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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover

RED

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.52 | 2258 ratings

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The Ace Face
5 stars One of the best. Fripp performed many experiments under the name King Crimson, and this is one of his freshest. With just John Wetton and Bill Bruford left, King Crimson could still kick ass with some guest horn and string musicians. This was, for many fans, the final King Crimson album, as Discipline and beyond was such a departure from their normal style. So, in their death throes, Crimson performed an impossible feat: ending with a masterpiece. In my opinion, these 5 songs cover alot of Prog genres in general, not just eclectic.

Red: Heavy on riffing and distortion, this song kicks ass. Bruford Pounds away, Fripp Shreds, and Wetton Smashes out a heavy bass melody in the middle. This song represents how heavy prog can get, with Metal and raw punk elements here and there.

Fallen Angel: The ballad of the album, starting with a great mellotron solo, heavy on acoustics contrasting with electrics, this song is beautiful. Wetton sounds strained as always, but we're used to it by now. The verse is in a major key while the chorus is sad and evil sounding. the horns in the chorus are courtesy of Mark Charig, playing the cornet, and Mel Collins and Ian MacDonald add sax flourishes during the verses. Fripp shows us the lighter side of his playing here, with some cool acoustic riffs and harmonics. this reminds me a lot of I Talk to the Wind. the chorus bangs in with a heavy electric arpeggio, and Wetton cries for the Fallen Angel. the fadeout is creepy, with hypnotic guitar notes blaring into the distance. this song covers the poppier side of prog, as well as the sad, dramatic side.

One More Red Nightmare: Quite Possibly Bill Bruford's finest moment on drums ever, this song rocks. an interesting bass riff gives us some amazing fills from Bruford, and the verses are though provoking, with Wetton at his best singing ever. The the guitar notes under his voice are so unique, I loove it. the guitar work leading into the sax solo is so typicallyt fripp in that there is no discernable riff or pattern. the Sax solo in the middle is courtesy of Mr. Ian MacDonald of "In the Court of the Crimson King" fame. he adds great touches to Fripps great guitar work, along with the ever unique drumming of Bruford. the verse gets repeated once more, and more saxing is in order. This song represents the rockier side of prog, with its catchyness and repeated riffs.

Providence: The imfamous improv song. i dont know why it gets criticized so much. people complain about lack of melody, but what would you expect from an improv song? David Cross returns here on violin and shines very well, especially the intro. Bruford attempts to remind us of the Jamie Muir days with his use of unique percussion like the woodblock. Fripp and Wetton are interweaving with their respective instruments, and this song is 8 minutes of slow building madness. This song represents the crazy, waaay out there side of prog.

Starless: IMO, the best song Crimson ever did. From the shimmering mellotron in the background to the acrobatic guitar lines, the intro is simply mesmerizing. Bruford is restrained, as he should be, waiting for his moment to shine. he does nice work with the ride cymbals though. Wetton sounds good singing the Ballad-like vocals, and doesnt strain himself much. the chord progression here is genius. The sax fills from hell are back again, only this time sounding almost flute like. its funny how the chorus here takes the name of the previous album. i don't know why. the sax frills are so perfectly placed its a crime. after the third verse, things start to get less melodic. the bass comes out with a slightly off riff, making use of the devil's interval. Fripp then enters, picking a single note that changes with the chord. the woodblock is back to help us find the time signature, but I still don't know what it is. from here on out, the song merely builds for the last 8 minutes to a perfect climax. The drums grow in intensity, as does the single ascending guitar note, a genius solo from Fripp. Cross comes in when it starts going fast. the melody of the verse is reprised in the violin, and the electric guitar screams all over the top of it all. again, the time signature is hard to tell, and it may be several pieced together. This is the perfect closer, and represents the, "epic", of the album.

Overall, One of Crimson's best, and I have several favorites, so I cannot pick my absolute fav. After this, Adrian Belew and Tony Levin would change the face of Crimson forever.

The Ace Face | 5/5 |

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