Friday, September 3, 2010

King Crimson - The Power to Believe

7/10

The Power to Believe, like some of the albums that preceded it, is a bit derivative of Crimson's earlier albums, but it's still a decent listen. Level Five is another reincarnation of Larks' Tongues in Aspic, but this one has a lot of interesting sounds that weren't in any of the other versions, while The Power to Believe II evokes the gamelan songs from the band's 80's work. Some parts of this album are startlingly effective, though- the a cappella intro is amazingly good, with its effective use of a vocoder, and Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With is a laugh riot, poking fun at the formulaic verse-chorus-verse patterns that make up so much of popular music. (It's also one of the few times since the Sinfield era that I've felt that the lyrics in a King Crimson song weren't just a throwaway.) Dangerous Curves is a pretty duff track- it's all buildup with a less-than-enthralling denouement- but what really prevents this album from getting a higher grade is that nothing here sounds that new. Most of the stuff here is fine, but just like Three of a Perfect Pair and The ConstruKction of Light, it's pretty much a rehash of earlier Crimson albums.

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