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King Crimson - Beat CD (album) cover

BEAT

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.05 | 1154 ratings

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Blacksword
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I'm very much warming to this era of King Crimson. It took me along time to appreciate the constantly changing and unpredictable approach of KC in all its different manifestations, but of course this is what makes KC the legenadary prog rock band they are. Although I've yet to explore the post 'Three of a perfect pair' era, I don't think they really put a foot badly wrong between 1969 and 1984.

These 1980's releases do seem to polarise opinion and I can understand why, but to my ears the 80's new wavey KC is quite appealing. In the case of Beat I'm going to stick my neck out and say I prefer it to 'TOAPP' and like it at least as much as 'Discipline' Although no track on Beat really matches the very best tracks on Discipline, for me it's a little more consistent throughout. Everything from 'Neal and Jack and me' right through to 'Two hands' is pushing 4 star material; consistent, melodic, well written and executed. If you're looking for long meandering passges of noodling and blinding virtuoisty then none of the 80's KC trilogy is likely to appeal. Beat has a pop edge that may completely turn off many prog rock fans, or KC 'purists' who maybe prefer the old sound. I find Belews voice irresistable. The Talking Heads edge comes through, but the Fripp guitar sound and style is still in evidence. A very polished and listenable album. Perhaps not that progressive or ground breaking, but purely as an album of its time it stands up and it entertains and pleases the ear. Possibly a good album to introduce your non prog loving friends to KC, before inflicting LTIA on them ;-)

I would also say that Beat and the albums that proceed and succeed it in this series are more true to the KC 'formula' than the 80's releases by Genesis are true to thiers. If that makes sense. The most commercial track on Beat is probably 'Heartbeat' (one of my favourite post 70's KC tracks) and despite being radio friendly and fairly formulaic in its structure, it's still not as poppy as the most poppy 80's Genesis.

Blacksword | 3/5 |

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