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King Crimson - Three of a Perfect Pair CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.28 | 1191 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Three of a Perfect Pair was the last KC studio album of the 80s. After the bold restart of Discipline and the letdown of Beat, the pressure was on for Fripp's next effort. This album marks three KC albums in a row with the same lineup, a record among King Crimson. Unfortunately, this album is also a letdown.

Instrumentally, the band is, as always, strong beyond compare. Yet the lyrics are a bit silly, sometimes intentional, sometimes not. Essentially the first half contains the "danceable" songs akin to those founs on the first two outing of the 80s, while the second is more proggy.

Tony's bass is the redeeming quality of this album like he was for Beat. I defy you not to love the stickline in Sleepless.

Three of a Perfect Pair is one of the light-hearted songs and the lyrics are amusing.

Model Man is catchy but lacks substance

The aformentioned Sleepless in Tony's finest bassline since Thela Hun Ginjeet from Discipline. Belew's voice is a bit spooky, and helps the song to be the best of the poppy efforts. It almost sounds as if Bootsy Collins picked up the stick to contribute.

Man With An Open Heart reflects Model Man's emptiness, and is not very memorable.

Nuages marks the start of the more serious songs, and it is a fine way to close the first side with its gentle progression

Industry is rather sinister and interesting, though it tends to repeat itself

Dig Me is built upon the countermelodies of Belew and Fripp

No Warning features great drumming from the demigod Bill Bruford

Larks Tongue Part III revisits the second part from KC's masterpiece, and spruces it up for the new wave. It's neat, and it's the most instrumentally sound track on the album, but I get wary when my beloved Larks' is redone. This comes from hearing part IV on ConstruKion of Light.

Overall, Three of a Perfect Pair was not nearly the swan song that Red was. However, most of the songs are strong and the light attitude provides a stark contrast to the 70s output. For example, the King Crimson Barber Shop track from the remaster is hilarious. Three of a Perfect Pair was a bit hard for me to come by, so if you see it, go ahead and pick it up, but reserve judgement if you are new to Crimson.

1800iareyay | 3/5 |


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