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King Crimson - Discipline CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.11 | 1864 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Seven years after the disbandment of Wetton-era King Crimson, guitarist Robert Fripp created a new musical behemoth under the same name. This lineup maintained brilliant drummer Bill Bruford, but added veteran session bassist Tony Levin (who brought the coveted Chapman Stick into the sound). The most important (and longstanding addition) was guitarist and vocalist Adrian Belew, who had worked with David Bowie, Frank Zappa, and The Talking Heads. This provided King Crimson with two dominant guitarists, something it had not possessed previously.

"Elephant Talk" This is such a fun song, one on which all of the musicians play an important role, not the least of which is Belew's "elephant" talking guitar. The lyrics are in alphabetical order, so to speak (hence, "These are words with a D this time"), and lend it an amusing characteristic. Levin's touch guitar sets the tone for the album.

"Frame by Frame" One of my two favorite tracks on the record, this song features fast guitar work from Fripp and polyrhythm between the guitar and drums. The vocal work is excellent here, high and clear, singing disturbing yet intriguing lyrics.

"Matte Kudasai" Easily my other favorite song on the album, this has a calm, cool, and even melancholic feel to it. The guitar, both the lead and the clean rhythm are sweet. The lyrics are slightly despondent, but Belew sings passionately.

"Indiscipline" This is a more cacophonic piece, with some strange words spoken over the music. I never really cared for this one, although I have always found it amusing. Bruford's erratic drumming is deserving of praise, however.

"Thela Hun Ginjeet" The title is an anagram of "Heat in the City," which was meant to describe urban crime. The spoken word regards Belew's real-life encounter with Rastafarian criminals as he was walking around talking into a tape recorder to get sounds for the song (as it turns out, according to Belew, they were running an illegal gambling ring and believed him to be a cop). The music is quite a bit grating, like that of "Indiscipline."

"The Sheltering Sky" The longest piece features hand drums and clean guitar to start with. The music, like much of King Crimson, can become repetitive. Particular sounds take the focus here, working over the established and easygoing rhythm.

"Discipline" The hypnotic track seems to borrow from "Elephant Talk" in a way. It uses some themes and variations of those themes with two clean electric guitars panned hard on opposite sides. The structure is complex; the final tack is a good representative of King Crimson during this monumental union.

Epignosis | 4/5 |


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