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King Crimson - Three of a Perfect Pair CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.28 | 1191 ratings

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BACKGROUND: This was the third 80's influenced King Crimson album. It came after the successful 'Discipline' and then 'Beat', this was the third. These two albums were more 80's / new-wave influenced than their 70's material. This was third continuing in that direction, so how is it?

ANALYSIS: Actually, this is quite a good album. Rather than being going one way or the other, this album is split between prog songs and shorter, poppier songs. The first side is predominantly shorter pop songs, except Nuages, and side two is made of bizarre proggier songs, except 'Dig Me'.

The 'pop' songs are actually very good, no-where near as overly-demented as the work on 'Beat'. They are enjoyable ditties like 'Three of a perfect pair' (which has an unusual rhythm), 'Model Man', an enjoyable, and my favourite song on the disc 'Man with an open heart', which has a great melody and is very catchy. These songs still have a lot of that quirky Crimson personality though. All these songs have very colourful, high-pitched, glassy guitar tones. There isn't actually a lot of keyboard on this thing, especially for an 80's album, but they do go heavy on the guitar synthesisers. 'Sleepless' is a dance song that was almost a hit for them. 'Dig me' is a off-kilter pop song about an abandoned car, has a catchy chorus but the verses have a very strange rhythm.

The proggier tracks are being 'industry' by other reviewers; I don't know about these terms so well, although one song is called 'Industry' so they must be right ; - 0. These songs typically have some eerie keyboard to create effect, and have an eerie aura, like you're in a dark abandoned warehouse, but you have that feeling you're not really alone... Some dissonant synthesised guitar and sometimes keyboards play in the foreground, and the rhythm section to these songs is energetic and versatile. 'Industry' and 'No Warning', and the ambient track 'Nuages' are all winners, the former two are very intense. The closing 'Larks Tongues in Aspic' has a danceable beat near the start but plods towards the end of the song.

CONCLUSION: Ultimately, 'Three of a perfect pair' is an album that cleverly balances both directions that King Crimson were pursuing at the time, and, above all, has strong song-writing and good songs.

Brendan | 4/5 |


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