1977 (originally released in 1980), and whether or not its an exciting project is open to debate. For one thing, the record was produced by King Crimsons Robert Fripp and pointed towards the eccentric guitarists metamorphosis from prog rock recluse to punk-pop auteur. Daryl Hall, on the other hand, was already a popular crooner with Hall & Oates and searching for credibility in the world of "serious" musicians. Sacred Songs also arrived during the dawning of Manhattans New Wave explosion and exhibits that genres influence quite proudly. Just as Fripps mid-70s conspirator Brian Eno had established himself as a entrepreneurial producer with young New Wavers like the Talking Heads and Devo, Fripp endeavored to remake Daryl Hall in his own art-punk image.
What does it end up sounding like? Well, mostly like David Bowie, the third key member of the Fripp-Eno axis. While Halls passionate, blue-eyed soul vocal style is clearly more flexible than Bowies theatrical yelp, Fripps arrangements occasionally overwhelm Hall, with the singer sounding as if hes struggling for control on the upbeat numbers. If Halls songwriting has difficulty sustaining Fripps heavy production, he is able to excel on atmospheric ballads such as "The Farther Away I Am."
With bonus tracks from Halls work on Fripps first solo album and a new remastering job by Fripp himself, this is a collectors item for both Crimson freaks and Hall & Oates fans. Everyone else should just move right along.