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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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Symphonic Team
2 stars The third of three strongly imperfect albums

Three Of A Perfect Pair was the third out of three albums that King Crimson released in the 80's. When listening to Three Of A Perfect Pair's first four tracks, you can easily be led to think that the overly experimental and improvisational side of the band that plagued most of Beat and parts of Discipline has been left behind, as these four tracks are among the most accessible of the band's career, but the rest of the album forcefully diminishes that hope. Many King Crimson fans probably prefer the experimental and improvisational side of the band over the Pop-Prog of tracks Man With An Open Heart, Model Man and the title-track, but this reviewer strongly prefers the latter over the former; I prefer the (rarely showcased) more accessible, melodic and harmonic side of King Crimson. Indeed, I find the first side of the present album to be strongest individual album-side of a King Crimson album since the Red album in 1974, but the second side of this album is every bit as tedious and even unlistenable to these ears as the bulk of the previous Beat album. That previous album too had a couple of more accessible tracks on its first side, but they were generally not up to the standards of the best tracks from the present album.

King Crimson's three 80's albums were all based on the same formula that mixed more accessible vocal tracks with instrumental improvisations and sound-experiments. The latter are, for me, dull at beast and downright painful at worst. The seven minute Industry is a good case in point - an utterly tedious affair. Dig Me is an absolute musical atrocity in which the worst side of Adrian Belew's indulgent monologues reaches its "peak". The closing track is part three of Lark's Tongues In Aspic (parts one and two are on the 70's album on the same name). This third part adds very little of value to the originals which were overlong already as they were in my opinion.

If they had taken the best and most listenable tracks from the three 80's albums and put on one and the same album, King Crimson could have made a pretty decent album. But as they stand these three albums are all weak. I would give the first half of Three Of A Perfect Pair a weak three stars and the second side of the album one star, making a weak two stars the appropriate final rating. After this album King Crimson would once again fall into hibernation and not return until 11 years later.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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