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King Crimson - Discipline CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 1989 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars |C+| Experimental substance meets over-repetition.

This is definitely one of the more straight-forward works of KC's discography, and presents a marker of Fripp's shift to a new idiom in his compositional style. While the overall experimental feel that is present in just about all of his work has certainly been retained, as well as the relentless use of new sounds and technologies, Discipline is obviously and decisively more repetitive and easier to grasp than previous albums.

It really is the repetitive nature that makes this album as accessible as it is. Each track could easily be divided into a few sections that are used at least twice. Each section is comprised of guitar-bass-drum patterns and riffs that repeats every measure over and over, with vocals either talking or singing a nice melody. This is pretty much the case for the entire album, and is the main reason for the rating being lower than it would be otherwise. It took me literally three listens before I felt like I knew the album quite solidly, and only because there is in fact very little music here repeated to fit the length of the album. My feeling is that Fripp intended this as a consequence of the influence of minimalism in this album, evident also in some of the guitar work which refers quite clearly to Steve Reich.

Despite this overuse of material, the material itself is really cool and well crafted, especially in terms of the technology and instrumental effects used in the album's production. Fripp makes heavy use of chorused guitar, in a way that is indeed very characteristic of the early eighties. Bruford uses ethnic sounding percussion instruments much of the time as well. Levin sounds like Levin, offering really cool, juicy bass lines as usual, and shows off his speed in the second track. The vocal melodies are probably my favorite part of the album, very catchy and singable. His best contribution is in Thela Hun Ginjeet, which is along with the first track are the highlights of the album for me.

There's some great stuff to be heard in this album, but overall I'd say it is somewhat dated sounding and repetitive for my taste, and I'm not exactly a critic of simplicity in music. It's just not very organic and I blame minimalistic influence for this. Discipline is nonetheless a pretty fun album; I'd play it at a party with my progger friends as background music. A King Crimson fan should be satisfied with this album, especially if you like the group's later discography.

Isa | 3/5 |


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