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King Crimson The ConstruKction of Light album cover
3.16 | 936 ratings | 68 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. ProzaKc Blues (5:29)
2-3. The ConstruKction of Light (8:40)
4. Into the Frying Pan (6:54)
5. FraKctured (9:06)
6. The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum (6:24)
7-9. Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part IV (9:08)
10. Coda: I Have a Dream (3:56)

- Bonus track performed by ProjeKct X
11. Heaven and Earth (7:46)

Total Time 57:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Adrian Belew / guitar, vocals
- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Trey Gunn / Warr bass, baritone guitar
- Pat Mastelotto / drums, co-producer (11)

Releases information

Artwork: Ioannis with Trey Gunn & Alan Chappell (design)

CD Discipline Global Mobile ‎- KCCDX2 (2000, Europe)
Virgin Records America - 8-49261 (2000, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KING CRIMSON The ConstruKction of Light ratings distribution

(936 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

KING CRIMSON The ConstruKction of Light reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

The double trio era only lasted so long, and by the turn off the century/millennium, Crimson was reduced to a quartet, but not exactly the one wished for. Indeed both Bruford and Levin are gone, but it didn't really appear as a permanent move back then, because as the title indicates, this album is a bit the continuation of the different ProjeKcts discs/albums, which saw many different formations of the double-trio line-ups, some without Fripp. Rest assured Fripp is still part of this KC line-up, but then again, this album is so heavy (as in slow and heaeaeavyyyyyyy >> weighs like a ton in your ears) that you'd wish he wasn't part of it. But he is, and there is no mistaking about it: Half the tracks sound like rehash of Crafty League of Gentlemen or his other forms acoustic guitar clubs, while the rest can be linked with the Wetton-era Crimson, mainly on the huge riffing. Hiding behind a construction of eclipse light artwork filled with grey and midnight blue, if Trey Gunn holds its own, I find that Matselotto's drumming very average, if not downright shocking at times. Hey, Bill, I'll double your wages....

Beyond the atrocious ProzaKc Blues, probably the most indigestible Crimson track ever, the title track, which besides its weird intro is a Crafty League work, while tracks like Frying Pan or Oyster Soup are more reminiscent of Thrakk or Red, partly due to the huge riffs, but in Frying Pan, the drums is definitely not Bruford's!! I doubt Bill would've dared such an ordinary binary pattern and the rest of the band being so obtuse, sounding like a troubled muddied soup.

Of course FraKctured can only draw comparisons with the SABB instrumental, rightly so, there are similarities and familiarities, enough to wonder what would be the point of reworking this piece outside of a live setting and releasing it as a studio track. Nevertheless, this is probably my fave track on this album, especially in the quieter arpeggios, where you'd swear Phillips Rutherford where around. In the same manner Lark's part IV can only draw comparisons with the first three, and you know it will, so the album is forcibly taking an upward curve. Linked to this rework is a weird short Coda, where Belew's dreams of peace find some sonic support, but it's a bit too bad it's all too distorted byeffects. But on another side this avoids Belew sounding like the pretentious bono. Only the closing Heaven and Earth and its ultra repetitive riff with a mellotron outro

Not really Crimson's best album (almost the opposite), I find TCOL is relying too much on elements of the past (and most notably winking at the Wetton-era) with these two elongated tracks. The real fresh material is left to be found in the excrutiatingly bad opener and in the so-called ProjeKct X trazck that closes the album.

Review by progmonster
1 stars Miles Davis once said : "What's use at playing so many notes while you should play only the beautiful ones ?". This applies at 300% at "The ConstruKction of Light" that could have been called "The DestruKction of a Myth". And it's a really big Crimso fan who's writing this. The only good point about this album is that now i cannot consider "Lizard" as their worst album any longer...
Review by lor68
3 stars Well you could also erase an half star at least, by regarding of a few genial works of the past,but it should be a mistake to compare it to their early albums, the most famous ones, whose spirit was completely different...moreover in some circumstances the repetition of the dissonances and the same harmonic solutions at the guitar as well, make me think that's a boring and tepid work too;nevertheless some interesting music features are hidden behind the corner and this new effort is the attempt by Fripp to make his old style emerge from the modern style of art rock, passing through a re-examination of the same dissonant passages of the early 70's period, but in a modern key.He likes to use the samplings and his usual never ending "sixth-tonal" scales, but at the end this sound is the typical "Crimsonian" style and that's a good idea!!

Make your own choice!!

Review by maani
3 stars First, let's all get over the fact that: the "original" Crimson was long gone; the "second" Crimson (w/Bruford, Belew, Levin) was gone; Mastelotto is not Bruford; and Senor Fripp did not feel the need to rehash everything he has ever written. Taken on its own, this new line-up - and Fripp's attempt (largely successful) at a new (or at least different) direction - is actually quite good. And although there are missteps, most of the compositions are interesting in that Fripp/KC sort of way. My major criticism is that this is a remarkably bad-sounding album for a band like KC and a leader like Fripp: it is not well EQ'd, and is actually downright muddy in places. Still, this is Fripp and KC, so one cannot really go wrong.

"ProzaKc Blues" is classic KC paranoia in blues form, with a "fritched" voice and lots of fun soloing from Fripp. "The ConstruKction of Light" begins with Fripp's newest obsession - contrapuntal guitar notes from the two guitars - and moves into a rather interesting composition in which the lyrics take a sort of "anti-Yes" form: i.e., where Anderson often joins positive words like "sun," "light," "love," "beauty," "joy," etc., here Belew gives us "pain," "die," "black," "empty," "hate," "ache," "rage," "sad," etc. It's not as negative as it sounds, as he intersperses positive words ("sun," "trust," "passion" et al). [N.B. Unlike my colleague, Bryan Adair, I consider the lyrics on this album to be some of Belew's best, for the most part far outwriting his work on "Discipline," "Beat," and "Three of a Perfect Pair," most of the lyrics for which I found at best "commercial," and at worst trite and naive.] "Into the Frying Pan" is a prog-rocker, the verse of which reminds me alot of Lennon, both lyrically and vocally.

"FraKctured" is a quasi-sequel to "Fracture" from "Starless and Bible Black." Beginning with some more contrapuntal guitarwork, it moves into some truly wild Frippmadness. The first half of the piece is basically a repetition of three sections, all with "clean" guitars. The second half is grittier, with "dirty" guitars and some mean playing from both axmen, and ending with some light contrapuntal guitarwork. There is no point in trying to determine time signatures here, as they shift so rapidly that they are almost completely non-discernable.

"The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum" is among my very favorite KC compositions of all time. Ostensibly a KC-style prog-rocker, it is lifted to new heights by Belew's fabulous free-associative, stream-of-consciousness lyrics, in which each word or phrase connects to the next one. For those who may not "get it," the title breaks down to "the world's my oyster," "oyster soup," "soup kitchen," "kitchen floor," "floor wax," "wax museum." My favorite line has to be "Cannibal dog house plan B happy as a lark's tongue in cheekbone china doll" (which breaks down to "cannibal dog," "dog house," "house plan," "plan B," "B happy," "happy as a lark," "lark's tongue in," "tongue in cheek," "cheek bone," "bone china," "china doll".)

"Lark's Tongues in Aspic - Part IV" is far better than Part III, which is the weakest of the lot. Indeed, it harks back more naturally to the original than a first listen might reveal. The best part is the mid-section, in which there is a furious "battle of the time signatures" between Fripp on the one hand (playing almost continuous sixteenth and thirty-second notes), and everyone else on the other, playing a disjointed, shifting time signature set. LTIA segues perfectly into "Coda: I Have a Dream," a truly paranoid rocker in which Belew makes note of the irony between Dr. King's speech and some of the horrible socio-political events that have occurred since then. Among many others, he invokes "tragedys of Kennedys" (before JFK Jr. was killed), and "Saddam Hussein, the bombing of the World Trade" - before 9/11. Truly eerie.

Finally, "Heaven and Earth" is an instrumental, credited to "Projekct X." It opens with "orchestral" Frippertronics (with occasional rhythmic background) and then moves into what sounds like a loosely structured improvisational jam. Although uncohesive, it is quite listenable.

Fripp and Belew are excellent overall; Mastelotto has an interesting approach that is different from Bruford's but equally appropriate to the music; and Trey Gunn (an original member of Fripp's "Crafty Guitarists," and a protege of Tony Levin on stick) more than holds his own in contributing to the overall sound. If this album had been more "crisply" recorded, it might have earned an extra star.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I was a bit disappointed of this album as I first listened through it, but this was partly because my expectations for it were so high. And actually five songs out of eight are quite good compositions, so the major source of antipathy is probably the technic cold sound. This possibly much due the line-up changes, losing my own favorite drummer Bill Bruford and masterful Tony Levin from the double trio. Still, Pat has also good technique, and he has some interesting rhythms, though the digital drum set systems feel bit alien to my narrow sense of taste. Trey Gunn achieves to play here both technically and stylistically very good soft bass lines, and the album holds actually the best performance from him which I have yet heard.

From the songs I would mention especially the title track, which has very good rhythmic elements. "FraKctured" is a very moody composition, resembling naturally bands 70's masterpiece "Fracture". It has extremely violent parts in it, as does "Larks' Tongues in Aspic - part IV". These are very technical and cold pieces, and I think they please fans of oppressing (metal) music. The last track titled "Heaven and Earth" (which I believe is from their projekct sessions) has then an extremely laidback and beautiful ending. In addition to these tracks there are few songs on the album that irritated me a bit more, but the good parts are truly very good, and I see this as a worthy purchase. Actually last decent album from the band, later output eskcaping yet further to the violent turmoil of elekctronikc terrorism.

Review by Neu!mann
2 stars That troublesome two-star rating is entirely provisional, even after five years of retroactive hindsight. It's an accepted fact that every new King Crimson album will initially sound a little strange, and rightfully should, for such a forward thinking band. In my experience the more immediately appealing highlights of the Crimson back catalogue ("Red", "THRAK") invariably lose some of their freshness after too few spins, while the more difficult and challenging efforts ("Lizard" springs to mind) are the ones with legs.

It can typically take years before a new King Crimson album begins to sound normal, but this year 2000 release may prove to be an unhappy exception.

I'll be the first to admit it fell victim to unrealistic expectations, always a risk with those select few bands at the top of the aesthetic totem pole. After the revelation of the 4- disc ProjeKcts box set (to my ears representing the most exciting musical development in Crimson's long and varied career) I felt this one should have been a masterpiece: the breakthrough album that saw the belated flowering of Rhythm Buddies Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto, who for years were merely faces in the Double Trio crowd, always in the shadow of Tony Levin and Bill Bruford.

It didn't quite work out that way. The effort was shortchanged by a rushed production job, and by the fact that the lengthy research and development of the ProjeKcts wasn't used to its fullest potential. Instead of extending the glorious freedom of the 'V'- drum driven ProjecKct improvisations, the group simply took some of the more accessible moments and force-fit them into labored compositions. The Light, Heavy, Contrary ConstruKction cycle from P2 was distilled into the title track here; the monster riffs of P3's "Masque 12" and P4's "ProjeKction" became "Into the Frying Pan", and so forth.

And the sound of the mix was relentlessly grim, even by King Crimson's well-established standards, with none of the contrasts between dark and light passages that so effectively color other Crim albums. Even Adrian Belew's melancholy acoustic coda "I Have a Dream" was nixed in favor of an all-too typically heavy full band blowout, closing the disc on another loud and overwhelming downbeat.

Only the epilogue, "Heaven and Earth", attributed not to King Crimson but to the mysterious ProjeKct X, gives any indication what the album might have aspired to, given more input from the under-appreciated and always inventive rhythm section. Anyone curious about where ProjeKcts 3 and 4 were going should search out the ProjeKct X album, recorded parallel to the ConstruKction of Light sessions. It's a natural fulfillment of the techno drum 'n' bass ethos in those earlier experiments, and I wish Robert Fripp had released it under the King Crimson banner, instead of hiding it under a pseudonymous blanket.

In the greater Crim history "The ConstruKction of Light" might almost be analogous to the "Lark's Tongues in Aspic" album and the post-"Earthbound" Crim. How's that? Think about it: a new and radical incarnation of the band stands poised to shake the cultural tree, but settles instead (in the studio, at any rate) for picking up the easy fruit already fallen to the ground. It's the same old story: King Crimson has always had trouble translating its considerable energy to the studio. Only with the release, three years later, of "The Power to Believe" would the promise of the Double Duo line-up be fully realized.

Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
4 stars A very,very strange album. I have been listening to this for a while, and i still don't fully "get it". But either way, it is still a good album. There are many highlights from this album. Unfortunatly, there are bad parts to this album that really can slow the ablum down. First the bad, FraKctured, The Project-X song, and (at times) LTIA part IV. The rest of them are pretty good to great. The ConstruKction of Light is really powerful and the interplay of the instraments is really great. The World Is My Oyster one of the best songs form Crimson (and again I mean form any era). The Lyrics are fantastic for that song. But for the rest of the album, excluding TCOL and C:IHAD, the lyrics are nothing spectacular. Fans really should not dismiss this album as "trash", but should embrace it. You probably won't like it the first go around, but keep listening, you'll get it (and like it) eventually.
Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Throughout the years, King Crimson has always been tweaking their sound so greatly that one might believe that a different group. From the symphonic In the Court of the Crimson King to the glorified progressive pop of Beat, to the quasi-avant-metal of Thrak, Robert Fripp has always been able to shape the sound of the band in such a way that it completely leaves the old sound behind. This album, released 5 years after the double trio madness of Thrak, shows a King Crimson on the verge of some great ideas, but some poor execution hurts this album. Joining Fripp on this venture are long time collaborator and friend Adrian Belew on guitar and vocal, and Thrak newcomers Pat Mastelloto and Trey Gunn. Together, they take the Thrak sound and give it a grungier, heavier spin, taking the listener through avenues unheard of.

ProzaKc Blues opens the album, a driving guitar drenched intro accompanied by Adrian Belew's distorted, morphed, heavily deepened vocal. One can already tell from the start that something is different. The lyrics are disjointed and off the wall, not as concise and quirky as Belew's past efforts. The ConstrucKtion of Light is a two part song, the first part being a heavy and dreary piece of music, very dense and powerful, while the second part takes a more ethereal approach with angelic call and response vocals from Belew, saying words that would seem to have nothing to do with each other when put next to each other. Into the Frying Pan is one of the weaker tracks on the album, bland guitars, bland vocals, cheesy lyrics, it's all there.

FraKctured is a reworking of the song made so famous on Starless and Bible Black. The interplay between Belew and Fripp on this song is quite stunning, almost breathtaking. The complexities of the guitar riffs and the musicianship from each individual member is stunning. But really, is it really necessary to rework a masterpiece of a song already into something almost completely different? It may be a wonderful track, but it wasn't really necessary to record. The World's my Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum takes cues from Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream from Thrak, off the wall lyrics, dissonant guitars, and wonderfully zany lyrics... almost too zany if you ask me.

Larks Tongue in Aspic, pt. 4 is the showpiece of the album. An epic working of riffs surrounding the classic LTIA mode, and taking cues from the instrumental Red, this song really is another showpiece of musical talent and prowess from the guitar standpoint, with Belew and Fripp being perfect counterparts to one another. It segues into Coda: I Have a Dream, with some epic working from the guitar synth from Fripp. Belew's lyrics are hauntingly true, even though they were written in 2000, years before any of the events really occured. A truly eerie ending. Heaven and Earth in the conclusion to the album, the song attributed to ProjeKct X. Expect some very ethereal and spacy work with some interesting drumming in the middle.

Overall, this seems to be the bastard child of King Crimson's later works. Some believe that it doesn't belong, it's uninspired, contrived, no good, and just an overall disappointment. This is where I disagree with the norm. I believe this album has a lot of merit, it's just that some of the songs could have used a tweaking, a little more refinement and been questioned of their worth... but I can't complain too much. There is a lot worse out there, and this is not... I repeat not... one of those worse things. 3/5.

Review by Chus
3 stars It's ridiculous to do a song-by-song review here, because there's no more tones in the palette other than the digital experimentation and the polyrhythms (their greatest gift). It has the most amazing guitar interplays in the same context of "Discipline", but the thing has the same goshdarned mood all over. There's no "Exiles", no "Night Watch", not even a "Matte Kudasai" to relax your eardrums. It's the same freak show over and over.

All in all, this is probably the best "double duo" band around: Fripp has a lot of technicality and in my opinion he is very underrated; so is Belew (who also has amazing vocals, even though they are disguised here by strange vocal harmonies and studio tricks); Trey Gunn could compete with Levin anytime (even though he doesn't play bass per se, rather a "Warr Guitar") and Pat does amazing works with the drums, whilst the pulsating electronic effects become irritating after a while).

Perhaps the softest song here is the second part of the title track, but maybe I'm talking too much nonsense. There are no soft songs here, and even as I like to hear polyrhythmic experiments and guitar duets and groovy bass lines, you have to push the pause button once in a short while to take a rest; it's just too much. This is what I like to call a "wankfest".

"Prozakc Blues" is the "Elephant Talk" of this album, with an eerie blues feel and weird vocals by Belew. "The Construkction of Light" is the highlight, with sudden breaks, and if I can decipher correctly, some instruments play at 7/4 while others play at 4/4 (correct me if I'm wrong); it's the Discipline-related song. "Into The Frying Pan" continues as a weird rocker with lots of time shifts. "Frakctured" is the gloomiest song on here, and although it might contain some of the most beautiful harmonies of the album, it also contains some frenetic shreds and terrifying sound effects. "the World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum" incorporates a stupid play on words that would sound better coming from Peter Gabriel, dubbed above the samey guitar riffs all over. "Larks' Tongues" is a reworking of the original part 2 of 1973; but with more frenetic interplay and electronic drums. "Coda: I Have A Dream" is the last song (speaks for itself: coda), and it consists of simple chord progressions and not much variation.

So for me, this is 3-star material, I suggest you start progressively from "Court" and end here or in "The Power To Believe"; that is, to understand the evolution of this band.

Review by OpethGuitarist
2 stars Ripping off themselves

Not only this, but the vocals in track 1 sound as if from a drunk. This was the worst of KC other than the deplorable Beat. Most of the songs here feel like ripoffs of material they've already done, and while I'll admit there's a similarity between a lot of KC works, here it's more noticeable and less unique, especially LTIA Pt 4 which sounds like a poor version of LTIA Pt 2.

I would never start someone here with KC, unless I just happened to not like the band and didn't want them to like KC either. It's not dog terrible, but with a band with such a large catalog, there's so much other material that's infinitely better. The fact that Belew sounds drunk on track 1 just turns me off, even if that is the desired effect, it's not very enjoyable. Certainly the instrumental effects have lost their luster with the loss of the great KC musicians, with only Fripp and Belew remaining.

I really get very little out of this record, but it is better than Beat, if that means anything. More a rocker than a progger, but not exactly any enjoyable rock tunes. Stay away from unless you want all of KC's discography, as I do.

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

Whatever happened to them! After the brilliant THRAK album, i was expecting something good from this album. This is the most uninspired album of them all. I am not fond of BEAT but i a cannot say it was bad music, just not for my taste. On THE CONSTRUKTION OF LIGHT you definitively have bad tracks and some of them are utterly S...! You have also a lot of pointless noodling between the two guitars that go nowhere like in the title track.

The worst starts with the first song ''PROZAC BLUES'' , a horrible piece of music sung by a terrible Belew sounding like a 70 years old drunk! and they opened the album with this track! Unbelievable!

The first good music i can hear is track 4 INTO THE FRYING PAN (what a title!) with a nice guitar crescendo but Belew once again blew it up with horrendous vocals. Where is Wetton when we need him? I don't know if its for lack of inspiration, but they are redoing a new version of FRACTURE named FRAKTURED. Don't expect anything close to the greatness of the original one.More noodling but with some nice parts during the quiet moments.

But we haven't reach the bottom yet! I think THE WORLD'S MY OYSTER SOUP KITCHEN FLOOR WAX MUSEUM ( at least they had some fun finding titles for these ''great''tunes) Belew once again sink the KC ship well deep.I think this tune can easily qualify for the worst KING CRIMSON song ever followed by PROZAC BLUES.

Then we have LARKS TONGUE IN ASPIC part783 .I guess once again , inspiration was missing to have to redo a version of part2, of course less interesting than part2. It's chaotic, noisy and you can't wait it ends to get a reprieve. The album ends with a not too bad Belew ''message'' song where him too wakes up in the morning after having a dream!!!! nothing memorable.

KING CRIMSON is back to a quartet with Trey Gunn on bass and Pat Mastelotto on drums. Levin and Bruford left the band, but i don't blame them after listening to this mess.And Belew sadly is still there.

With King Crimson being my favorite band, i would never have imagined that i will give them only one star to one of their releases. So here we are :1 star

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I quite liked their last studio release "THRACK". Like in that, KC will "revisit" some old acquaintances...

The opener "ProzaKc Blues" is a very heavy song. With a kind of growling voice (I never could stand this except maybe with some Opeth stuff). Not a great start, really. The album swithes nicely to a very melodic (though dark) song. The title track is one of my preferred one on this album. "Into The Frying Pan" belongs to their noisy repertoire. Drumming is a bit disturbing and globally (if you except the nice, scary and mellodic fifty seconds) it is just cacophony.

"FraKtured" is lighter than its old inspirator. While the original had a catchy and hypnotic riff, this one features more soft guitar play from time to time. During others, we'll get a structureless track during which Mastelotto does not know quite well what to do with his drum kit.

The wierd titled "The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum" reminds me of the "style" of the previous line-up during his trilogy : "Discipline", "Beat" and "Three Of A Perfect Pair" : noisy and dull all the way through.

My preferred number might well be the "Lark's Tongues" one. The original Part II was one of my fave on the original album and I quite liked III on THRACK. This one is pretty much in line and should please the ones who have praised the early days of this band. The only restriction of course, is that the idea is borrowed, but it does not worry me that much. It is a good track.

Like "Coda" : an almost symphonic song with nice mellotron in the back. Belew, this time, sounds pretty much like Matthew Bellamy from Muse. I prefer this "imitation" that his singing on "Discipline". Another pleasant number. "Heaven & Earth" closes this album very nicely. Truely symphonic in the intro, it gets a bit crazier (but this is KC, right). Great and imposing guitar works. Very hypnotic as in the good old time. It ends almost as it starts : very aerial, spacey and nice (a bit like "Subterraneans" from whom you might know).

This album is a bit less interesting than "THRACK". Two stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Maybe they should have called this album "The ConstruKction of Heavy". To me this sounds like a blending of the next release "The Power to Believe" with "Discipline". This may have low ratings but I think some people can't handle heavy (haha). I guess that is the influence of my "Metal" background talking.

"ProzaKc Blues" is just plain funny. Belew's humour comes to the fore again. His vocals are processed big time to sound like an old blues singer. Check out the lyrics though.This is a heavy song with heavy vocals. Some ripping guitar as well. "The ConstruKction of Light" is a great tune.The percussion is amazing ! As are the intricate guitar melodies that interlock, reminding me of the "Discipline" album. "Into the Frying Pan" is another heavy, full sounding song. The guitar after 5 minutes is incredible. "FraKctured" is like a new version of "Fractured" from "Starless And Bible Black" and it's one of my favourites from this album. The guitar lines to open from Fripp I will never tire of. He is the master of creating these complex guitar arrangements that are on this song as well.The drumming really is outstanding on this song.

"The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum" is again another heavy tune. This one has vocals and check out the blistering guitar solo after 3 minutes that lasts a minute. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic-Part IV" is my other favourite song on this album. When it comes on I just say "Oh Yeah !" It's like organized mayhem. Some great guitar moments including towards the end of the song where the guitar is almost talking, I think it said "Somebody please help me !" "Coda: I Have a Dream" is a sad commentary on the twentieth century, as it recounts some of the tragedies.The heavy soundscapes continue. "ProjeKct X : Heaven and Earth" is another terrific tune.The percussion and guitar are spellbinding. Great sound ! The spacey atmosphere for the last 3 minutes of the song is quite refreshing.

I really like this record. I like the direction they have been heading towards from "Thrakk" to "The Power to Believe". And this album is an important part of that journey.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars "ConstruKction of Light" may not be nearly as innovative as most of the band's output, but it remains a tremendously fun listen nonetheless-- for fans of the "heavy" Crimson anyway. Taken as a whole the songs are very mathematic, industrial even, with lots of rhythmic back flips and cold precise drumming. "ProzaKc Blues" wears thin by the half- way mark, but the successive-- largely instrumental moments is where the real fun begins. A good mixutre of delicate tinkling and super-heavy shredding follows, making for a good mix of the two dynamics. Experimental noises, effects, and atmosphere add a lot to the twisting guitar interplay of Fripp/Belew as well.

Not essential, but highly recommended for fans of the heavy Crimson.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by 1800iareyay
1 stars When I think about The ConstrucKtion of Light, I think about the name of a Primus greatest hits album: They Can't All Be Zingers. King Crimson have had a long, storied career pushing the boundaries of music into previously unheard sonic territory. This has resulted in a few slips along the way, but on each album the good always outweighed the bad, even if only just. Here, the scale tips as nearly the whole thing is a mistake. The album is manic, like the Red-era Crimson we all know and love. However, unlike Red-era Crimson, it's not enjoyable. Perhaps the Crimson King finally reached the point on the sonic map were there be dragons.

First and foremost, I don't think we need anymore additions to Larks' Tongue in Aspic. Part III was decent, but unnecessary. Part IV is, shockingly, the highlight of the album. It has the most focused mayhem, complete with driving riffs and actual energy. They should stop adding on to this song while they're riding high. As good as the instrumental is, though, it is part of the reason that I don't like this album. Any song that does not completely fail is merely a restructuring of previous material. FraKctured is a replication of Fracture, and the rest can be linked to various points of the band's career and varying sounds.

In short, Crimson became their own covers band. People throw out that expression all the time, but here it is truly valid. The only difference is that they tried to sound like another band covering Crimson. Other bands keep their sound when they devolve into self-parody. The only redeemable factor of this album is Larks Part IV, which erased the bitter taste left in my mouth after the banal Part III. Still, if you want good modern Crimson, get THRAK and the masterful Power to Believe. This is an album best skipped.

Grade: F

Review by laplace
5 stars King Crimson used to play progressive rock back in the days when it was plausible to be heard on the radio doing so, but now they play future world music of a kind they were only rehearsing on Discipline - having written nursery rhymes for the muted electric gamelan in the past, maturing musically through the experience, they now concern themselves with anthems.

However, this can be taken equally as pop music. People in the forums are always saying that there's a time for prog and there's a time for a good pop tune and, for me, this is what I often reach for during those latter circumstances. I'm not trying to be clever here - although The ConstruKction of Light is a stubborn knot of logarithmic note choice and sly self-referentialism/deferentialism rendered in an oppressive and contrarian atmosphere, some elusive quality of the album renders it an effortless and inviting listen; to this reviewer a much more visceral and genuine set of songs than any combination culled from the '80s repetoire, the era supposedly possessing of a great popular appeal.

There are three self-sufficient songs here (along with two more to be found clinging to the end of longer pieces) and each of them differs from any previous KC pop snapshots. A quick listen of ProzaKc Blues defeats all criticism of the album from the recycling angle and from people who take everything they need to know about a song from it's title - hands up if you've ever *really* heard another blues like this one. No? Moreover, the song hints at what's coming next in ways other than musical - as we do further on, we can observe snatches of vulgarity intellectualised, a density of guitar-play that hinges on common dissonance taken a small step too far for comfort and, happily, a lack of cliches... excluding Belew's ironic blues mannerisms, used purely to evoke the image of a washed-up rockstar (to help you forget that Fripp represents one of the most eloquent and intellectual rock musicians on the circuit?) sleazing his way through a narcotic performance. Or more to the point, it makes you think of Greg Lake.

Frying Pan seems like the alternative universe Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream, or however they ordered that title, in that it combines queasy, stumbling sung sections with manic instrumental ones. Still, the music is totally different and, again, is a small step towards abrasiveness. The lyrics on this one aren't particularly good, which is disappointing but not unexpected. Maybe it could be here where it occurs to you that this is album is designed for people who have listened to other King Crimson albums, which highlights exactly what they've taken away - the comfort zone, a soma sheen which puts a lot of their jazz notes in context. As the song proceeds, you may realise that you never needed it anyway; when you reach the short soundscape outro you notice that it is jarring as those on THRAK never were. Oyster Soup, which THRAKs in opposition, is a circular jam of the sort designed for pub rock encores, but which also exists to irritate you with composed clumsiness, manic sampling and inappropriate use of midi-guitar, and semi-associative nonsense word-game lyrics to the point where you must be listening, a hair shirt for the ears which tempers you in preparation for the next chapter in the Crimso epic...

As in his interviews, Fripp won't patronise you while you're demonstrating some degree of thoughtfulness. We all know the band have trouble catching their live majesty well on CD, so during the instrumental numbers, Crimso attempt to bridge the gap between situations by drafting you as their fifth player (of course, this is a guess as to the intentions of the band, but transforming locked music into conceptual semi-improv was always the KC way - doesn't it make a certain amount of sense?) - most of the music on the album toys with aggressive rhythmic pointillism, which is perfect if you're in the mood to insert a mental solo or two, while Mastoletto's frosty electronic battery fills the overhead frequencies with cosmic rays rather than cymbal shimmer and his choice of sounds has a primal, deadening effect but frees up a lot of space - considering the effort that must go into the composition and performance of his drum parts, it's a gesture of humility. Is your imagination ambidextrous to the point where it can play lead guitar with one and tambourine in the other?

That paragraph gives the impression that the music remains unfinished, but that'd be a lazy criticism to make - perhaps you as a listener prefer to witness the constant struggle between guitarists to only play notes which don't cheapen the previous ones, and that's fine too. Or you can concentrate on the subversive rhythms which bear little relation to rock - there's a cute juxtaposition here that forces the guitarists to worry about patterns, allowing the bassist and drummer to define the music however they like - but however you approach the album, be aware that this is a prototype for new music; perhaps it's easier to mistake for a re-hash because no-one has heard anything *from the future* to compare The ConstruKction of Light with? It doesn't matter - just remember that every time you hear a lyrical reference to the past, it's sung over explorative music.

Larks Tongues part four ends with a moment of power that caps the album, providing seriousness when you're beginning to tire of, ahem, frippance. One part My Way and one part The Atrocity Exhibition, the coda's most melodic moments become bittersweet, polluted with a spoken film-reel namecheck of one human tragedy after another. You can decide whether the album is defeatist or futurist in conception when a piercing laser tone closes the song - is that suggestive of a construKcted beam of light? (and, was it emitted by a large explosion?)

Go get this album if: a) you have ears or b) you know someone who has ears. If you've heard it and consigned it to the vaults then please give it another chance - more than any other KC album, The ConstruKction of Light is unforgiving to people who aren't listening and greatly rewarding - even enlightening - to those who are. Five stars awarded to an expressionist statement in a sea of modern impressionism.

Review by LiquidEternity
2 stars Following on the heels of THRAK, The ConstruKction of Light is most likely the least focused, inspired, and well-constructed album that the band has ever made.

Now, there are some really neat moments here. But I'm talking mere moments. On the whole, the album does not go much of anywhere at all. It features much of the same style as THRAK, only melody seems to have taken the back seat. The double trio has vanished, and now a lot of the drumming and percussion is done via computer. This wouldn't be a problem, not really, if it were more creative more of the time. Instead, we have a lot of music that on paper looks great, and even sounds pretty cool the first time, but the more you listen to it, the less you care about this album. The last strains of Discipline are still here. Nevertheless, The ConstruKction of Light does not quite capture that sort of energy anywhere.

The title track is one of the better songs. A mostly instrumental tune in the vein of VROOOM or THRAK, it plays with some fast and complicated guitar, but it still does not quite bring that essential King Crimson energy to the front. Plus, it drags on awfully long for what it does have to offer. The vocals appear in the last couple minutes, applying the same sort of guitar delay to the vocals, a neat effect but nothing groundbreaking. FraKctured displays some blazing guitar chops over the course of its length, as well as some pretty clean guitar bits. Overall, this too is a neat song, but it runs a fair bit too long to hold interest very well. Of interest to long-time Crimson fans is the Larks' Tongue track, which plays on the main theme found on the original album but really does not add a terrible much to the by now long winded and confusing suite. Fripp's guitar rages mightily here, as well, but again, until the coda, it's a fairly weak track. This Coda is a neat bit to add onto the end, being basically the only song that's not too long for its own good.

Probably the least inpiring output from this band's studio efforts, but there has to be one somewhere. People who really like The Power to Believe and THRAK will find enjoyable bits here, but the final word is that it really is an easily bypassable album.

Review by ProgBagel
3 stars King Crimson - 'The Constukction of Light' 3 stars


This is another crazy album by King Crimson, heavy and muddy. They are starting to become a little unpredictable at this point putting out a decent one mixed with a bunch of weak ones. This one is another weak one compared to 'Thrak'. This album did produce some gems that rose above the previous work though. 'Frakctured' is a reworking of the one from 'Starless and Bible Black' and it is obviously weaker, but still good. The interplay between Fripp and Belew is just ridiculous on this one and the same for 'Larks.Part IV' which is better then Part III. The best track on here is not a King Crimson track, but that of ProjeKct X.

If you liked Thrak, this one can be bought as well, but it just isn't as good. 'Prozack Blues' has to be one of the worst songs ever created by this band. There are a lot of cautions to take on this one, be cautious!

Review by lazland
1 stars By far the worse King Crimson album ever made, a huge disappointment from a band I have enjoyed for years.

This is simply a cacaphony, and listening to Prozac Blues earlier made me want to reach for said pill to cheer my self up.

The only track I can say I enjoy is the Coda with Belew bemoaning the state of the modern political world.

You get the feeling listening to this that KC have descended into the art of making a noise simply for the sake of making a noise. There is no rhyme or reason to it, it just is, and I feel that thjis lineup has now reached the end of its natural life.

A racket from start to finish, and a god awful one at that. Enough Larks Tongues in Aspic's already!!

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is heavy criticised by "old" KC fans and different kind of museum prog purists. I can understand their point of view, because I know the reason they don't like "The ConstruKtion Of Light".

Let's speak about that in details. Yes, this album is very heavy and "dirty", and it wasn't very usual for band's sound in very beginning. But even debut album had this great heavy moments, as well very popular "Red" was heavy rock album. (I like SABB very much as one of the best their album from 70-th, it was ROCK!).

There are not too many dreamy moments ( in fact - almost not at all) and bulky psychodelic structures. But - wake up, we're not in late sixties my friends! Album is energetic, dark and cold. Is it bad? No more summer of love? Is it strange for year 2000? Yes, it's a music of controlled chaos. You prefer to listen pseudo classical keybord passages once again?

I like this line -up very much and believe ,that new KC sound ( MK III) and band members are one most influential musicians for experimental prog in early XXI century. And if band by itself wasn't very active at that period, just check all perfect solo works of Trey Gunn, Mastelotto and Belew.

From all great prog band of first generation only KC stayed always interesting, searching and experimental till now.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The ConstruKction of Light" is the twelfth full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act King Crimson. The album was released through Virgin Records in May 2000. Itīs the successor to "Thrak" from 1995. The band at this point consisted of Adrian Belew on guitars and vocals, Robert Fripp on guitars, Trey Gunn on bass, touch guitars, and baritone guitars, and Pat Mastelotto on drums. Fripp was never satisfied with the way the album turned out, feeling the band had rushed into the studio without letting the compositions develop in a live environment before recording them in the studio. Therefore a remixed and remastered version of the album titled "The ReconstruKction Of Light" appeared in 2019. In addition to remixing and remastering the album Mastelotto also re-recorded his drum parts for the 2019 version of the album.

Stylistically the material on the album is experimental/progressive rock. Demanding as ever as the notes are often played in unusual succesion (chromatic runs and unconventional scales/choices of notes) and twisted in innovative ways. "The ConstruKction of Light" is unmistakably a King Crimson album. No one really sounds like them. The music is dark (which you would probably have guessed from looking at the bleak cover artwork) and at times pretty complex too. Tracks like the instrumental "The ConstruKction of Light (Part One)", "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part IV (Part One)", and the insanely complex "FraKctured" are arguably among the most challenging compositions King Crimson have ever produced. The latter should actually please fans of technical/progressive metal as parts of the song could be compared to the most technically focused acts in that genre. The heaviness and harshness of the track too.

The album features some great tracks with vocals too. "Into the Frying Pan" features some delightfully dark harmony vocals that remind me of some of the dark and twisted vocal parts on Alice In Chains eponymously titled third album from 1995. Bleak as hell and a real treat. "ProzaKc Blues" isnīt a personal favorite track (because of the silly low growling vocals) but itīs a solid composition, completely twisting the conventions of a blues. "The ConstruKction of Light (Part Two)" is one of the highlights of the album (of the tracks featuring vocals).

The production is thick, heavy, and dark (slightly less on the 2019 version). The way the bass sounds on the this album is heavier than heavy. What a treat. The drums feature such a powerful and meaty sound too. The sound production is overall of a great quality. "The ConstruKction of Light " is one of King Crimsonīs heavier albums and maybe thatīs why it often receives such harsh criticism from progressive rock fans. Coming from a background in metal this doesnīt bother me at all though and I find it to be an excellent and very focused album in King Crimsonīs discography. Itīs not their most groundbreaking release, but itīs solid and enjoyable. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars To my ears, this album was a return to form for King Crimson, a completion of the return to heaviness begun with VROOOM and Thrak by the double-trio KC lineup. Gone are the layered finger exercises and light Belew ballads. In their place are dark complex compositions, and weirdly compelling odd vocal pieces, with mostly good (but a few times awkward) lyrics.

ProzaKc Blues may be a throwaway comedy song, but the heavy off-time blues licks make it quite compelling.

The ConstruKction of Light has some goofy lyrics, but the amazing stick work of Trey Gunn, and intricate interplay by the entire band makes this a wonderful piece.

Into The Frying Pan, a Belew led vocal song, is anything but a pop piece, with a snake- like melody over a heavy rhythm section. And The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum, with it's word association lyrics is just cool.

FraKctured and Larks' Tongues In Aspic - Part IV are worthy successors to the seventies pieces they are based on. They are both in the vein of the original Wetton/Cross/Bruford/Fripp songs.

Coda brings the main portion of the album to a close. The music is good, but the lyrics are a bit facile.

The preview of ProjeKct X, Heaven And Earth is a good way to wind down after the mind blowing greatness of the first ten tracks.

This is the first KC album that bowled me over since the seventies. I was completely not expecting that when it came out.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Can you have a decades spanning career without one slip? The Constukction of Light will sure be selected by many as Crimson's most obvious career slip.

And I can't say I'm really attracted by what I found here either. I hear a Crimson at loss for inspiration, going through the motions without much conviction for the material. FraKctured is a good example. How could they name this dreary excess of notes after the superb masterpiece that was Fracture. Lark's Tongues IV is better and would become a nice live treat in the tours following this album and the ensuing Power To Believe.

The album marks quite a change from Thrak. Bruford and Levin were absent from this line-up and Mastello's drumming makes the sound much more powerful but also less dynamic. Again it's partially a recording and production matter as he sure didn't disappoint me on Power To Believe or on the concert recordings from the era. The guitars come much to the fore and make the album almost metal and even grunge in places. As pointed out before, Into The Frying Pan sounds like an Alice In Chains track that received a Crimson treatment.

Next to Into The Frying Pan, there are only two other tracks with vocals. ProzaKc Blues is rather fun but Belew's distorted vocals don't work for me. He would really shine on the rough live version he delivered on Elektrik though. The same goes for the noisy Oyster Soup, not a bad song but much better in its live version.

Sitting in between two of their best studio albums and some astounding ProjeKct albums, this one comes off as a surprisingly awkward and blurry record. I wouldn't say it's bad but I'm missing both creative fire and urgency in the performance. It's not entirely unthinkable that I will like this album one day but I wouldn't bet on it.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I stated in my review of Beat that even though I'm a fan of King Crimson, this fact doesn't mean that I will overlook their flaws. Since I already started on this whole topic, I might as well finish it off with this review.

The ConstruKction Of Light may not be even half as terrible as Beat, still I consider it a lesser King Crimson studio release and I'll tell you why. The main problem with this album is that there is too much of everything here and in the end what I get is an unsatisfying feeling of emptiness. The album is basically comprised of a hollow shell which is something that I blame on the lack of inspiration from all the participants.

Things start off nicely with ProzaKc Blues, a song that I enjoy even though Belew's vocal mixing could have been done differently. The album's title track loses it's momentum as soon as part 2 kicks in and what we get is a semi-decent composition. The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum and especially Into The Frying Pan feel bland and unsatisfying for my tastes. There is a lot of detailed effort put into the instrumental arrangements of these compositions but the experience of these numbers is just non-existent for me even though I've been giving them a shot time and time again.

FraKctured starts off just like it's counterpart from the album Starless And Bible Black but falls completely flat due to the lack of intensity in proportion to its length. It's doesn't help to be compared to the original 1974-composition that just so happens to be my all time favorite composition. Finally we receive a moments grace with the first part of Larks' Tongues In Aspic part IV, but did they really have to split the track into three part? Eventually Coda and Heaven And Earth make a pretty tight conclusion to this underwhelming release.

The mere fact that The ConstruKction Of Light takes inspiration from the band's past glories should be enough to dismiss it since the King Crimson project has always been about pushing things forward. The band would later redeem themselves with The Power To Believe but that's a whole different story!

***** star songs: Larks' Tongues In Aspic part IV part 1 (3:41)

**** star songs: ProzaKc Blues (5:29) The ConstruKction Of Light I (5:49) Larks' Tongues In Aspic part IV part 2 (2:50) Coda: I Have A Dream (3:56) ProjeKct X: Heaven And Earth (7:46)

*** star songs: The ConstruKction Of Light II (2:50) FraKctured (9:06) The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum (6:22) Larks' Tongues In Aspic part IV part 3 (2:36)

** star songs: Into The Frying Pan (6:54)

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars When this was released it was the first new KC album since I started getting into them. The fanboy in me thought this was a great album at the time. Ten years later I can see this for the mediocre mess it is. First of all, those "Kc"s instead of "c"s was already getting old after the ProjeKcts. The ProjeKcts, although works in progress based around improv, was the most interesting music this band came up with since Discipline. Here they decided to revive "Fracture" and LTIA(again).

Pat Mastelotto uses V-drums here. The drumming mostly sounds like it was programmed. The most interesting thing about "The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum" is the title itself. "ProzaKc Blues" is a 'blues' song that opens the album. Belew's vocals are recorded in a way that makes him sound like he has a deep voice. This song includes the line: "You've been reading too much Elephant Talk". That is not a reference to the song on Discipline; it is a reference to the internet newsletter for "Robert Fripp and King Crimson enthusiastes"(now defunKct). I was a member of that mailing list at the time. Everybody patted themselves on the back because ET got mentioned in an official Crimson song. In retrospeKct, it only dates the song even more.

The title track is split in two for some reason. The first part doesn't start to pick up until 3 minutes in. At the beginning of the second part Ade overdubs each word seperately. "Into The Frying Pan" is one of the best songs here. It starts with either Fripp or Belew going up the guitar scale while the other goes down it. At the same time. Ade's vocals sound like Lennon. Trey Gunn's Warr guitar adds some life to the song. It ends with some of Fripp's Soundscapes. "FraKctured" is the unwanted bastard child of the song on SABB. The best part of the whole song starts at 5:10.

LTIA Pt. 4 is at least better than Pt. 3 on Three Of A Perfect Pair. "Coda: I Have A Dream" is interesting musically but I can't stand Ade's preachy lyrics. The best song on this whole CD is the bonus track. "Heaven & Earth" was recorded by ProjeKct X at the same time as TCoL. Much more original and interesting than anything that made the official Crimson album. I wouldn't say this sucKs but it's nothing essential by any means. 2 stars.

Review by colorofmoney91
1 stars The ConstruKction of Light always sounded to me like an uninspired attempt to make progressive rock that appealed to the younger crowd, but the tracks on this album really are quite bad. The structures are terrible, and the playing is decent if not annoying at times. Besides sounding mostly goofy and uninspired, this album marks a few unworthy additions to the "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" saga, and though they are worth the listen for the sake of completion, the rest of this album is throwaway material. If you're looking for fantastic King Crimson musicianship and creativity, this is definitely not the place to look. Definitely go for any one of their earlier albums.
Review by Warthur
3 stars King Crimson have always done their absolute best work when they have both a stable lineup and a compelling musical vision to lend cohesiveness to the compositions. For their first phase (from In the Court... to Islands) they had the vision but not the stable lineup, so whilst the debut album was fabulous the next three were a little hit-and-miss - though thanks to the musical vision expressed they were always interesting.

Then you have the glorious mid-1970s phase, where the stable core of Wetton, Bruford and Fripp gave a bedrock of stability and the band pursued a new, raw musical direction which paid massive dividends. And, of course, after that you have the 1980s incarnation of the band, which held a rock-solid lineup for its three albums and once again had an intriguing musical direction to follow.

I guess this is why the post-THRAK reincarnation of the band has little interest for me, because it enjoys neither a stable lineup nor a particularly interesting or revolutionary musical direction. See, for instance, The ConstruKction of Light, recorded following the collapse of THRAK's double trio lineup. Songs like ProzaKc Blues and The World's My Oyster... seem to show a somewhat flippant approach to the album, almost as though the band themselves couldn't take the project seriously, and the tedious attempts at recycling old ideas from the band's heyday go nowhere.

At around this time Fripp was quite taken with the whole ProjeKct idea, which was an attempt to use the fluctuating and unstable lineups of Crimson as an advantage rather than a weakness, but to be honest I've never heard anything from the ProjeKcts that struck me as being more than a fun but unsatisfying diversion and it seems with ConstruKction the core band itself wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders either.

It's a real shame, because I had respected Fripp's habit of breaking up King Crimson when there was no reason for it to exist and only resurrecting it when he felt that there was a particular need to take a Crimsonian approach to an album. The ConstruKction of Light stands as proof that this approach, by 2000, was long-dead: it's King Crimson existing and plodding on simply for the sake of being King Crimson, without any consideration of whether there's any need for King Crimson right now.

EDIT: Since I wrote the above review the story of The ConstruKction of Light has taken a new turn, with the album being rereleased as The ReconstruKction of Light in a new version (also found on the Heaven & Earth boxed set).

Even Robert Fripp himself has been quite down on The ConstruKction of Light's original release, recorded as it was without the customary refinement of the material on the road. It's no surprise, then, that with this reissue of the album that he's been more interventionist than usual with the mix and mastering, perhaps trying to adjust the studio versions in light of subsequent lessons learned live.

On top of that, because some of the original session recordings were lost, Pat Mastelotto ended up rerecording the drum parts. Usually, I look askance when artists do this sort of thing, but this is a special case. For one thing, at least it's Pat rerecording Pat's parts, so it's not an act of disrespect towards the original performers on the level of, say, Ozzy Osbourne redoing the drum parts on some CD versions of his early solo albums with a different drummer. For another, it gives Pat a chance to rerecord the material using his customary hybrid acoustic/electronic drums, and with the experience of playing the pieces live.

In other words, short of the entire lineup from this era reuniting to rerecord the album all over again (or assembling an alternate take of the album from live recordings, as Fripp has apparently considered doing), The ReconstruKction of Light is about as close to a "do-over" of The ConstruKction of Light as we are likely to get. The end result is pretty good, with Pat behind the drumstool and Don Gunn behind the mixing desk performing a heroic rescue of the album. Let's say the ReconstruKction's worthy of three and a half stars, whilst the original ConstruKction was more of a 2-star number.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "You can never please everybody, that's a well established fact, he said, I recommend a fifth of king and a bottle of Prozac."

Well, I know King Crimson were progressing after "THRAK" but this was an unpleasant surprise. It didn't please everybody, in fact many Crimson fans shunned it and for good reason. It is bordering on abysmal in paces. The opener 'ProzaKc Blues' is a boozy bluesy number with dumb inebriated vocal delivery and a hypno riff.

'The ConstruKction of Light (Part One)' moves along nicely, always loved the instrumentals, and it sounds as polyphonic as anything from "THRAK". Fripp is incredible on guitar as always and it showed signs of greatness to come. 'The ConstruKction of Light (Part Two)' is where the vocals come in and they are harmonised and overlayed like Gentle Giant. The vocals of Belew are very good, but there is not much of a melody on offer, and the guitars are too repetitive with the same style played.

'Into the Frying Pan' follows clocking 6:54, with an industrial sound, elongated Fripp notes, then more harmonised vox. It is nothing special melodically, though the music is certainly dark and compelling. The lead break is dynamic, with odd signatures with bass evermoving and off beat drumming. It wears out its welcome though and is too long for its own good. The false ending was perhaps where it should have really ended in length though the lead break at the end is raw and versatile.

'FraKctured' is inspired by 'Fracture' from the glory days, and sounds like it. At 9:06 it is a bit of a slog to get through but this is pretty good if you are in the mood for some lightweight Fripp. 'The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum' is a real shining light on this album, one of my favourites with hilarious lyrics and a driving melodic rhythm that bounces along with sardonic delight. The vocals are raspy and it has a very memorable title that is sung after some brief verses. I like this better live though without the noisy studio effects and trickery and it goes too long, running out of steam literally.

Next we have something that would have all Crimson addicts salivating over as it was the long awaited and unexpected 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part IV'. Here we have it in Three Parts,though it meshes together as one right through to the coda making it a 13 minute epic. It has the cranking Fripp riff similar to the one heard in Part 2, the best part of this saga. Is it any good? It certainly livens up the album that is for sure and is not easy to digest, with all its challenging time sig changes and intricate instrumentation. The drums of Pat Mastelotto are crashing throughout, the bassline of Trey Gunn pulsates as a heartbeat, Belew and Fripp trade off beautifully. The lead break is stellar and there are exceptional rhythm changes during (Part Two), then it moves to (Part Three) where the sound settles after the crescendo, and the guitar descends lower in pitch and a slower rhythm locks in for a while. The lead guitar is relentless even here, and it is an amazing feat from the incomparable Fripp. This instrumental summarily rescues the album from the spate of repetition and forgettable songs. As far as instrumentals go it has everything a King Crimson addict loves. It ends with an unusual vocal on 'Coda: I Have a Dream' with lyrics about Kennedy, the holocaust, Saddam Hussein, atrocities, the bombing of the World Trade, and refugees. This is a surprise after all the musicianship and it is one of the only times the band blatantly refer to the 9/11 disaster.

'Heaven and Earth (performed by ProjeKct X)' closes things off with a "Blade Runner" synth style, and drums akin to Vangelis. There is even a synth rhythm that comes and goes; quite beautiful but very different, feeling a bit tacked on here and a bit of a fizzer.

Overall, the guitar work on this is again Fripptastic as we can expect, though there is something missing from the album; it doesn't seem to capture the magic found on other albums. Even the equally imperfect "Beat" and "Three of a Perfect Pair" had the two or three standout tracks that are indelible Crimson gems, but there are no real highlights here. It is hard to pin down but this is a very underrated album deservedly so as nothing really jumps out apart from the 'Lark's' saga which is an obvious crowd pleaser but extremely challenging. It's a decent album, by no means a write off, but nowhere near up to the standard of albums from the past decades.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars FraKctured

Until recently The ConstruKction of Light was the only King Crimson studio album that I had not yet heard, and until now the only one that I had not rated. Compared to its predecessor THRAK from 1995 and its successor The Power To Believe from 2003, this 2000 album is clearly a less fulfilling affair overall. Yet, a few of the tracks are similar in both quality and style to what can be found on those two albums. Personally, I am not very fond of the post-1970's King Crimson output but I can appreciate some of the material from this period (particularly the instrumental side since I never much liked Adrian Belew's vocal style or his lyrics for that matter). Another noteworthy things is that with this album Robert Fripp is the sole connection to the classic era of the band as Bill Bruford is no longer involved. However, in my view the relation to the spirit of classic King Crimson was tenuous already with Discipline in the early 80's.

The album opens with ProzaKc Blues which is as the title indicated a Blues based number. And as if that wasn't bad enough, it also has awful vocals! They redeem themselves with the next few tracks beginning with the title track which is very much in the style of earlier Belew-era songs. Into The Frying Pan is also a rather decent number and so is Frakctured which refers back to 1974's Fracture. The three Larks' Tongues in Aspic parts obviously also refer to an earlier work. In between these two backward-looking numbers we get The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum which pretty much summarizes the very worst aspects of Adrian Belew. His talk-like singing and the utterly incoherent lyrics is something I never understood the value of since I first was subjected to the abomination that is Elephant Talk on Discipline.

Overall, a rather mixed bag this one with some okey tracks and some misguided experiments. Perhaps not the band's worst album, but certainly not among the better ones.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Time passes and different versions of King Crimson come and go through the years. The huge band that existed for the previous album "Thrak" is now down to 4 members. As always, the sound of KC changes with the release of another album. The basic sound is still there, the hard chugging rock is more apparent on this album, yet with a diminished line up, the sound strangely doesn't sound as cohesive as previously. But, that is not a major issue, because the new KC is now focusing on counterpoint, 12-tone style works, slower arpeggios to match the style of the 12-tone system. This gives a feeling of post-metal to me. This music paves the way for further exploration by the hundreds of post rock/math rock bands to follow. This is not to say that this album is responsible for the start of the post rock movement because there were some bands already out there, though somewhat obscure. I think what KC does with this album is make the movement a little more focused and dynamic. I know a lot of KC fans here don't consider this one of the best KC albums, but I think a lot of KC listeners expect a return to the sound of "Red" or "Lark's Tongue". I don't think it is in KC's plans to return to anything though. They have always been progressing to something else and that is what they do here.

This album is cold and metallic, no doubt about it. There is not much let up of the hard churning rock that bubbles out of your speakers. That is because this is the type of music that they are exploring. Now I have to agree that the first track "Prozakc Blues" is a little annoying in the change up of the vocals that are here, but it does sort of echo the feeling you get while under the influence of the chemical being sung about. Beyond the vocals on this track though, the instrumentals are still top notch KC brand smash and stomp music apparent through the album. On the 2 part "Construkction of Light", you hear the slow arpeggios being passed between the guitars that make the song sound like a study in the classical inspired 12-tone sound. Believe it or not, there is a melody going on there, and the most interesting thing is in the way the vocals take over a variation of that crazy tune when they suddenly kick in on the 2nd part. The vocals throughout the track and most of the tracks on the album are modified and harmonized to great effect that also match the cold metallic feel of the album. The lyrics here are more a series of words than they are phrases. Another proof of KC brilliance and a clear picture of how they never follow the norm.

The following tracks continue in the same vein, some instrumental and some vocal. "Frakctured", "Lark's Tongue Part 4" and "Oyster Soup" tend to stand out, but I love the entire album. This instance of "Lark's Tongue" sounds to me like a more accessible "Pelican" sound especially in the early days of "Pelican" when that band's music was more straightforward post-rock. The difference here is a better use of dynamic and phrasing, plus more of a "start-stop" sound that breaks up the grinding noise of the guitars. Then, once again, we are surprised with the first instance of vocals in any appearance of ":Lark's Toungue" in the Coda section.

Really the only relief we get on this album from the hard guitar and beat is the last half of "Heaven and Earth" which tends to work as a cool down for the album, though the sound is still cold and metallic.

I don't understand the low ratings given by other reviewers on the site. A lot of people tend to say that they don't get this album, but knowing that this is just another exploration in another realm of music and that it explores (what were back then) newer sounds of post rock and math rock, maybe that will help with the understanding. I don't honestly know if that was KC's intention or not, but it seems that they always unintentionally influence progressive rock every time they make a new album. Give this one a better chance everyone. It's not their best but it is still better than what you are rating it at. 4 stars.

Review by Wicket
2 stars So on this record we lose two instrumental greats, Tony Levin and Bill Bruford, from the lineup.

And with them, the plot, apparently.

If "THRAKK" wasn't dark, metallic and mechanical enough for you, "The ConstruKction of Light" is your album, my guy, especially if you like songs with absolutely no sense, rhyme or reasoning whatsoever.

The album begins with a song called "ProzaKc Blues", which basically sounds like "THRAKK" with a drunk man singing it. Sure, it's meant to be a parody of your typical blues song, but the effect is completely lost. First off, the voice changing thing to sound deeper and more drunk? Not only does that sound stupid and not make sense, but it also make the song feel like the whole band is friggin' drunk, spooling about all over the place throwing random guitar riffs in notes that shouldn't be there. It sounds like they deliberately made a terrible song for a reason, a reason which still eludes me to this day.

The title track returns the "THRAKK" style of dark, mechanical and metallic sound and sort of dithers in atonal patterns for a few minutes before we hear guitar work similar to 80's era Crimson, interlaced and repetitive tonal guitar work, before that breaks down a few minutes later and roughly two minutes before the end, we hear vocals for the first time (and by vocals, I mean just words, basically). It's the most pleasant part of the song and it damn near takes 6 minutes to get there. Way too long and completely unnecessary.

"Into The Frying Pan" starts similarly, but then jumps into a neo-prog pop format and tries to shuffle between interlocked atonal stepwise chord progressions and rock-blues oriented groove patterns. On first listen, it doesn't sound bad, but maybe after a couple of listens you'll get it. And then you listen some more and it just never truly clicks. Then the track ends with some atonal string ensemble for whatever reason and completely destroys whatever groove and feel remained.

It's the same story throughout. "FraKctured" sounds like a busier "ConstruKction of Light" still with no curb appeal. "The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen" is another plodding, mechanical tune with no soul, "Lark's Pt. IV" doesn't have any resemblance to the previous three parts (and yet is still clear and away the best song of the lot simply for the instrumental activity), "Heaven and Earth" is just a 3 minute atmospheric electronic track 4 minutes too long, and if you're lucky to find it, the improv "Mastellotticus" is borderline unlistenable.

This is what happens when a man like Robert Fripp takes absolute control of the direction his music wants to go, and with electronics now making it happen, it becomes soulless, mechanical, passionless. Men like Edgard Varese and Karlheinz Stockhausen had grand visions of music and notes making perfect sense when it all just sounds like a jumbled mess, and Fripp took Crimson to this extent with "THRAKK" and this album.

Plain and simply, it's math music. It's music for mathematicians. Analytically, it's music that will make sense. The symmetry in the rhythms and chord progressions, interweaving and interlaced guitar and bass patterns. Written out on sheet paper, it probably looks magnificent, but tonally it just isn't appealing, and it doesn't make sense. It's a phase contemporary classical music is still trying to dislodge itself from, and a phase I really hope the whole of prog rock never truly falls into.

Pushing boundaries and advancing sounds in music is one thing, but if you can't make it appealing to listeners, who's going to notice such achievements? That's what made "Sgt. Pepper" a landmark album for the Beatles. That's what made "Court of the Crimson King" and landmark album for progressive music in general. It's not an easy thing to do, but it's been done many times before.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This album is so good! If anything, it made me understand that underrated albums should be checked as much as popular ones. The Construkction Of Light has King Crimson at their absolute heaviest to date. Guitars have much louder distortion and are constantly playing riffs reminiscent of bands ... (read more)

Report this review (#2696210) | Posted by Nhelv | Tuesday, March 1, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Review #35 Beautiful and underrated album Continuing with the formula of "Thrak" but without the double trio line-up, the BELEW-FRIPP-MASTELOTTO-GUNN's KING CRIMSON published "The construKction of light" in 2000; a nice way to say goodbye to the 20th century and to welcome the 21st. This album ... (read more)

Report this review (#2480295) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Thursday, November 26, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In oppposition to the majority of opinions, this album is not as bad as Fripp and reviewers claim, for two or three reasons: 1.) Lads keep trying hard and being on par with contemporary experimental rock/metal 2.) The album is as experimental and progressive as anything before 3.) The compositio ... (read more)

Report this review (#2271317) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, October 19, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Many got frustrated with KC's year 2000 launched album. I am not sure what got them all crossed and against, fans included. If they would've continued on the past ideas, not good. If they would've gotten into too new ones, not good either. In my view, this is a powerful, energetic and complex musica ... (read more)

Report this review (#1853510) | Posted by oqpi | Wednesday, January 3, 2018 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Not so inspired. The opening track here, "Prozakc Blues", captures what the listener invariably feels at various points in this album. This is the first Crimson album to come since Thrak, and thus since Fripp fired Bruford. Tony Levin isn't here either - not sure why, but perhaps Fripp just didn ... (read more)

Report this review (#1696038) | Posted by Walkscore | Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is my first review, so here it goes. Explaining in words the experience that entails listening King Crimson is not straightforward at all. This isn't your radio-friendly unit shifter album (has ever King Crimson been that way?) So, that motivated me to recommend it from my music experience. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1510420) | Posted by Emiliano | Monday, January 11, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 'The ConstruKction of Light' is my all-time favourite studio album by King Crimson, period. Why? 1. Three of the tracks: TCOL, FraKctured and LTIA IV are utterly mind-blowing pieces, compositionally as well as performance-wise. The musicianship is stellar, which admittedly is nothing new for KC, ... (read more)

Report this review (#1461799) | Posted by Glubluk | Thursday, September 10, 2015 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Overall this album is marred by a particularly sterile production which lacks real punch, the main problem being the tinny and boxy electronic drums used throughout. Basically the overall sound is too weedy and not expansive enough and gives the whole album the flavour of an experiment in dida ... (read more)

Report this review (#642063) | Posted by Neil C | Monday, February 27, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A Giant leap? Introduction I wrote this review like 3 years ago and never released. The main reason was about its rating: 2 or 3 or even 4? Well after all this time maybe I've the answer. The 6 man lineup is gone as the projekcts and some other things, like the melodic side of THRAK or some ... (read more)

Report this review (#466392) | Posted by Erik Nymas | Tuesday, June 21, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It is impossible to describe in correct manner the music of King Crimson. In fact the style change album by album and in my opinion King Crimson start with Progressive, pass through Jazz Rock, Symphonic and now they played (in various and projects) a sort of Post music that is not mu ... (read more)

Report this review (#360223) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars To be quite honest, and trying to be fair, King Crimson haven't achieved much since their early days. Sure, the first album was a masterpiece. Although 'In the wake of Poseidon' was very similar to the first album, 'Lizard' and 'Islands' are very interesting albums that kept moving the band fo ... (read more)

Report this review (#329418) | Posted by Brendan | Monday, November 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "if Warhol's a genius, what am I?" The disc begins with "Prozakc Blues" by far the most intolerable track Crimson ever recorded. Some strange digital effect was applied to Belew's voice to make him sound as if he was singing an octave lower (and ridiculous). Take that, plus strange lyrics, overly ... (read more)

Report this review (#281124) | Posted by thesameoldfears | Sunday, May 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars While I enjoy KC the most in their early years, I have found them to be sometimes hit and miss in their later incarnations- the middle years of new-wave Crimson of Beat and Discipline intrigued me, but it tended to get repititive fast. THis incarnation is more enjoyable. OK- first is "Prozac B ... (read more)

Report this review (#275609) | Posted by mohaveman | Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Destruction of Light and Shade I've never been much of an audiophile as the production on a record very rarely impacts to any great degree on my enjoyment of any given release. However, the Construkction of Light might just be the one instance where my vandalised ears are less than well dis ... (read more)

Report this review (#247037) | Posted by ExittheLemming | Thursday, October 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A very underrated album. Yes it uses previous King Crimsons ideas. It is not possible to be completely original all the time. The album has very magnificient tracks. Larks Tongues in Aspic Part IV is just fantastic. Here the guitar of Adrian Belew is impressive. The Lyrics in the "Into Frying Pan ... (read more)

Report this review (#236033) | Posted by amontes | Monday, August 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

1 stars King Crimson has always been at the forefront of creativity. As one of the defining bands that define the term progressive, on this one they appear to have gained new insight. Every band before this time had been creating albums that they hoped they're good. Crimson in this case seemed to be s ... (read more)

Report this review (#227826) | Posted by topofsm | Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm catching up on my later-day Crim and have only recently heard this one, and as we all know, KC albums take a while to get used to. My introduction to the band was LTIA and, excited at the idea of more inspired oddness, I bought ITCOTCK - and was deeply disappointed at how normal it was (la ... (read more)

Report this review (#174922) | Posted by Greta007 | Monday, June 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album, to me, is the most inexplicably hated album king crimson put out. What is wrong with this album? How can people give this album less then 4 stars? To me, this is one of my all-time favorite king crimson albums, and this bias against it fascinates me. It's like they had a country or r ... (read more)

Report this review (#157993) | Posted by Nuke | Monday, January 7, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Short on innovation, inspiration and high on the "noise factor", this recording fails to satisfy on a number of levels. Asinine lyrics and distorted vocals aside, the record is just full of plodding, dull, dark, heavy music that sometimes just seems heavy for the sake of being heavy. Other tha ... (read more)

Report this review (#151812) | Posted by LARKSTONGUE | Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Every new project by each incarnation of The Crimson gets better and better; these artists bring us to an altogether new dimension of King Crimson. Fripp seems to be asking the question: Just how far can one push the music to the edge of the anarchy of industrial sounds and yet maintain an estheti ... (read more)

Report this review (#147862) | Posted by convocation | Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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