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King Crimson - Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With CD (album) cover

HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU HAVE TO BE HAPPY WITH

King Crimson

Eclectic Prog


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Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars It has been a few years since we have heard rumblings from ''The Court of King Crimson''. ''Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With'' is a CD/EP that runs over 30 minutes. Anything over 30 minutes qualifies as an album as far as I am concerned, but when your dealing with progressive-rock heavyweights like this, 30 minutes is merely a warm up of what is to come, so standby for more soon.

Adrian Belew's voice is present to give the music a distinct flair and the instant recognition of their legacy. I always thought he sounded different from anyone else in rock, and it worked out as a perfect fit for KING CRIMSON's sound. Mastermind Robert Fripp remains at the helm after all these years and his guitar work is consistently outstanding. The beauty and suppleness of "Eyes Wide Open" is a huge departure from a rocker like "Lark's Tongues In Aspic" with its wailing guitar and odd time signatures coupled with jazz fused overtones. They sound as if they have not missed a step after all these years and remain light years ahead of their contemporaries. The best part about their music is their element of surprise, you never know what to expect from track to track, and that is what makes them so intriguing and fascinating to listen to.

If this is just a taste of what is to come, I can hardly wait to get the full course meal.

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#33704)
Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars King Crimson has traditionally been a band that reinvents itself periodically. These phoenix-like resurrections serve both to suit the current projects of the individual members and to inject fresh challenges into a musical structure that could otherwise be in danger of stagnating. The most recent incarnation saw the departure (for now) of long-standing members Bill Bruford and Tony Levin and the consequent reduction in number from six to four. This line-up settled any disputes as to it's validity with the stunning album 'The ConstruKction Of Light' and a tour opening for Tool, which served to expose them to a whole new audience. This new e.p. is a taster for an album due to be released in early 2003. The title track couples a typically tense riff with one of Adrian Belew's satirically humorous lyrics. 'Eyes Wide Open' is a beautiful, acoustic song which showcases the versatility of Gunn and Mastelotto, meanwhile 'Potato Pie' has a bluesy edge that is not often found in Crimson's repertoire and more of those quotable Belew lyrics : 'it makes you feel just like a horseshoe in a swimming pool, 'cos you know you don't belong'. The Ongoing instrumental saga of 'Lark's Tongues In Aspic' is continued here with an dynamic take on 'Part IV'. 'Mie Gakure' is an example of Robert Fripp's guitar soundscapes which are found on some of his solo albums and 'Shoganai' is a short, percussive piece with a hypnotic, oriental flavour. These pieces are separated by what have been described as 'musical haikus', short snatches of Belew singing through a harmoniser. There is a hidden bonus track too - 'Einstein's Relatives'. The forthcoming album is to be called 'The Power To Believe' and, as an aperitif, this e.p. has certainly whet my appetite.

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Send comments to Andy Long (BETA) | Report this review (#33705)
Posted Wednesday, February 02, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I guess this CD EP had more value when the "Power to Believe" album wasn't yet released, but we have here some different versions of familiar songs, along with few fine soundscapes ("Mie Gakure" for example) and otherwise unreleased impressions from the band's studio sessions. I'm not very fond of the title song I must admit, but the acoustic "Eyes Wide Open" is an interesting version of this great song. Also there are three short little parts with only Adrian's effected singing, maybe not most essential. "Potato Pie" is some sort of "ProzaKc Blues - part two", also not very pleasing for my ears, but the live version of Larks' Tongues in Aspic - part IV" is very fine. Note that the lyrics of "Coda" were dropped out after 11/9, as they mentioned "the bombing of World Trade Center".

What I appreciated is the long running time of this mini album, though some tracks could have been omitted, like the final mess named "Clouds". If you are interested of the 21st century line-up of this schizoid band, you may appreciate this release much more than me - I'm not a huge fan of this incarnation of King Crimson, but I admit that they can still create some good musical moments. On this release I think the ratio is about 50% good, 50% bad, that's about 15 minutes of both.

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#33707)
Posted Friday, April 01, 2005 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This 32-minute mini-album was only meant as a teaser for the upcoming King Crimson album "The Power to Believe", so it might not rate more than a passing mention in retrospect. But one of the tracks stands out enough to merit an entire review by itself. and here it is.

In the typically rigorous fashion of all things Crim, the CD was organized into a set of three songs (the bluesy "Potato Pie" didn't make the final cut on the subsequent album), three short soundscapes, and three even shorter musical haikus, sung by Adrian Belew through some sort of voice synthesizer.

And then there's the orphan stepchild of the bunch, and the excuse for this review: a dynamic re-recording of "Lark's Tongues in Aspic, Part IV", presenting maybe the most intense, powerful, sometimes frightening, and downright awe-inspiring ten minutes of music in the entire King Crimson discography. And that's no exaggeration.

The track is miles ahead of the suitably loud but two-dimensional version that made its debut on "The ConstruKction of Light", and might have been included here as a sonic apology for the sometimes lackluster production of the earlier effort. The original was easily the best thing about that decidedly mixed blessing of an album, but the revision is (in classic Crimson vernacular) a "beast", rolling forward like an unstoppable juggernaut and destroying everything in its path.

It never ceases to amaze me how such a mild-mannered, well-balanced, and obviously thoughtful person like Robert Fripp can willingly compose and perform such demonically aggressive music. I suppose he needs some sort of release from the frustrations of daily life, which must be even more acute to a professional musician dealing with the business end of his craft. Whatever the reason, it's good news for those of us with a similar itch for the catharsis of pure sound, but be forewarned: you'll need all your wits to survive the aural assault of this sucker.

Bottom line: five enthusiastic stars for the one song alone, balanced against three stars earned by the rest of the disc, equals a solid four star rating for the entirety. If you only know the "ConstruKction" edit of "Lark's Tongues IV", and consider yourself in any way, shape or form a disciple of the Crimson King, you need to hear this version, played as loudly as your ears, your stereo, and your sanity will allow.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#33708)
Posted Thursday, April 07, 2005 | Review Permalink
eanmund44@mai
2 stars Having been a longtime Crimson fan, I should probably like this. But I can't. It bares no resemblance whatsoever to the 60's or 70's King Crimson, and barely any resemblance to the 80's Crimson, even though 1/2 of the band is still the same. And it just flops around like a sick fish, not accomplishing much.

Some of the songs are an ugly grunge-sounding mess (the title track and Larks Tongues IV). The only worthwhile songs are the somewhat heavy Potato Pie, bell-like percussion instrumental Shoganai, quiet Eyes Wide Open, and the hidden track of excerpts in Clouds. But even those are a far cry from the classics from earlier Crimson releases.

If Fripp and Co. are going to release junk like this, they ought to do it under a different band name, and not drag "KING CRIMSON" through the dirt.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#40651)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
kunangkunangku
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars From the opener to the last track this album gives you a no-nonsense bumpy ride on (haha) King Crimson Street -- in which the music swing freely from the light, easy part to the heavy part, from the quiet part to the noisy part. And yet there is no room for the listeners to bring forward any reasonable complain.

Listening to "Bude", a short spoken, electronically manipulated verses (as Peter Frampton did on "Show Me the Way" or Jeff Beck on "She's a Woman" live version with Jan Hammer), one might expect a sit-back-and-relax comfort. But this is not the case, because in no time enter the heavy riff of one of the best tracks, a kind of Belew style of alternative metal flavor "Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With". An interesting twist (or trick?) the listeners can find every now and then.

After the two-minute meditative soundscape "Mie Gakure" and again a short spoken verses "She Shudders", another best new track "Eyes Wide Open" follows. Performed with rhythmically acoustic guitar, "Eyes Wide Open" brings a relieving feel with its poignant lyric. With Belew's effective vocals and marvelous instrumentation, this beautiful song should bravely takes its place alongside "Frame by Frame" from "Discipline".

Another great track worth mentioned is "Potato Pie", a bluesy tune partly best describes as Fripp and Belew guitar play exchange.

Having earned a reputation as a cutting-edge band, always reinvent itself, King Crimson is almost sitting on a comfortable place to do any thing. And they always meet any expectation, as is with this EP. This is a precious addition to your collection.

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Send comments to kunangkunangku (BETA) | Report this review (#40664)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars "We're gonna need to have a chorus."

An outstanding EP. With almost no concern for structure, and traditional elements, King Crimson continues to power on their artistry. Some parts are just zany, but if you've grown accustomed to the band, you'll realize it fits in right with their style of music. It's definitely evolved since their more jazzy and softer beginnings (although the band never was soft, and was always cutting edge).

Lt. Pt 4 continues in the same experimental fashion as its predecessors, however this is considerably heavier and more grueling than the others, which would appeal more towards metal fans than towards symphonic prog followers. Regardless, another fine effort in the LTIA saga which continues to show Fripp as one of the most creative guitarist/composers in the game.

I usually look down on EPs. However, this one is filled with quite a chunk of good material and is well worth having, especially if you are looking to continue exploring one of the best bands in progressive music.

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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#107330)
Posted Saturday, January 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars While not nearly as necessary a purchase as the outstanding "Power to Believe", this fun teaser of that excellent album still has its share of music to appreciate. There are some heavy, savage instrumentals and delicate soundscapes throughout, and fans of "PTB" will enjoy the alternate versions of "Happy With What..." and "Eyes Wide Open". Lots of groovy stuff for the fans, but neophytes might be better picking up the full-length version first.

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#139205)
Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
LiquidEternity
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Unlike the EP VROOOM, HWWYHTBHW (that, too, is a terrible pain to type) does not feature any really interesting tidbits of music. As far as a teaser goes for a new album, it's interesting, but in truth, despite the fact that it has a lot more original music than that one, the music on this EP is not nearly so interesting. Most of them are meandering and underdeveloped spacey tunes that neither represent the forthcoming Power to Believe album very well nor do they carry much interest. Shoganai uses some neat percussion to create a fluid feel throughout. Potato Pie is an average song with Belew crooning over the top in a rather uninspired way, unfortunately. The middle section is turned into a soft jam session that is more reminiscent of the Allman Brothers Band than King Crimson. The version of Larks' Tongues in Aspic here is interesting, but nothing necessary to listen to. I can't really compare it to its album version, but see reviews of ConstruKction of Light to see what people think of the song. Clouds is an obnoxiously spoken bit with weird music that could be cool but really doesn't realize itself very well.

Really, it's not bad. I mean, there are some neat KC tunes on here that fans enjoy. But that's just it. It's for fans only. Anyone else will be stymied by this release completely.

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Send comments to LiquidEternity (BETA) | Report this review (#185160)
Posted Thursday, October 09, 2008 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For those who have not been with King Crimson since 1969 seminal debut album "In The Court of The Crimson King" that has been widely considered as the birth of progressive rock genre, might think that King Crimson is more on heavy prog kind of music. Especially, when they start the band with this EP and listening to the title track. Nothing wrong because the song bears what heavy prog elements quite significantly in terms of style, groove, drive through the use of heavy guitar riffs. But for those who knew the band since 1969, they might surprise significant that the band has made its leap into another style of prog music.

Teaser that kills.

Well, yeah .. this EP was intended as teaser just before the full-fledge album "The Power To Believe" was released in 2003. I rate The Power To Believe album highly due to the fact that the band was quite successful in managing their new music direction starting with its Discipline album. The Power To Believe pushed the envelope harder by inserting much more heavy music with thick music riffs while maintaining the solid line King Crimson's music. When this EP was released, I was not interested to buy as I thought that the music presented would be centered around the track(s) that were planned to be as the band's hit(s) - in this case is "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With". But I was wrong as I found many great things about this EP, including wonderfully composed "Shoganai".

The mini album opens energetically with its title "Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With" in edited version. I think this is an attractive track with stunning riffs and unique singing style. I always like this track whenever I play it, including this version. Adrian Belew sings at his best with great accentuation when he says "Happy with What You Have To Be Happy With". The next is a great ambient instrument work with no drumming "Mie Gakure" (2:00) which continues brilliantly with "She Shudders" (0:35) - a very short but nice bridge.

"Eyes Wide Open" (4:08) is an acoustic exploration of the band using acoustic guitar as the main rhythm section. The most interesting components are the catchy melody line and natural music flow with excellent Belew vocal work. "Shoganai" (2:53) is my favorite unique track exploring percussion work with great arrangements. I truly enjoy this track. "I Ran" (0:40) is a nice acapella with effects. It flows wonderfully to "Potato Pie" (5:03) with blues tinge while maintaining key characteristics of Crimson sounds and stye. It's really a masterpiece musical arrangement. Bravo!

"Larks' Tongues in Aspic" (10:26) is my top list favorite of King Crimson songs. It started with their album with same title. The reason I like the song was the combination of dark mellow and heavy prog style from their part one during 70s. This version takes mostly the heavier part and it flows brilliantly into my ears. The guitar riffs that characterize this song are also great. The EP closes nicely with another acapella: "Clouds" (4:10)

Overall, this is really an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#185778)
Posted Wednesday, October 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This King Crimson CD/EP ( 32 + min long!) was released as pre - "The Power To Believe" teaser. Usually I am not very interested in EP's at all. But there is a different story.

Firts of all, you have here 10 songs and over 30 minutes of music, so this release is not too far from real album size. Second, there are not outtakes, radio-hits or B-sides added. Even if full CD sounds more as compilation, both together it is great collection of great songs!

Heavy rocker "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With" (uhh, but not a bad name for a song, isn't it?) is not for everyone taste, but I like it. It is real KC on their heavy side. This song will be included ( a bit shorter version) on "The Power To Believe"album as well. Another song from up-coming album - "Eyes Wide Open" - is represented there by very beautiful acoustic version. "Mie Gakure" and "Shoganai" are both beautiful short acoustic instrumentals based on oriental melodies. "Lark's tongue In Aspic" is heavy rocker again and lasts 10:26!

All in all, even if thet EP sounds more as eclectic compilation, it's music is very different in styles, rhythms,arrangements and heaviness. Absolutely attractive even for regular listener. Even more: for me this EP in many moments are better that KC last to time regular album "The Power To Believe" ( which includes some same songs with EP as above).

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#247217)
Posted Friday, October 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With is not simply an EP which shows us King Crimson's work in progress for their "The Power To Believe" album, but a record that grace us with some interesting brand new material.

Tracks such as "Eyes Wide Open" or "Happy with what you have to be happy with", in the end, made it to the studio album in 2003, but then again these versions are not the same: the first one, infact, is an acoustic version, which is interesting, in the lights of the comparison with the original version which everybody knows; the second one is an "edit" version, slightly shorter than the "Power to believe" one.

This record is double linked to King Crimson's 2000 album "The Contrukction Of Light": firstly by a superbe live version of "Lark's Tongues In Aspic (Part IV)" presented here without any vocal parts, in the "Coda" section and also thanks to "Potato Pie", a tune which is nothing more than a blues, seen from King Crimson point of view, just like "Prozakc Blues".

The cd also contains some simple, but incredibly attractive, "vocoder" improvvisations by Adrian Belew such as "Bude", "She Shudders", "I Ran" and "Clouds" : four "a cappella" compositions in which kind of surreal- enigmatic lyrics are spoken.

The weakest point of the work to me is the quite useless and boring track "Shoganai", a short instrumental piece that not raise interest. Better track "Mie Gakure" a typical Fripp soundscape.

A ghost track, called "Einstein Relatives", can be heard in the end and it's a nice mix of demos and improvvisated bits and spoken voices recorded in the studio.

The three stars definition fits: good, but non essential.

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Send comments to Malve87 (BETA) | Report this review (#259229)
Posted Monday, January 04, 2010 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars This CD was released in advance of The Power To Believe, to give a bit of a preview to the album. Despite having ten tracks, the disk really has only four true songs on it. The rest are short interludes and tone poems, showing off the new effects the band has obtained. And the last track, Clouds, is a string of studio blurbs, noises, quotes from the band, and small musical ideas, strung together in a collage. Actually, in it's own way it's interesting.

Of the four songs, Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With is the best of the new material (Larks' Tongues In Aspic - Part IV is a better song, but it's a live recording of a track from the previous album). It's a kick-a**, powerful song, with funny, self referential lyrics. Eyes Wide Open is a Belew ballad. It's not bad, but belongs more on a Belew solo album than a Crimson release. And Potato Pie is another loud, off-key blues based song, similar in style to ProzaKc Blues from the previous album.

For what it is, this album is not bad, but except for Potato Pie, there is no other reason one might need it.

2.5 stars, rounded up.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#284700)
Posted Thursday, June 03, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Before KING CRIMSON released "The Power To Believe" in 2003 they first released the live EP "Level Five" in 2001 and then this EP "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With" in 2002.These two EPs certainly gave us a clear idea as to what the studio album would be like.

"Bude" is a short processed vocal piece before we are hammered by the title track.This kicks in hard and heavy but it's all about the vocals on the chorus. Killer tune. It ends sounding like the opening track.

"Mie Gakure" is a spacey and dreamy soundscape. "She Shudders" is another short processed vocal piece before the beautiful "Eyes Wide Open" song comes in. Love this tune.

"Shoganai" has these intricate percussion-like sounds throughout. "I Ran" is another short processed vocal piece. "Potato Pie" has a good heavy sound to it.This turns bluesy when the vocals arrive around a minute. Fripp solos before 3 1/2 minutes.

"Larks' Tongues In Aspic (Part IV)" is a monster and the highlight of this album for me. It's like a runaway train. Check out the insanity after 4 minutes then Fripp rips it up 7 minutes in. "Clouds" ends it with those processed vocals to start then we get some interesting intrumental and vocal sections the rest of the way. Funny stuff.

An easy 4 stars for me but then again I think "The Power To Believe" is a five star album.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#525510)
Posted Saturday, September 17, 2011 | Review Permalink

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