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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover

RED

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.52 | 2306 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Speesh
5 stars One of the interesting things about King Crimson is that despite many lineup changes and Robert Fripp's desire to always change the sound of the band, they always had consistently good output. Red is one of the best examples of this. Red was a pretty dramatic experiment at the time, even for King Crimson. Robert Fripp reduced the band down to a trio (though there is still a strong presence of woodwind instruments). As a result there was a drastic change in sound. Despite all these changes, the band played very well together, and Fripp was able to create one of the bands finest albums.

The opener Red is powerful to say the least. Fripp's distorted guitar sounds great with the bass which both pulsate throughout the song. Bill Bruford does an outstanding job on the drums as usual, in this song and throughout the album.

Fallen Angel changes the new sound up a lot, for example this track has vocals. The vocal peformance is outstanding as well. The song also starts out rather mellow before exploding into the same frenzy heard in Red and to be heard in the rest of the album.

I absolutely love the drumming in One More Red Nightmare, in fact it was probably the track that encouraged me to start paying attention to rhythm sections in the first place. This would be my favorite if it wasn't for the amazing closer Starless. The track shifts from one part that includes vocals to a distorted jamming part, both of which sound excellent. Towards the end, there is some great sax playing that plays over the rest of the music until the close.

Providence is my least favorite track on the album, though in its defense it is rather hard to digest and I haven't listened to it as much as I should have. It often draws comparison to Moonchild from the debut. It is also the fourth track out of five and deals with some intense experimentation. In the case of Providence however, the experimentation actually has a point and doesn't seem like the pointless noodling showcased in Moonchild. It gradually builds up from beginning to the end where it gets as frenzied as the rest of the album.

The amazing Starless begins with a more mellow emotional side, very similar to the beginning of Fallen Angel, but this lasts much longer. Another excellent vocal performance by Wetton is made during this part. The second part starts out soft but builds up over a few minutes. Towards the end of this part the loud Frippian guitar sounds very similar to Red. Then it seamlessly transitions into the last part of the track, as well as the album. There's some more oustanding sax playing over great bass. Bill Bruford keeps up his great job of drumming with lots of use of the cymbals. As this part progresses it brilliantly replays the beginning of the track with a much less mellow feel and does the same with Fripp's guitar in the second part. This is one of KC's best and classic tracks.

This really showcases the less symphonic side of King Crimson, very different from the magic of their debut album. They may never exceed the quality of In the Court..., but Red is the closest they came. And don't get me wrong, it comes very close.

Speesh | 5/5 |

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