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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.55 | 3220 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Now THIS is some serious improvement.

After two semi-disastrous albums, Fripp proved once again that he still had it in him to write actual songs with something resembling a structure and a musical goal. The leap in quality experienced in "Red" over what occured in "Starless and Bible Black" and "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" is nothing short of gigantic. It actually seems like if the band had suddenly waken up from a long, dreadful opium dream and decided to write music.

From the beginning, the album shows what a capable musician Fripp really is with the fantastic "Red", a glorious instrumental with a terrific riff and actual development of ideas. Probably the best song (instrumental piece really) KING CRIMSON ever released since the days of their legendary debut. What follows is an extremely competent song with Wetton in top form, reminding us that, given actual musical material, he could perform at a very high level. Another success comes next, called "Another Red Nightmare", much in the spirit of the title-track, with a tremendous drum work by Bruford.

Of course, Fripp couldn't be Fripp if he didn't include a more "experimental" side to his music on every album. "Providence" has the now customary strings opening the track in true atonal fashion, again, bringing back awful memories of the past, with little sense or purpose. I guess he just HAD to have his "uber-prog" moment, which most likely would have got him rave comments from rock fans who had never heard music of the kind before (too bad they hadn't tried music written over 50 years earlier). The good thing is that the good side of KING CRIMSON returns for a final tour-de-force in "Starless", which despite its name has nothing to do with the terrible album that preceded this one and which includes some seriously haunting, dark, thoughtful rock music.

It's a pity that the band would never be the same again after "Red", because with this album they proved they actually could make good music together. A fantastic album marred by one "let's-jam-again-we're-prog-after-all" track, worthy of 5 stars if "Providence" wasn't there to reminds us that, after all, Fripp and Wetton and Bruford were just normal, error- prone human beings.

The T | 4/5 |


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