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King Crimson - Three of a Perfect Pair CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.28 | 1192 ratings

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3 stars A reserved and relatively accessible alternative to the last two CRIMSON albums, "Three of a Perfect Pair" led to speculation by some that ADRIAN BELEW's influence had grown unduly large within the band. Gone were the dizzying instrumental workouts, the impossibly tight relationships between guitar, stick and drums, and in their place was open space. The first side of the record does resemble Lone Rhino's droppings: "Model Man" and "Man With An Open Heart" especially are aligned with BELEW's musical sensibilities. Otherwise the band gives a nod back to "Beat", replicating that album's opener ("Neal and Jack and Me") with ""Three of a Perfect Pair"", while FRIPP unlocks the sounds of Scary Monsters with the instrumental "Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part III". TONY LEVIN and BILL BRUFORD appear to be the odd men out here; they provide an interesting if understated percolating bed of rhythm behind "Nuages (That Which Passes, Passes Like Clouds)", but confined talent turns to restlessness on "Industry." As for ROBERT FRIPP, he too favors space and texture over superlative fretwork this time, suggesting a cross between the recent CRIMSON and Andy Summers' instrumental music. Perhaps it was inevitable that outside interests would bleed into CRIMSON's work. No longer was the band comprised of four superlative musicians surrendering their identity to the good of the whole, but instead they were allowing extracurricular activities to inform their contributions. Because "Discipline" and "Beat" were so similar by design, Three's departure from the path was seen by some as an unwelcome surprise. Songs that factored in a cuteness quotient and chaotic instrumentals that fail to coalesce reveal an album plagued by lax "Discipline" rather than a lack of talent. And so KING CRIMSON slipped into hibernation again for another long winter.
daveconn | 3/5 |


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