Wednesday, August 4, 2010

King Crimson - Discipline


King Crimson came back in 1982 with this album. Fripp, of course, is still around, and Bruford has been held over from the previous incarnation, but bassist Tony Levin and frontman/guitarist Adrian Belew are new. Discipline is heavily new-wave oriented, although it's definitely on the avant-garde side of the genre.
I'm going to be upfront about this: I frequently find Belew's vocals annoying. He often just sounds snarky as hell, especially when he tries to sound funny. He would improve as time went on, though. However, the instrumental aspect of the album is awesome. The playing is just so dense and multilayered, with the bass frequently acting as a second or third guitar. I'm not sure how much of the guitar playing is Fripp's and how much is Belew's (I assume the guitar synths are usually Fripp, but that's just speculation on my part), but it's never less than great.
My favorite song on the album is "The Sheltering Sky," with its laid-back twin guitars, but even the lesser songs here are still pretty good- everything's well produced and intricate without going into solo wankery. Discipline probably isn't what people used to King Crimson were expecting their reunion to sound like, but when have Fripp and company done anything predictable, anyway?

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