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King Crimson - Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.56 | 576 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This one really surprised me. A lot. 'A Scarcity of Miracles' is a beautiful extension of certain elements which have shaped the King Crimson sound over the years, particularly drawing from the more ambient tones of the 80's and 90's period, and none of the claustrophobic Oystersoupkitchen buffoonery of more recent(ish) times. Credited to guitarists Jakko Jakszyk, Robert Fripp and sax virtuoso Mel Collins, with the superb rhythm duo of PORCUPINE TREE's drummer Gavin Harrison (who also appeared in the early 80's on 'Neil's Heavy Concept Album' and the touring band of RENAISSANCE, promoting their 'Time Line' release, of note) and the Chapman Stick/Bass-monster Tony Levin. Much of the music here is very serene and intelligent, the mellow tone of Jakszyk's voice really capturing and adding to the mood of the music. Fans of NO-MAN's 'Schoolyard Ghosts' album should fall for this album. Instrumentally, I think it's Collins' smooth-as-silk sax work which towers above the rest, twirling and fluttering its way in and around the mid-paced grooves like an attractive butterfly in flight - at times unpredictable, yet captivating. This outing is clearly not about challenging the listener with angular riffs and off-the-cuff structures, but more like an invitation to join in on a mysterious dream-like journey and forget about life for a while. The work of Fripp is still distinctive, yet subtle, and not overpowering as it can be - there's lots of 'breathing space' within the songs. The gatefold LP edition features only a portion of the full cover art but looks great, and the vinyl sounds just as good as any CD. Most tracks are lengthy, with the title-cut and 'This House' being a pure bliss-fest, and the most dramatic piece being 'The Other Man', where the supportive Levin/Harrison pair shine. The hardest track to absorb is the just over 9min 'The Light of Day', the most experimental of the lot, relying heavily on multi-stacked vocal parts with weird melodies and guitar/sax interjections. 'The Price We Pay' and 'Secrets' also being great tracks. An easy 4 star album, not an instant classic, but almost.
Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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