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King Crimson - Discipline CD (album) cover

DISCIPLINE

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 1293 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

PinkYesGongMachine
4 stars The 80s version of King Crimson is definitely different from the 60s/70s version that Robert Fripp retired in 1974. Adrian Belew, best known for his work with The Talking Heads and Frank Zappa brings a quirky new wave weirdness to the KC, and this album definitely 80s.

The album begins with Elephant Talk which is most an excuse for Belew to use his guitar to make twangy sounds and elephant screeches while reciting in "talk form" lyrics that make me think he was merely reading from a thesaurus. Although this track is one of the most famous of the album, it doesn't do much for me, although the live version is wild.

Frame By Frame, the second song, is the major highlight of the album. The intertwining guitars and Belew's guitar noises blend well together, along with Bruford's immaculate drumming and the insane Chapman Stick tapping of Tony Levin. This is a complete track of proggy greatness. It is modern (80s, yet still cool today), tight and just weird enough to give it a special touch, yet pop enough to be extremely listenable even to non-prog fans.

If anyone could enjoy Frame by Frame, then Matte Kudasai is right there with it. A slow-paced, balladesque track that evokes more emotion than any other song on the album. Belew's voice is phenomenal, the soaring seagull guitar leads are perfect for this jazzy, soulful gem.

Although the next few tracks are less enjoyable to me, they still pack quite a punch and bring the goods. Indiscipline seems to be one of the band's (this incarnation) first attempts a sort of improv attack, and they pull it off remarkably well. This track takes me back to the Red album or even Larks' Tongues In Aspic. Belew begins to talk again, and in his best attempt at Jim Morrison, doesn't really pass, but doesn't really fail either. Thela Hun Ginjeet is my least favorite song on the album. One must admire the complex nature of the song, but this entire album is full of complexity in much better songs than this. I found it rather bland.

The Sheltering Sky is a emotive little instrumental that works perfectly for the album and brings me in mind of some of the Police circa 1979/1980. In fact Belew sounds like a brother to both Sting and the Talking Heads' David Byrne, although his vocals are absent on this particular track. The album ends with Discipline which is probably the most complex arrangement on the entire album, albeit extremely repetitive.

Overall, Discipline proved that unlike Yes, Genesis and other 70s prog bands in the 80s, King Crimson would keep a very progressive element to their music through the decade. Bruford may have used electronic drums here and there, but he did play them the same way he had played acoustics in the 70s. The new wave King Crimson is not bad, in fact, they are extremely good. The album is a pioneering effort of 80s prog style and deserves a 4 on the scale.

PinkYesGongMachine | 4/5 |

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