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

THE CONSTRUKCTION OF LIGHT

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.14 | 771 ratings

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Greta007
5 stars I'm catching up on my later-day Crim and have only recently heard this one, and as we all know, KC albums take a while to get used to.

My introduction to the band was LTIA and, excited at the idea of more inspired oddness, I bought ITCOTCK - and was deeply disappointed at how normal it was (laughs). Today I love both albums. I was deeply disappointed by Lizard too, another that I love now. When I first heard Discipline I couldn't believe it was KC; I was more disappointed than ever before. It's now my favourite KC album. No, my favourite album.

Time and time again KC has both disappointed and delighted me. If I am rapt in a KC album on first hearing then something's wrong. Sometimes the albums don't grow on me. ITWOP, apart from Cat Food is still not one I listen to much, same with (parts of Islands) and SABB.

So, yes, the jury's out with this one too.

Unlike others here, I think ProzaKc Blues is excellent although there are parts I'm still confused by. I like it when KC play the clown every now and then and the lyrics are as witty as anything the band has done. KC plays da blues, well, kinda. You'll never hear blues like this anywhere else. Poor old Adrian has been bagged from pillar to post for his vocals in this one, which strike me as far less treated than other reviews make out (remember how he sang talk about them tiny cookies line in Uncle Frank's City of Tiny Lights?) and they are perfect for the track. Don't listen to the grumps. It's a good performance.

Many criticise this album for its extensions on old ideas but I don't see anything wrong with a long-lived band revisiting their old songs, as with LTIA Pt 254 [sic] or FraKctured. It's only natural to wonder about songs you've written in the past and seeing potentials that you didn't see when you first put it together. Creativity is not only about doing something entirely new, but of synthesis. Uncle Frank knew that and he frequently revisited old numbers and this approach can yield rich fruit. Son of Orange County gave us an incredible new view of its parent many years earlier on Weasels Ripped My Flesh. Doing a remake after two decades doesn't necessarily mean a lack of inspiration, especially given some of the fresh ideas on this album, as you'll find on any KC album. KC pack more new ideas on each album than most bands do in their careers, and this one's no exception.

So it is here, where the new FraKctured has some beautiful moments that 1973's Fracture can't come close to, even though the former has its own special moments. LTIA Pt 4 features the most incredible Adrian Belew solo. The boy is so multi-talented we can easily forget how dexterous and creative his guitar playing is - top echelon stuff. Coda, which runs off LTIA, making it officially the only vocal in the LTIA series has the heaviest of heavy lyrics, soulfully sung. One minute Adrian plays the clown, the next he is full of drama and sorrow. With that level of consistency, he surely belongs in this band :)

ProkeKct X is another promising number - a mix of hard weird-time riffing and luscious Frippertronics. It's one of the few numbers on this album that gives your ears a break. I have a feeling that, like Requiem from the Beat album, this one will grow on me.

Like others, I miss Bill Bruford on the album - his imagination, light touch, bright sounds and nimbleness. Still not too many could hope to follow an act like so Pat Mastelotto was always going to be on a hiding to nothing with the fans. I doubt that he cared because getting the gig with KC is a bit like winning the creative lottery; there are few, if any musical vehicles out there that come close to offering the creative scope that The Crims can provide. Pat's a different type of drummer and I think this not only played a role in the heavy sound of this new KC but may have been Bob's intention all along. Sometimes his electronic sounds are jarring (as in FraKctured) and sometimes brilliant and ethereal (title track). Bob moves in mysterious ways ...

The title track for me is the standout. The melody, mood, percussion, sound and vocals are top notch. Just beautiful. More than once I have put it on and repeated it straight away.

The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum has one of those titles that brings to mind Quiet Sun's Mummy was an Asteroid, Daddy was a Small Non Stick Kitchen Utensil and Uncle Franks Ode to a Sexually Aroused Gas mask. All three songs have one thing in common - they're weird. I find its heaviness a bit much until about halfway through where a twisted and unique (guitar?) solo jingles its way over the discombobulated rhythm section. One I am yet to get used to.

Look, don't listen to those who pan this album; they are wrong. It was more consistently heavy than any other album before it, except (arguably) Red so if you are caught in KC circa 1969, thought Islands was their best album, hanker for wind instruments and jazziness, or felt the Bruford-Wetton version was too way-out and fierce, then this album might be right for you. But the the KC fan who likes both the gentle and mean KC flavours there's heaps of good stuff on here.

It's not bad at all and I have the feeling that I'll grow to love it once I get used to its complexities just as I have with most KC albums. Still, since others here have marked this one down far too harshly I'm going to try to balance the ledger a little by upgrading my core from a 4 to a 5 :-P

Greta007 | 5/5 |

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