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King Crimson - Beat CD (album) cover

BEAT

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.08 | 1213 ratings

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aglasshouse
1 stars Not much is needed to be said about King Crimson's 1982 album Beat, other than it is more or less the same as many other 70's bands' absorption of 80's sound. Beat is infamous for it's split between fans of King Crimson; some say it's good musicianship pulls it through even with the musical styles it harnesses , others say it's just a sellout album that only features a modicum of King Crimson's actual talent. Personally I don't belong to the KC fan clique but I sure can tell you this a terrible album.

Dated and extremely wince-worthy, Beat showcases perhaps every single way you can mess up 80's pop rock. The instruments sound watered down, annoyingly twanging out heavily effect-laden chords, the electro-drumming from Bill Bruford, who I know is a fantastic drummer, sounds completely artificial, and the keyboards and "Frippertronics" add a terrible atmosphere to the whole piece. The album has a pseudo rock-and-roll vibe, showcased mainly by Andrew Belew's croon (and in a way his attire shown in the band's live performances of the album). The album needs not one, not two, but three different guitarists (if you count Tony Levin's Chapman stick as one) to keep it afloat. Even with such a plethora of strings the album is weak. The whole album also has a sort of selfishness that differentiates itself from it's kin. It's minimalist album art, it's structure as an album. This may be just King Crimson still not getting over the fact that they made artsy bollocks in the last decade and can't go a single album without showcasing it like a bunch of prudes, but I really can't say for sure.

Frankly it's insulting to see these talented musicians go under just to please a certain audience. Perhaps this was all a Fripp plan and has some art rock meaning behind it. Perhaps it's a botched follow-up to 1980's Discipline. Perhaps it's just a bad album and that's all. The world may never know. But I'll take a shot in the dark and say it's the third option. All in all it's just my interpretation of 80's cheese. Sometimes it's innocent and fine, other times it's infuriatingly stuck-up and full of itself. This is one of those other times. Not recommended.

aglasshouse | 1/5 |

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