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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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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One half pop driven art rock and the other half abstract instrumental works. This is the last album of the 80's Crimson line-up, the next album would consist of the double trio. Adrian Belew, who often doesn't get enough credit for his guitarwork, makes notice on this album with precision playing while singing; Robert Fripp continues his refined and identifiable style as well as creates rich synth atmospheres; Tony Levin uses the standard bass guitar more than the stick on this album, and his technique is superb, often using a popping/slap sound to give the songs a meaty feel; and Bill Bruford, who drums with precision, although the sound of his kit on this album is not up to par with the rest of the band.

The first half of the album consists of vocal driven songs, the highlights of which being Three of a Perfect Pair, which features a startingly tricky 6/8 riff that Belew plays and sings with remarkable ease. Man With an Open Heart is one of the poppier tunes on the album, but it has a consistent riff (although part of it reminds me of Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science") and some strong lyrics and vocals. Sleepless was the single from the album, and it is a strong track. Starting with an amazingly catchy Levin bass line, and some great guitar work from the two wizards, this and the next song, the instrumental Nuages, end the first side. The second side opens with Industry, which is a very slow instrumental. It starts out with snare and synth, but as time progresses, the sounds get more and more layered and many things go on at once. It's a favorite of mine on the album. Dig Me is the closest thing King Crimson ever got to a Captain Beefheart type atmosphere. Belew's disjointed, almost atonal, chords mix with the mayhem during the verses, but the chorus is catchy and makes the song worthwhile. No Warning is essentially a prelude to Lark's Tongue in Aspic Part III, which is a continuation of the famed Lark's Tongue in Aspic series. This is a more synthesized effort, but it nonetheless captures the LTIA atmosphere from 10 years before.

Overall, this is a very strong finale to the 80's incarnation of King Crimson. I recommend it highly. 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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