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King Crimson - Discipline CD (album) cover

DISCIPLINE

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.11 | 1864 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars In the early 80's Fripp started a new band and had planned for naming it Discipline , but at the last minute decided to rename it King Crimson. I personally wished he had not for, of all KC eras, this one is the one I like least, but this is only a personal view. With ex-KC member Bruford and ex-Gabriel sideman Tony Levin and Talking Heads-collab Adrian Belew, Fripp set out to make complex music and decided that the music would be more contemporary while retaining some of the typical Crimson characteristics. However, I find that this very line-up is possibly the most dated and has not aged that well: Everything of those three records spells early 80's.

From the David Byrne-like antics of Adrian Belew to the electronics percussions of Bruford to the rather peculiar (for the times) Chapman Stick of Levin, this album is full of experiments (which make this album progressive per-se) but those very experimental features have now become the biggest problem (IMHO) to enjoying this album. Elephant Talk (with the strange Elephant guitar wails), Frame By Frame and Thela Jun Ginjeet are the backbone of this album displaying some excellent technical musicianship in shorter and poppier tracks than ever before, but there are also some real yawners (Matte Kusadai) and some very irritating tracks (the title track and its anti-title track). As for the most adventurous track Sheltering Sky, it does not approach anywhere close to the superb preceeding album tracks. I remember seeing some live footage of them playing in front of a red curtain and the musicianship was really impressive, but man was that virtuosity ever cold. A bit like the feeling I get whenever I get to hear this album.

This version of Crimson is definitely too poppy for me and even sounds new wavish to these ears!! I truly believe that a real classic or a masterpiece prog album should have a timeless sound quality and sadly for Crimson , this is not the case with this album and the next two.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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