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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.54 | 3043 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars This is the last of King Crimson's golden era. I try not to think of the devastation I would have felt if I were alive at the time to discover this news. While Red is a strong finish to a great career, it is also the most overrated of all Crimson's efforts.

I feel like I have spent too much time in the past with the first three tracks which caused me to be a bit weary with them at the time of writing this review. With that in mind I can't really do them justice now and I'm trying to remember how I felt about them before the scores of listens which now leave me somewhat numb.

The titular track comes out with guns blazing. "Red" is the showcase on this album for Fripp's mastery of the guitar. Extremely memorable riffs and hard-hitting sound propel this fierce instrumental into the hearts of many. 8/10

To take things down a bit after the blistering "Red" we have the ballad "Fallen Angel." It's the song on side 1 that I get least tired of but it sounds like it would belong better on the previous album. There's not much to say other than it is King Crimson's take on a ballad with excellent playing all around. 9/10

"One More Red Nightmare" is a fast-paced song based in rock with a few reed instruments blended in. I often compare this to "Red" but with vocals. Bill Bruford brings some of his best drums to this while the other instruments are at the traditionally superb level you have come to expect from them. 8/10

"Providence" is a great song which took me a long time to finally appreciate. It's sort of the evil twin of "Moonchild" and this is not meant as an insult. I'm not a fan of "Moonchild" by any stretch of the imagination and if I saw any song compared to "Moonchild" I would do my best to avoid it, but give this a chance. There's a lot more cohesion to this. The first couple minutes are mainly a violin experimenting while a few bits of flute and long distorted notes from a guitar are peppered in. The guitar then takes more of a center stage while building upon the mood established by the violin. Something that resembles a traditional song while still being highly experimental takes form at about 5:30 and continues to the end. These final few minutes bring "Providence" down a bit but it still makes for a unique and overall interesting piece. I'd rate this higher but the similarities between this and the song "Starless and Bible Black" make me subtract a point for unoriginality. 7/10

I really have no idea why this is called "Starless." It doesn't remind me at all of "Starless And Bible Black." This starts out as a pretty good ballad for the first 4 minutes. The next few minutes are a slow build with the bass practically doing the same 8 notes while the guitar and percussion go off and do what they feel like. It builds to about the 8 minute mark where things really start to seem like they're about to burst. Things break down shortly thereafter but in a far more anticlimactic manner than you would expect. While you are left somewhat disappointed, a blaring sax comes out of nowhere and leads a final 3 minute assault taking variations on the entire song up until this point. 8/10

This is a little less than 4 stars for me but I still have no problem recommending this.

TheCaptain | 4/5 |


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