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King Crimson - Beat CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.08 | 1213 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars 2,5 stars for this one max!!

Although there are some tracks on this album that are maybe better written and executed than on the previous Discipline album, I rate this album rather lower than its predecessor, and in some ways, it's much less essential, because I get a "carbon-copy" feeling about this album. The blue artwork is also uninviting, whereas Discipline's was at least somewhat interesting.

Certainly the instrumental Sartori In Tangier and Requiem are good enough tracks to have fitted on Discipline, but the rest of the tracks are simply too poppy-prog. Don't get me wrong the music is anything but "dumb 80's pop", but it does have a lot of poppy characteristics, mostly in the structure: Rather short tracks with plenty of verse-chorus repetition and a very pop/new wavish profile that makes the music so 80's-typed/dated to my liking (thinking of Waiting Man's "loops" or Heartbeat, here). It also has that very cold technical pop feeling and its utter professional feel that stops me from liking it as an artist statement: it simply sounds to calculated and too business-like for my tastes. The opening track N,J&M is, I suppose, based on Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassidy (notable beatnicks or beat poets if you wish), but the music always failed to arouse my interest. Nuff'said!!

Now only was this noticeable musically (listen to any three record of the era), but this was also the case in the appearance and concert. Check out the Neal, Jack and Me DVD for a double concert and see the very 80's artsy-fartsy looks, acts and of course that horrendous electronics pads percussion kit, even reaching as far as duplicating gongs. Yuk!!

Only my respect for Crimson stops me from rating this album lower.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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