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King Crimson - Beat CD (album) cover

BEAT

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

2.97 | 775 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The middle book in a trilogy is always the hardest to love; neither the newness of the opener nor the closure of the final act, it serves mainly to deepen and complicate the plot. Hopefully by the time you listen to "Beat", the previous album will have convinced you that this is very much a different band- much more so than the "Lark's Tongue" era was from the "Court of the Crimson King". It's not that they have a harder edge (what could be harder than "Red" or "Fracture"?), or are any less melodic or experimental. The structure of the songs is much tighter- fewer of these songs feel like the kind of inspired jamming that sat between favorite tracks on the 70's releases, and each player seems to have a better idea of what they are going for than on "Discipline". As always, there are moments of unexpected beauty- "Neal and Jack and me" is appropriately melancholy at times- and moments of menacing fear, in "Nerotica" and "The Howler" especially. Still, the individual songs are not as strikingly memorable as those on the albums that bookend the trio, even if the playing is slightly more focused. Ultimately this release ( and "Three of a Perfect Pair" to a lesser extent) still pales when compared to the unique achievement on "Discipline", but will really only disappoint you if you cannot see past the 70s' version of the band.
James Lee | 3/5 |

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