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King Crimson - Discipline CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 1914 ratings

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Prog Reviewer

I purchased this album together with "Red" some four years ago. You can imagine how disillusioned I was to listen to this one after the brilliant "Red".

The first time I listened to it (and there were not a lot more hearings except for this review), I thought it sounded rather like Talking Heads after their first great period (1977 through 1979). When I noticed that Belew was on the lead vocals and guitar, I understood it a little better. Not only he played with Talking Heads (he held the guitar as a guest on "Remain In Light" and he toured as well with them in the supporting tour), but he tries to sound as David Byrne as well.

So, King Crimson (or Discipline as they should have been named) meets Talking Heads as Jethro Tull met Dire Straits for a couple of albums.

I stopped to love them (TH) when they went on pure funky and jazzy, so I can hardly love this album. It is repetitive, monotonous and dull. I have a real hard time to find an interesting track here. "Matte Kudasai" sounding a bit more like a piece of music. The funky mood is almost at every corner of this album. When not funky, this album displays the most indigest sounds KC could produce (like "Indispline" for instance). Belew can shout "I Like It", but I don't.

I had always believed that the heart and soul of the band was Fripp (correct me if I am wrong). I can not understand how one person (Belew in this case because I doubt Levin did this, and Bruford already played with Crimson before) could impose all of a sudden a new genre of music to this rather difficult person who used to be the absolute KC leader.

On the booklet that goes with the anniversary remastered edition, one can read : "The presence of Adrian Belew's voice and guitar has a most stimulating effect on Robert Fripp, who picks up where the Lark's Tongues band left off when Jamie Muir departed. Thoughtful compositions, some in the recent Talking Heads vein, energized by a terrifically authoritative rhythm section...".

Well, of course, Levin and Bruford are brilliant musicians (as Fripp) but really "Discipline" is an album I can't stand. So if you want to buy it from me, feel free to post me an e- mail. My version is spotless (I guess I have listened to this "work" about six or seven times (of which four for the purpose of this review only) and you'll get the booklet as well (for cheap, I promise).

My "preferred" track is "The Sheltering Sky" : an instrumental number with nice and subtle percussion work. I must admit that "Discipline" also sounds like a piece of music, but where the hypnotic feel was working very well on numbers such as "Fracture" or " Larks' Tongues Part Two" it quickly turns out to be a bit dull as well on this one.

On the thirtiest years edition, there is one bonus track : an alternative version for "Matte Kudasai" (I wonder whether or not it is a joke).

IMO, this album has nothing to do with prog. It is an experimental and funky work from start to finish. Unfortunately, the same line-up will produce some more records. I only hope that they will be better inspired than on this one. I am quite hesitant for the rating. I guess three out of ten is in line with my feeling. So, for the time being, I will rate it two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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