Listening to this record, it’s no wonder they broke up for nearly a decade. I can hear the strain.
On the one hand we have Belew songs, one of which is alright, but most of which are really subpar, and on the other ahnd we have the improvisations. They are at war. Worse, they are mostly divided by side, so that we start with what feels like a borderline Belew solo album as performed by 80s King Crimson, followed by what we think Crimson might actually want to sound like.
These competing tendencies were well combined on Discipline and Beat (and when they reunited) but here they don’t work.
My favourite song is literally the joke barbershop quartet bonus track. Everything else feels like a pale imitation of a formerly great band.
That being said: would I rate listen to this than Hair Metal or Synth Pop or the New Romantics or Yacht Rock? You’re damn right I would.