Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
King Crimson - Three of a Perfect Pair CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.28 | 1191 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Not a model album - but still good

The third and last of the King Crimson 80s trilogy, this album sees the band disband and end yet another era of their works. This album, much like the other two before it is very influenced by the 80s New Wave movement, and while it may not be on the same level as the fantastic Discipline it is still a very good album that fans of the band's 80s era should not go without. Defined by all the complexities and layers of music that we're used to from this incarnation of the band it's a very thick album to listen to. Not that that's a bad thing, since the first spin shows this album as a very strange record while repeated listens reveal more and more to like about each song. Fripp's guitars are malevolent as ever, even if they seem a bit more calm because of Mr. Belew's contributions, and Levin's playing makes for a very funky record.

What's unfortunate about the record is that it falls victim to the ''beginning has all the best songs'' syndrome. While there are a couple of good songs throughout the album wears thin after the first three exquisite songs. The title track Three Of A Perfect Pair brings back heavy memories of Discipline and makes for a very good opening number. Mid paced and eerie this one sets the tone very well for what's coming. Model Man is an unexpectedly great song considering its length and structure. This one is some of the closest the band will come to leaving prog and becoming totally new wave. But with all it's complexities and within the context of the album it fits very well. One very redeeming thing about the song is the underlying riffing that Fripp performs. The song is very much a riff based song especially coming into the chorus where Fripp unleashes a terrifyingly chilling riff, Belew making light of it overhead. Sleepless is another very good track, more of a rocker than the last two and propelled by a very cool section of rhythm. Beatarific would be the word (made up or not) for this one I suppose.

While the rest of the album is quite good it unfortunately does not compare with the beginning of the album. The two instrumental songs on the album that make for a segue between the two sides are both evil, but not quite up to par with some of the other Krimson instrumental masterpieces. Nuages and Industry make up for a large chunk of the album coming in at around 12-minutes between the two of them, and while the instrumentals are certainly appreciated they come off as a tad slow on the context of the album. Fortunately the final instrumental and closing track of the album, Larks Tongues In Aspic Pt III makes for a very fast and complex track with its very fast pace and time signature. Maybe not up to par with the other Larks Tongues... tracks, but I suppose that is the simple misfortune of naming - people's expectations would be very high seeing that name with a pt. III at the end. The other songs are also quite good, even if none of them stand out above the rest. Dig Me probably being the best of the bunch, the others being fairly average fairs.

This is a very good album. It's very appreciable to those who enjoyed Krimson's other 80s outputs, but for those who didn't this album is not necessary. Good but not essential, this one is 3 of a perfect 5. Recommended for those who don't mind a bit of the New Wave feel and those who like a bit of funk in their prog.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this KING CRIMSON review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.