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King Crimson - The ConstruKction Of Light CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.14 | 774 ratings

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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. Depending on your point of view, like or unlike other King Crimson albums this is an avant-garde rock album (Discipline must have been avant-garde back in the old days.) To review it I will refer to music from other artists, despite the fact that the album refers back to previous King Crimson material. In this sense, this album can be heard hand in hand with John Paul Jones' albums Zooma and The Thunderthief (both produced by the DGM label *bells ring*,) as well as Them Crooked Vultures' song Highway 1. I highly recommend listening both Zooma and the Construkction back to back just to appreciate Trey Gunn's work harmony and ambient-wise (JPJ's The Smile of Your Shadow is a real gem.)

In this review I will only refer to the main songs of the album. Most songs from this album wouldn't make a mind- blowing standalone experience but as arranged in the album they flow and bend in seamlessly making an excellent album-wise experience, a kind of transition I quite love and only few bands get to manage adequately (I can think of the transition of Small Fish/Burning Sky in Up the Downstair and in The Dark Side of the Moon.) Now my main downturn as regards flow is the ProjeKct X song, which could have been better placed somewhere else. The album should end on its Coda.

The song which led me to listen to this album is the ConstruKction of Light. I read somewhere else that this song is polyphonic, but I can't attest to that. This song is an instant prog-classic. It has a 6 minute intro and lyrics towards the end. By the way, this kind of song structure reminds me of an Argentine rock classic by Serú Giran named A los Jóvenes de Ayer (if you like rock songs written in Spanish you'll enjoy it.) The song is mainly built upon riffs and arpeggios that have a feel similar to those in Another Brick in the Wall Pt.3's ending (my favourite tune in the Wall) but with dissonant harmonies fully exploited by Trey Gunn and a slow-mo King Crimson guitar layout. It is a daunting song with excellent vocals. I can't say the same about the lyrics... yet.

The second song buying me into listening this album is FraKctured. Little did I know when I first heard it that it was an on-the-spot 2000's version of Fracture. I just listened to it and thought of Fripp's staple soloing within a prog-wise ambient, a bit of Metallica's Anesthesia, JPJ's 2000's era, (and Nintendo games?) It's an instrumental where one can sit back and either be baffled or relaxed by Fripp's virtuosity. Frankly if I heard this kind of soloing from other rock musicians, I can think of Malmsteen, I would yawn. Fripp just gets his way round in an artsy manner, e.g. the Heroes' solo (in this day Mr. Bowie went to eternal rest so may he Rest In Peace.)

Both songs, which I first heard live, led me to discover the beauty of Larks' Tongues in Aspic IV. By the way, I consider Coda: I Have a Dream a part of Larks', I so considered it when I first heard of it and I confirmed it when I watched a live rendition of the song in YouTube. This is a staple King Crimson song with an industrial metal feel (I can think of Rammstein's sound) with a beautiful coda with top-notch lyrics to the end. As I once believe that Pierre Boulez said, the beauty of music lies in building tension with the unknown by pulling the listener out of his comfort zone and then allowing him to find relief and joy in familiar sounds. That is what Larks' Tongues in Aspic IV is all about. Right now, I can only think of two other rock songs that can perfectly make the transition from distress to relief and nail it: Pink Floyd's A Saucerful of Secrets and QotSA's Misfit Love.

This is a four-star album prog-wise, a five-star album to me as it is firing all my cannons today.

Emiliano | 4/5 |


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