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  • Raj Manoharan
    February 16, 2023
    Delayed for nearly two years because of the pandemic, Andy Summers’ Harmonics of the Night finally sees the light of day, and it is a welcome musical postcard from the venerable veteran guitarist, especially in these unusual times. The title is very appropriate as the overall feel of the album is very nocturnal. Unlike the previous two installments of Summers’ almost entirely self-performed trilogy (Metal Dog and Triboluminescence), drums, percussion, and synthesizers are minimal or nearly nonexistent, allowing Summers to use mostly his guitars to create quiet serenity out of the shadows. “City of Crocodiles” and “Chronosthesia” percolate with darkly lyrical rhythms over which gradually ascending leads and solos twist and turn and reach and yearn. “Mirror in the Dirt” channels “Chocolate of the Desperate” from Synaesthesia and “If Anything” from Triboluminescence with its edgy guitar phrasing over synthesizers. “Prairie” and “Aphelion” revel in Summers’ classic otherworldly tones. The beautiful and tranquil “Inamorata,” one of two transcendental acoustic guitar pieces on the record, features traces of guitar synthesizer. (A whole solo album of tracks like “Prairie” and “Aphelion” would be awesome, as would a whole solo album of tracks like “Inamorata.”) This is the closest any of Summers’ albums have come to resembling the sound and feel of his 1988 minimalist masterpiece, Mysterious Barricades. As a result, this is Summers’ most pensive, thoughtful, and sensitive effort since that stellar recording. There are also sonic elements that recall Summers’ 1980s albums with Robert Fripp – I Advance Masked and Bewitched – as well as flashes here and there of Summers’ signature sound as found in both his work with The Police and his solo career. But then again, all of Summers’ albums, including this one, are his signature sound, aren’t they? Harmonics of the Night is a cinematic musical journey well worth taking, courtesy of the always reliable and ever dependably unpredictable Andy Summers.