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King Crimson - Beat CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.08 | 1224 ratings

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BACKGROUND: This album of Kind Crimson, BEAT, comes after they reconvened in the 1980's, after a hiatus in the late part of the 1970's. In the first half of the 1970's King Crimson were a leading band in the movement known as progressive rock. Their music was playful, often with heavy guitars and was dissonant. It was fairly eccentric too. They reconvened in 1981 and the sound was more funk/new wave sound with a bit of gamelan as well. They followed it up a year later with BEAT

ANALYSIS: Beat is one of King Crimson's worst albums. I think it is comparable to the second Supertramp album, 'Indelibly Stamped', in that it is basically a pop music album, but tries to be progressive by sounding off-key and wonky. That's alright, but these songs aren't good.

I enjoy the catchy 'Heartbeat', the uptempo instrumental 'Sartori in Tangier', which incorporates a few styles, and that's about it. The opening 'Neal and Jack and Me' sounds a bit like a Foreigner song, but sounds very strange. Adrian Belew singing is very weird and off-kilter, perhaps this was their idea of 'progressive' at the time, but it just doesn't sound good. That said, 'Neal and Jack and me' is a bit catchy and a bit better than some of the other songs on the album. I would like the cute 'Two Hands' if it wasn't for lyrics about perving on people in the act. Then there's Neurotica, an awful song like I wish I never had to hear, just awful neurotic talking over messy music. Maybe I just can't appreciate good prog! Can't say I like the other three songs either.

CONCLUSION: Overall, it is not a good album. The idea is fairly original, but I don't like the idea, to try and sound 'weird' or 'demented'. That was always a part of their moniker, but not to such an extent as on this record. And there is little in the way of masterful instrumental passages.

Brendan | 1/5 |


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