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King Crimson - Three Of A Perfect Pair CD (album) cover

THREE OF A PERFECT PAIR

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.23 | 769 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

fuxi
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This album is frustrating and exhilerating in turns. Frustrating, because most of the tracks on the original A-side (here called "Left side") sound immensely annoying. Lacking the intricate instrumental arrangements of their counterparts on DISCIPLINE, and the heartfelt emotions of the best songs on BEAT, they mainly irritate, thanks to Adrian Belew's neurotic, narcissistic lead vocals. Not a pretty picture. Not a voice I long to hear often. Still, even that A-side can be exhilerating, because right in the middle of it you'll find "Sleepless", one of the most haunting Crimson tunes of all time. The side ends on a pretty but moody instrumental entitled "Nuages" - which happens to be French for clouds. (Hence, it's a little puzzling that the band gave this piece the 'poetic' subtitle "that which passes, passes like clouds"...)

The "Right Side" mainly consists of dark, ominous instrumentals. In his excellent book on King Crimson Sid Smith complains that tracks like "Industry" and "No Warning" don't mean much, since they've got 'little substance' and 'compared to other practitioners in the free improvisation sphere, this is pretty plain fare'. Well, when I listen to King Crimson I don't usually expect the sort of virtuosity that characterises John Abercrombie or other jazz improvisers. Still, I always find Crimso's efforts worth hearing. The "Right Side" may not reach the exceptional level of "Trio", "Asbury Park", "Neurotica" or other earlier KC workouts, but about once a year I take time to listen to it and enjoy it thoroughly. But then again, I'll gladly try ANYTHING that has Fripp, Bruford and Levin playing together. The closing number, "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part III", is GREAT FUN, even. It proves, once and for all, that the musicians involved are the true heirs to classic King Crimson and is therefore well worth playing to obstinate old fans who believe this band gave up the ghost in 1974.

As you may notice, the 30th anniversary edition comes with a generous load of bonus tracks, including no less than three remixes of "Sleepless". Fascinating.

fuxi | 3/5 |

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