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King Crimson - The Power To Believe CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 1089 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars Some count this album as a glorious return to form, but I believe it to be just another proof that, while King Crimson may have difficulties with a few albums here and there, they have never truly lost their form.

Perpetual band King Crimson entered their fifth decade of music, the '00s, with The Power to Believe. Usually bands that made their mark in the 70s reunite thirty years later and release just another album in the hopes that it will bring back the glory of their youths. Not King Crimson. Unlike so many bands, this forty year old act has kept releasing albums inconsistently but nevertheless continuously. And each decade sounds different: The Power to Believe is a leap off the back of THRAK, returning to the idea of quality melodies and intriguing song structures. Learning from their weak ConstruKction of Light, the band toned down the excessive instrumental portions, shortened the songs that needed to be shortened, and in the whole released a new album that flows better than any since Red. While Frippertronics and complicated meshings of instruments might still be quite present, the soundscapes are once more terrific and the aggression once more has a place in the music.

The first title track opens the album with a soft a capella version of what will be the main theme eventually. Next, Level Five is a long and winding instrumental that features some neat guitar solos. The key here is that it runs for the perfect length of time, not noodling away the minutes. Eyes Wide Open jumps on the tail of that, providing us with a beautiful and moody piece. Belew's voice hasn't sounded this splendid since Discipline. The rhythm is unique here, and though it is accessible and catchy, it is definitely not just a pop tune. EleKtriK is another instrumental, this one even more complicated but less aggressive than Level Five. That is, until the end, when the band gangs up, the drums go wild, and a wall of guitars brings down the walls. Facts of Life begins with a quiet intro and some random drum soloing, then turning into another melodic and fascinating song in the vein of Eyes Wide Open.

The Power to Believe II is an experimental and meandering track in the vein of Providence, though not nearly as intriguing. Dangerous Curves, however, is a slowly building and repetitive soundscape that reminds me of The Talking Drum. The guitar picks out a rhythm and the music slowly grows louder, culminating in the heaviest and angriest riff the band ever wrote. A final chord of pure dissonance wraps it all up in a very satisfying fashion. Very much a metal-based track, not the symphonic prog band we saw back in the 70s. Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With (a confusing track name to type) is a goofy, unique tune with some grouchy distorted vocals about writing a song. The chorus is frenetically fun, kind of obnoxious but if you can get over it, you have the band's most lighthearted and catchy tune since Cat Food back in 1970. The last two title tracks wrap up the album in fine if slightly unmemorable fashion.

This is a splendid release from a band that by all rights should be out of ideas but aren't. If you like King Crimson, especially Red, and wonder what all this fuss is about a new album, look it up. It isn't Red, it isn't Discipline, it isn't THRAK, but hey, it's a particularly good album. Very modern and fun.

LiquidEternity | 4/5 |


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