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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.28 | 1192 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The final installment of the 80's trilogy, and one that manages to achieve much- but maybe not what many were hoping for. This is a much more "commercial" album than any of the previous KC releases, even "Beat", with several songs that come close to being radio friendly. In fact, I used to hear selections from this album played alongside such strange bedfellows as SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES and DINOSAUR JR. on my local "alternative" station back in the mid/late 80's. I really don't think Fripp & co. were trying for a commercial success ( when had that ever been a main goal of the band? ), but suddenly I could hear a lot more "hooks" in the songs. The first four songs are perfect examples of this, standalone songs that can be appreciated on their own terms (the hauntingly personal chorus to "Model Man" stays in my mind, as do the spooky vocal harmonies on the title track). The days when you could put KC on and go on a 40+ minute journey are by this point fading quickly, but not totally gone- the extended pieces ( "Nuages" and then most of the second side) retain some of this transcendant power. The problem many have in appreciating the "new" KC is similar to the debate over analog versus digital. Certainly the sound is more precise, and as on "Sleepless", almost funky at times. The scary parts are a little harsher (compare the violent sound of "Dig Me" with the more creeping menace of "The Mincer", for instance). This incarnation of KC proves over and over that they are not just being consumed by the 80s ( the way poor YES and GENESIS were, for example ), but are instead once again utilizing everything at their disposal to break new musical ground. For better or worse, this meant that Fripp was pulling in some of his Frippertronics (which always reminded me of a guitar trying to sound like a synth arpeggiator...extremely clinical), and Belew was drawing from his own personal palette as well (good if it was like the best parts of "Lone Rhino", bad if it was anything like THE BEARS). The album is a nice way to wrap up this version of KC; they explored the corners of the room they inhabited on "Discipline" and "Beat", and left us with some memorable moments.
James Lee | 3/5 |


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