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King Crimson - Beat CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.08 | 1213 ratings

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The Owl
Prog Reviewer
2 stars After the newness and brilliance of "Discipline", this one was a huge letdown for me, or rather, it hasn't aged well for me. I remember liking a fair amount of it when it first came out but yet someting just didn't quite work for me.

In retrospect I can now identify why:

1) It seemed very claustrophobic and straitjacketed, it just seems the musicians were on a tight leash that threatened to strangle them at any second. Overall, the music tends to be a bit sterile and calculated compared to much of the Crimson canon.

2) It was for the most part trying too danged hard to be likeable and poppy. That sort of thing ALWAYS chases me off. "Songs like "Heartbeat" sounded like a very calculated bid for airplay with its corny lyrics and seemingly desparate delivery. "Two Hands" wasn't as forced though.

3) Thr heavily processed, cold, sterile 80's production and sound of the disc was no help either. Plus those obnoxious Simmons drums. Man, I'm glad Bruford dumped those abominable things (at best, they sound like amplified pizza boxes). Plus, the rather stiff rhythms of a lot of the pieces (which was de' rigeur in the 80's) tended to grate on me.

It wasn't a complete loss though. "The Howler" started to allow breathing room and Belew let forth some pretty off-kilter sounds here. "Neurotica" for my money was the best track of the bunch, with Belews many guitar sounds,sirens and the like plus those wacky lyrics and Bruford just getting to cut loose and be himself. "Requiem" closes the disc on a disturbing note, a sort of soundtrack for the end of the world with nothing left but the hum of the universe.

If you have to have this one, save it for the lower eschelons of your list and glean the gems.

The Owl | 2/5 |


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