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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover

RED

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.52 | 2248 ratings

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Bern
5 stars Last opus from the 73-75 incarnation of King Crimson. The band is reduced to a trio after David Cross' departure. However, Cross and old members such as Mel Collins and Ian McDonald appear on this album. After a disappointing release which contained more live improvs than actual studio work, they changed their album format and included only one live improvisation and four studio tracks. This album, however, is everything but disappointing.

It seems that with every album this line-up put out, their tightness as a band increased. Their musicianship is again nothing short of awesome but we can feel that these guys have walked some way together. Wetton's vocals upgraded in the same way. On Lark's tongues in aspic, his voice sounded not always convinced of his own potential. On Starless and Bible Black, it was already ten times better and on Red, he masters his vocal ability.

The album opens with its title track, Red. This essential piece of instrumental progressive rock from King Crimson is nothing short of awesome. A killer riff, drumming and bridge makes this song eternal. By eternal, I mean that this song hasn't aged at all. It still feels new. It is simple, yes, but still terribly good.

The second track, Fallen Angel, is a very successful ballad from this mature King Crimson line-up. Wetton delivers a great vocal performance. The chorus is pretty emotionnal. Let's notice the excellent guest appearances by Mel Collins and Ian McDonald on saxophones.

On to a rocking track, One more red nightmare. I especially adore the drumming on this one and once again the vocals on this one. This song may be the weakest of the 4 studio tracks but it's still really enjoyable. Great musical performance by all of the band members.

Providence is the only live improvisation in this album and in many ways, it is reminiscent of Moonchild from King Crimson's debut album In the Court of the Crimson King. First, it is a jam full of experimental noises and stuff. Second, it creates an interesting atmosphere. Third, it kinda brings the rythm of the album down before you are mindblown by the true showstopper of the album.

In this case, the showstopper is Starless. There's no words to describe the perfection of that song. It's been a long time since Fripp used the Mellotron but in this song, its use is absolutely stunning. The vocal performance is basically the best that Wetton ever put out. The whole song gives instant intense emotions. The one-note guitar solo is awesome. The ending is simply orgasmic. The progression from start to finish is amazing. The drumming is perfect. The guest musicians deliver an incredible job. I'm all out of adjectives to describe that song.

Overall, I think I would give this album 4 stars but it's one of those case where one song is sooooo amazingly good that you can't give the album anything less than 5 stars. So, a masterpiece it is. Highly recommend.

-Bern

Bern | 5/5 |

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