David Browne
April 03, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST

Warm and Cool

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Tom Verlaine
genre
Instrumental

We gave it an B+

Like to listen to instrumental music but consider yourself too hip to buy a New Age album? To the rescue comes Warm and Cool, a collection of thoroughly alluring instrumentals by the guitarist and singer of the just-reunited ’70s band Television. Over the gently tapping brush drums of Billy Ficca, Verlaine’s edgy guitar coils and snakes its way around the album’s delicate melodies — this is what New Age would sound like after a spinal-implant operation. Occasionally the results are lighthearted, but more often they’re intense, as when Verlaine emits shards of guitar noise or scrapes at his fretboard (particularly in the concluding bash fest, ”Lore”). Television fans may shudder at the thought of Verlaine making like the Segovia of the aging-punk crowd. But among ’70s new-wave heroes, many of whom have burned out or lost whatever edge they had, there have been far worse fates.

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