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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

1 stars Out of all the KC albums I have ever bought, this is the only one which, I'm sad to say, left me completely and utterly unsatisfied.

As all prog fans, I am usually VERY cautious when looking into the 80's catalogue of 70's prog giants. Unless I absolutely LOVE the band, I won't bother at all. Naturally, I love KC. When I found that I had listened to their 70's work so much that I wished I had more....i looked to the 80's.

Using this very site as a guide, I bought Discipline. I loved it to death! What a surprise. So after hearing it a thousand times over, I began to think to myself: "maybe, just maybe, KC's other 80's albums are this good as well!"

Using the site as a guide, again, I decided to skip "Beat" and head straight over to this album, "Three of a Perfect Pair". Reading about the experimental second side left me quite excited. Well...let's just say, I won't be going back to check out "Beat".

There are essentially 2 fundamental problems with this release. The first is that Adrian Belew writes really godawful songs. I don't think he's a bad muscian or anything like that. As a matter of fact, I think he has a lovely voice and his guitar ingenuity is really something to behold. But for the love of all that's good and holy, I wish he would let Mr. Fripp handle all the compositional duties.

The first track, THREE OF A PERFECT PAIR, is often said to be the best of the pop tunes on side one. Good lord. After hearing it, I was afraid to hear the rest of the album! It has a marginally interesting time signature, which is its best asset. The playing is outstanding, but you kind of expect that with these guys, so no extra points for that. Ultimately, it is a pop song and not a particularly great one. It only gets worse from here.

The less said about the other Belew tracks, the better. SLEEPLESS is actually a decent track, but is not prog in any sense of the word. MODEL MAN and MAN WITH AN OPEN HEART would be filler on an album full of Talking Heads B-sides. Enough said.

So, here comes Side 2...the proggy side. I was really hoping to love this. Unfortunately, I just can't say very many good things about side 2 either. And this is where the second fundamental problem with the album arises. Now this is a personal preference, so it may be this way for you:

I absolutely loved KC's spacey explorations on "Starless And Bible Black" but this is...different. Starless and Bible Black felt like rock musicians jamming it out. The 80's production makes these sound like really awful Tangerine Dream rejects. Those who didn't know better might even think they were created by some guy at his computer. These sort of sparse electronic soundscapes don't appeal to me very much unless I'm very inebriated.

The only track on this whole album that I really love is LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC PART III. Nowhere near as good as the previous 2 parts, this is still very good. For the first time in the whole album, you can feel energy and complexity and inspiration coming together to form an honest-to-goodness prog-rock composition. This is what I was wishing for when I bought the album.

Sadly, when you consider that I only really like a 6 minute song on a 40 minute album....I can't even give this 2 stars. I really hate to have to do this, as KC are one of my favourite bands. You'll see a multitude of 4 and 5 star KC reviews from me in the coming weeks. I thought it would be best to get this highly forgettable album out of the way first. 1 star.

Eapo_q42 | 1/5 |


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