Unknown Contributor Roles: Tina Curran; Frank Wuyts; Catherine Jauniaux.
Arranger: Henry Cow.
GRAVITY is arguably the finest offering from Fred Frith, a stylistically uncategorizable guitarist-extraordinaire. As usual, Frith strives to obliterate musical distinctions, and GRAVITY is an explosion of pan-genre creativity. Frith throws herky-jerky dance structures, non-Western folk melodies, avant-garde schematics, tribal rhythms, and odd instrumentation into the pot and draws out various mixtures with the precision and finesse of a virtuoso.
A sprightly, cabaret-like theme is visited in "Spring Any Day Now." The warped carnival motif of "Hands Of The Juggler" (which ends unexpectedly as an Indian raga) abuts the prog-rock theatrics on "Norrgarden Nyvla." An Irish gig is the basis of "A Career In Real Estate," but Frith's compositions never reference a single style for long--as the fractured, schizophrenic "Crack In the Concrete" and "Slap Dance" (not to mention the world's weirdest cover of "Dancing In The Street") will attest. This record is a courageous, musically dazzling, and stylistically diverse tour de force.
The Wire (06/02, p.56) - "...The whole album resonates with excitement at the cosmopolitan soundscape of New York....GRAVITY is a bit of a classic - good-humored and richly melodic..."