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

THE CONSTRUKCTION OF LIGHT

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.14 | 772 ratings

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Indiciplinary
3 stars In a word, difficult.

Even as a King Crimson fan for... well, fine, about a year... before listening to this disc, I was very, very confused by this at first. In fact, I'd had it for about a month before I listened to it but enough about that. When I first put it on, I had a pretty fair warning already about what I'd be hearing. Purportedly, this album was the worst KC album, even worse than Islands had been - which I didn't think was that bad, anyway - and was borderline-unlistenable.I found out one very simple thing: Those people were wrong.

I started at the start, of course. "ProzaKc Blues" was my opening track. I had my lyrics sheet all set up. I expected much better from this, to be honest. The vocals were slowed so that it was... It was Darth Vader singin' the blues! What was this thing?! I've not grown to like it. That's just not going to happen, because that's just weird... Weirder than KC usually is, anyway. If only they could release a version without the slowed vocals...

Next in line was the title track - both of 'em. The first is an instrumental; the second actually had some lyrics. I was pleased to hear a more natural voice from Ade this time around. The lyrics consisted of a bunch of very negative words interspersed with a few comments about mankind overseeing "the Construction of Light" and the occasional positive... well, particle. At this point I went back and looked at the title. "The ConstruKction of Light?" There was no light in sight. I had been expecting to get my fair share of dark lyrics from Ade, but, come on...

Up next was "Into the Frying Pan". Great stuff. The lyrics are easy to pick up, simple and to the point, and the music kept me interested for a while, but, again, those vocals are disgusting. The distortion seems to be poorly done as it gets very warped at points and sounds even more robotic to the point of painfulness. Were it not for those little... faults, this song could easily have pulled the weight for almost everything else that didn't work.

"FraKctured" was next. I'd read that, depending on what parts of the track you listen to, this was either the most beautiful or the ugliest on the album. Fair enough. I think the track is beautiful in its ugliness. It's a guitar-heavy workout which made me think of many other monstrous instrumentals by artists like Zappa. I didn't see much relation to "Fracture," but maybe I'm not looking hard enough.

"The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum" - in a word, weird. More loud guitar work and distorted vocals. I was not really sure at any point where this song was going, but that was part of the fun, really. Okay, whatever. The big problem with this track is the staccato rhythm of the vocals, combined with that distortion, feels too robotic and tends to play on the nerves, as it doesn't quite sound right...

Now, we come to the moment most of us have been waiting for - "Lark's Tongues in Aspic, Part IV"! This one feels much closer to Parts I and II than III did. As with the rest of the album, these tracks - annoyingly, the song has been split in three! - are heavy on guitar and very loud. It ends with a coda that cites many of the events of the age, and even two which hadn't happened by the release of the album. As with the title track, this coda is mostly dark clouds and other such depressing imagery.

We end with a ProjeKct X demo - "Heaven and Earth". Let me put my opinion on it this way - I'm sold. I'll surely buy that album once I find a place that sells it - which has been my problem with getting King Crimson stuff for a long time.

All in all, this is not a bad album. It's not as dense as THRAK and VROOOM were, but they're still very heavy. This is not, however, a starting point for King Crimson. I'm certainly fortunate that I didn't start here or I would never have gotten into the band. Guitar-driven, yet does not break huge amounts of new ground and with no hugely stand-out tracks or impressively creepy lyrics - remember Sleepless ("It's alright to feel a little fear") and Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream ("They're fishing in the kitchen, but they haven't caught up to me")? You won't quite find that here. There is, however, a lot of self-reference anddistortion on this album. However, it's not as bad as everyone says it is. Give it a try, but remember what to be ready for.

Indiciplinary | 3/5 |

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