Robert Fripp and David Sylvian's first official release together, The First Day, is a much funkier and more percussive affair than its bootleg predecessor, The Day Before (which contained radically different versions of these songs). An obvious reason for its higher quality is that it was recorded in a studio, while the bootleg consisted of in-concert demos, and the songs here have been worked to completion. Fripp has found an extremely talented singer/partner in Sylvian, who adds a lot to his quirky compositions. Trey Gunn (who plays a bass-like instrument called the stick) makes each track practically groove and breathe on his own, and allows Fripp to stretch out and experiment in ways previously unheard by this guitar icon. The First Day is a very consistent album, with the musician's excitement and energy easily being felt on such tracks as "God's Monkey," "Brightness," and the ten-minute tour de force "Firepower." Other lengthy tracks follow (the 11-minute "20th Century Dreaming" and the 17-minute "Darshan"), but it never becomes self-indulgent or boring. Certainly one of Robert Fripp's best and more inspired King Crimson side projects.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato