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King Crimson - Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.37 | 86 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This 32-minute mini-album was only meant as a teaser for the upcoming King Crimson album "The Power to Believe", so it might not rate more than a passing mention in retrospect. But one of the tracks stands out enough to merit an entire review by itself. and here it is.

In the typically rigorous fashion of all things Crim, the CD was organized into a set of three songs (the bluesy "Potato Pie" didn't make the final cut on the subsequent album), three short soundscapes, and three even shorter musical haikus, sung by Adrian Belew through some sort of voice synthesizer.

And then there's the orphan stepchild of the bunch, and the excuse for this review: a dynamic re-recording of "Lark's Tongues in Aspic, Part IV", presenting maybe the most intense, powerful, sometimes frightening, and downright awe-inspiring ten minutes of music in the entire King Crimson discography. And that's no exaggeration.

The track is miles ahead of the suitably loud but two-dimensional version that made its debut on "The ConstruKction of Light", and might have been included here as a sonic apology for the sometimes lackluster production of the earlier effort. The original was easily the best thing about that decidedly mixed blessing of an album, but the revision is (in classic Crimson vernacular) a "beast", rolling forward like an unstoppable juggernaut and destroying everything in its path.

It never ceases to amaze me how such a mild-mannered, well-balanced, and obviously thoughtful person like Robert Fripp can willingly compose and perform such demonically aggressive music. I suppose he needs some sort of release from the frustrations of daily life, which must be even more acute to a professional musician dealing with the business end of his craft. Whatever the reason, it's good news for those of us with a similar itch for the catharsis of pure sound, but be forewarned: you'll need all your wits to survive the aural assault of this sucker.

Bottom line: five enthusiastic stars for the one song alone, balanced against three stars earned by the rest of the disc, equals a solid four star rating for the entirety. If you only know the "ConstruKction" edit of "Lark's Tongues IV", and consider yourself in any way, shape or form a disciple of the Crimson King, you need to hear this version, played as loudly as your ears, your stereo, and your sanity will allow.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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