Monday, August 9, 2010

King Crimson - Three of a Perfect Pair


Three of a Perfect Pair is one of those albums where each side is very different. The first side is fairly poppy material similar to the stuff on Beat, but more energetic, while the second side is mostly avant-garde compositions. Both sides have some good material; my favorites include the wonderfully melodic "Man With the Open Heart" on side one, while I also enjoy side two's "Industry" (it reminds me of "Providence" from Red in how it starts out as random-sounding noise and comes together magnificently).
However, this album doesn't really do a whole lot that King Crimson hadn't done before. The first side is very similar to the previous two albums, while the second side borrows heavily from the avant-garde songs from the John Wetton era, albeit with much more modern production. There's even a third part of "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" at the end. It seems to me that King Crimson didn't have a whole lot of new ideas when they were recording this album, and it seems a little derivative of their earlier work as a result (although I would have liked to hear this lineup's take on the first three albums). It's never quite unpleasant, but it doesn't quite measure up to Discipline, and in retrospect, it's not that surprising that Fripp broke the band up for a decade after the ensuing tour.

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