The Power To Believe - Reviews
Reviews are listed in chronological order within each section. Please retain a chronological order when adding new reviews.
Date Submitted: 22-Feb-03
By: Gunnar Schillings (aquamine at iafrica dot com)
"The power is out, completely.
"Plagiarism is the only word. But maybe u made the mistake to post "Happy" as a sample of the Power, culling it from the "Happy" postcard. The postulation has passed me. If indeed the very similar version appears on the Power, I feel that in the past u did better jobs. R u tired? I feel like a sleep myself after hearing the sample.
"I mean, no problem, is a good musik, soft 2 the ears, compared with 21st, which or who r excellent. Other songs from the playlist seem to have been published b4.
"Ah, ja..... and u even included a new tune called "Power". Nice touch. Sort of a concept album, I fear?......
"So should anybody fork out another 10 dollas, to hear 3 versions of a new tune? U got writers block?
"Ah, ja.....refinement, craftsmanship, new audiences, superglue......1 has 2 revert 2 what 1 knows....best.
"I 4got, that the masses probably do not know u, and this is gotta b a new start! New labels etc...
"The notion of no cameras no recordings no smoking must b a joke going back 2 the 7ties. If would b great to tie in there, though. U were really always surprising + rising.
"After 84, the spelling was correct, when Bob 4saw the money b4. Have fun, u r 2 b enjoyed.
"I would go to any concert in my vicinity, but I do not live in Japan or South America.
Date Submitted: 24-Feb-03
By: Chris Harrison (chris dot harrison at gmx dot net)
"There's no denying it. The Mighty Crim have done it again. From the outset you can sense there's something special about this record. Adrian Belew's haunting yet romantic 'haiku' (referring to a lady who "saved my life in a manner of speaking") leads into "Level Five", a labyrinthine instrumental that winds it's way through rhythms and harmonies not far removoved from The ConstruKction Of Light's epic "Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part IV".
""Eyes Wide Open" is slightly extended and somewhat more orchestrated than it's companion on the 'Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With EP', with a beautifully executed solo section and some imaginative drumming from the chamelionic Pat Mastelotto. At it's base it is simply a lovely song, showcasing Belew's angelic voice. "Elektrik" opens with a familiar sounding harmonised flute-like melody (perhaps this is an oblique reference to the debut record of 35 years ago?) and builds to a collosally heavy climax.
""Facts Of Life" opens with a Soundscape which, I believe, is "The Outer Darkness" from Fripp's Soundscapes release "The Gates Of Paradise. Needless to say, if you enjoy this opening, get Fripp's soundscapes releases. The song piece itself brings the blues back to the Crimsons, but this is a million miles away from the "ProzaKc Blues" already encountered on the last album. It's down, it's dirty, and tells it like it is.
"The title track reprises again, beginning with an eastern-flavoured melody underpinned by some typically odd sci-fi sounds from Mr Mastelotto. This is eventually relegated to reveal beautiful percussion very similar to "Shoganai" from the EP (light bell sounds intertwining - I believe Mastelotto and Belew both contribute rhythm on this track) over which the vocal theme returns.
""Dangerous Curves" is one of the first moments where the influence of The ProjeKcts is REALLY felt (about blummin' time, says the loving fan). A chugging riff in the rhythm is played with and played over by all and builds to an excitable crashing end. The piece has a sense of being a train that sounds like it could come off the rails at any time. Which it does, in spectacular fashion.
""Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With" is a storming, almost (dare I say it) 'metal' song where Belew basically rebukes the unimaginative radio-friendly-and-boring-as-hell bands which are currently plaguing the world's radio. Well, someone had to! "We're gonna repeat the chorus! We're gonna repeat the chorus! We're gonna repeat the chorus...".
""The Power To Believe III" reminds me heavily of the opening from "The Deception Of The Thrush", one of my favourite outcomes of The ProjeKcts. One of my favourite pieces on the album. The final Coda to the piece is a Fripp soundscape (taken, so the liner notes say, from a performance at a church in Cornwall) from which dear ole' Adrian rises to deliver his beautiful refrain one last time. With that, it's over.
"This album is heartily recommended to all fans of King Crimson (like you wouldn't buy it anyway!), and to absolutely anyone who read this review and thought "Hmm, that sounds interesting". Believe me. It's more interesting than I could ever put into words, and may well find a special place in your hands, head and heart."
Date Submitted: 24-Feb-03
By: Mike McLaughlin (mikemclaughli41 at hotmail dot com)
"This album is the genuine article, this is the way the material should be, the band may have issued two EP's during the writing process this time (hey why not let the fans have a listen to a work in progress, we all like those bits on DVD's where they tell us how they made the thing) but this is where the hard work the band put in paid off (for this listener certainly) all the niggling doubts Level 5 left me with are gone instead I now see where the ideas that seemed so nebulous have been taken and I have to say (gratuitous quote from another oh so well known song by a quartet we all know and love) "I like it!" (Groan, I actually used it). Anyway I won't drag this out and give a description of each track (you'll have to buy it yourself if you want to know what it's like), I shall simply say it's well worth getting if you bought "Level 5" and "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With" even if you didn't quite see it when you got the EP's (I know I didn't) the full album leaves you in no doubt as to what the band was aiming for."
Date Submitted: 3-Mar-03
By: (esko.pohjoisaho at mail dot suomi dot net)
"I bought TPTB four days after it´s release. On the first listening, I almost cried to Fripp´s soundscapes. Why? They were so fantastic, as this whole damn album is. I couldn´t believe that this "new" King crimson band could EVER record something as wonderful as this album is. Don´t hesitate, buy it now. If we compare TPTB to ConstruKction of light, you may too be surprised. It´s just so much better. This album is a piece-of-art, and I recommend it to everyone who likes to get the best of the best. I love ProjeKcts, I love Heavy construKction, but I was still surprised. I thought that this couldn´t be as good as them, but this is even better."
Date Submitted: 3-Mar-03
By: (juergen_joachimsthaler at hotmail dot com)
"Sometimes the music of King Crimson is Crimson music, sometimes its a kind of pop (like Thrak), sometimes its a step on the hard way to crimson music. This recording is an important step to an unreached point, beginning with didactical simplicities for a wider audience (why not?), followed by a long climax to a beginning crimson kind of unheard music - and, on this point, when the music begins to break the carcer of this universe, the record stops. Bääng! We´re waiting for more, for music from the other side of the boundary..."
Date Submitted: 5-Mar-03
By: (maccoun at 25socrates dot berkeley dot edu)
"This is a splendid KC cd. There are no radical departures; almost any of these songs could have have appeared on the Construction of Light cd. Indeed, many of CoL's tracks have close counterparts here -- LTiA-3 and Level Five, Construction of Light and Elektrik, ProzaKc Blues and Facts of Life. But where the previous CD felt tense and vacuum-sealed, this one is loose and breathes. There are fewer jaw-dropping, death-defying Frippian guitar moments -- these cuts will surely be easier to play live! -- but a much nicer groove. (Mastelleto and Gunn are a fantastic rhythm section.) For me, the greatest treat is "The Power to Believe II," which seems to complete a pseudo-Arabian trilogy started by the Sheltering Sky and Sartori in Tangiers. "Dangerous Curves" sounds just like its name; whereas CoL kept us on edge wondering if the band could possibly keep up with Fripp (FraKctured!), this one builds dramatic tension through exquisite dynamic control of very simple materials -- the focus is on the music, not on the musicians. "The Power to Believe III" sounds like ProjeKct 3 at its finest (i.e., very fine). In time-honored Crimso tradition, there is one fingernails-on-blackboard "skip me" track, "Happy With...," which was very funny on a pre-album EP but very tedious on the real thing. But overall, this is the best Crimson disk since Discipline and Beat."
Date Submitted: 6-Mar-03
By: Eduardo Gonzalo Muntaner (eduardomuntaner at 25yahoo dot com dot ar)
"the power to believe, wonderful.
"robert,adrian, trey and pat wonderful.
"forever, king crimson."
Date Submitted: 10-Mar-03
By: (mp22 at nyu dot edu)
"A very good album. And it is still growing on me.
"If I should compare The Power To Believe with anything, it would not be Discipline, Lark's Tongues or even The Court of the Crimson King, it would be Red. Not because it sounds like Red but because it is the culmination and perfection of several years of work. The Lark's as well as the Discipline albums stand for astonishing new beginnings. Red stands for bringing together whatever had been explored before in a perfect way. For Red it was the incredibly powerful instrumental title piece, the rock with an edge song "Another Red Nightmare", the improvisational power of the live Crim of that period, showcased in "Providence," the song turned instrumental "Fallen Angel" and finally, finally the beauty and lyricism of the original Crim, brought together with the power and vision of the Wetton, Bruford (Cross) Crim in "Starless," one of the ultimate Crimson titles. But nothing on Red, even though borrowing elements from all former Crim versions, really sounded like anything that they had done before.
"You get the same feeling with The Power To Believe. At first it sounds distinctly Crimson (much more so than Discpline) but listening to it again and again you realize it's a perfect mixture of Crim history, elements from TCOL as well as The ProjeKcts. In other words it's a perfect result of a long development.
"When you were asking yourself a bit, after the release of TCOL, whatever had happened to the music of the ProjeKcts that were, overall, much closer to "Drum and Bass" and therefore much closer to the present than TCOL (which brought some elements from The ProjeKcts but drew more heavily on the Crim catalogue: "TCOL," "Fractured," "LTIA IV") and sounded overall more like a slightly modernized heavy Crim version.... Here, in TPTB, you can see the results. Pat Mastelotto's traps and buttons as well as D & B is still around but it's incorporated into the whole now. This Crim is still heavy but there is always something else going on, so it completely surpasses heavy metal standards. It's like Fripp once pointed out that his solo piece "Breathless" actually resembles Bartok's string quartets. Most pieces on TPTB sound like rock songs of the Crim kind but if you look at them a bit closer, they are all something different.
"Level Five" is a very clever, multi-layered instrumental that will see many, many changes during its live performances." Elektrik" brings together the spirit of the Discipline era with the darker, more metallic sound of today's' Crim. "Facts of Life" and "Happy" are two more examples of the "new" song structure of the current Crim. And "Dangerous Curves", even though extremely close to "The Devil's Triangle," in terms of spirit and structure, is by no means a recap of the former but rather one of the pieces that draws mostly on the D & B elements and even has an "electronica" edge in that sense that after a slow start it turns out as the most "rhythmic", strangely enough almost "dance-like" piece of the entire album. (Maybe they should release a remix of it similar to the "Darshan" remixes of the Sylvian/Fripp collaboration?)
"Striking isand I also think Adrian mentioned it in one of his recent interviewsthat the "regular" song structure is almost eliminated. This is something completely new and that idea definitely will be related to the ProjeKcts. From day one KC always had been a mix of melodic pop songs, intertwined with powerful, very often improvisational, dark, atmospheric or even atonal instrumentals. They sort of formed the two sides of Crimson, which in the case of the Three of A Perfect Pair album really had been split up into two different sides of the album. In the case of TPTB, only "Eyes Wide Open" (in an even more beautiful version) alludes to a normal song. But even this song carries some of the eeriness of the other song-like moments on this album.
"That goes along well with the approach of techno acts such as Orbital who draw (e.g. on their fantastic album In Sides from 1996) on elements of the "progressive rock era" but are still distinctly "dance." Whenever they incorporate lyrics, they blend them into the instrumental sounds and almost completely give up on the traditional song idea. That, in turn, goes along with certain developments in world music, such as modern Banghra, etc. Interesting is, that each of those groups stick to their different musical backgrounds, even though in terms of sprit they are very close to each other. I.e. modern Banghra groups stick to their Indian / Pakistani "traditional folk music" roots as do Orbital stick to their "techno" roots and Crimson stick to their "rock" roots. ( I do not wish to make a case against "traditional song structures" in general though, just think that this approach is very suitable to Crimson as it is e.g. to electronica acts such as Orbital, Photek, et.al.)
"All in all, TPTB is an excellent album, that carefully has been woven into "one" piece, which makes it a much more enjoyable whole as TCOL ever could become."
Date Submitted: 13-Mar-03
By: Joerg Fischer (lichtafee at gmx dot de)
"Didn't Fripp refer to TPTB as being the culmination of some years work of this certain line-up? Indeed this album includes pieces that already were played on tour in 2001 or even have their roots in the rehearsals from 1997. Further some compositional & structural ideas already executed very sucessfully on "The Construction of Light" re-appear in the two more elaborate instrumental-tracks of TPTB - KC’s current, tricky and well-working band-clichees! "Level 5" includes the beautiful overlapping playingstyle of the two guitars (also used in "TCOL") and once again the wholetone-scale (?), "Elektrik" includes the polymetrically struck dissonant guitarchords (also used very effectively for example in "LTIA 4"), so these two pieces wouldn’t sound out of place on TCOL. Further included on TPTB are two compositions with more open structure, that in formal terms refer directly to the ProjeKcts ("The power to believe" parts II & III - the letter in fact being basically a new version of "The Deception of the Thrush"). For me the songs were a little dissappointing: "Eyes wide open" (a gentle, almost ballad-like song - KC didn’t include something like this into new repertoire since 1994), "Facts of life" (a power-song whose agression maybe sounds a bit faked and pubertary - but it includes an outstanding Fripp-solo which recalls the shrieking chordal climaxes of some of his early 70’s solos - isn’t this really HOT?) and "Happy with what you have" (a piss-take of Nu metal - without really showing many creative alternatives in this case). Of very individual character in this context is "Virtuos Circle" which reminded me of "Devil’s Triangle" from 1970 - both are carried by a bolero-like rhythm and include stringsounds chromatically moving (mostly ascending) over a stable keynote in the bass, creating a wonderful harmonic tension up to a climax (which unfortunately doesn’t really lift off in the new piece). In between some pretty heavy musical passages of some aforementioned pieces, there are soundscapes to relax (or get angry from - depends on personal tastes ;o), usually moving in waves around some minor key. So TPTB shows a broad stylistic spectrum, and in this respect it’s pretty different from TCOL, which was more homogeneous stilistically - and maybe more focussed?
"When examining how they currently organize their business, KC seemingly try to reach younger audiences and that’s also what the current music sounds like (to a small degree), as it’s incorporating again some more mainstream-material that was almost completely avoided during the ProjeKcts- and TCOL-days. So fans of the more complex and adventurous or noisy side of KC (as I would call myself) maybe won’t find very much challenging music on the new album. Others that like to hear a decent and still intelligent and potentially ass-kicking song in between maybe will prefer this to KC’s output of the last several years."
Date Submitted: 13-Mar-03
By: (cborondo at eniac dot es)
"Tras diversas escuchas del nuevo disco, he de decir que me ha gustado muchísimo. Creo que no ofrece cosas nuevas, sino un pupurri del anterior trabajo en estudio, The Construction of light, del Thrak y de los Projekts. El disco nuevo recoje todos los sonidos experimentados en esos discos.
"A diferencia del anterior trabajo, me ha sorprendido gratamente el trabajo de batería. Se había criticado mucho la batería del anterior disco, tildandola de demasiado metálica y de agobiar la música. En Dangerous Curves, el trabajo de batería es alucinante, la parte de la mitad donde para un momento, y empieza otra vez segundos después con el ritmo frenético de la canción.... increíble, para oirlo a todo volumen.
"Me encanta el Happy... por ser del estilo de Dinosaur, y seguro que en los directos animará al personal."
Date Submitted: 20-Mar-03
By: (djgolden at utmb dot edu)
"I thought it was rather cool."
Date Submitted: 20-Mar-03
By: (sportsterrpm1 at cox dot net)
"The new album TPTB is (IMHO) the best Crimson album yet ! Bar none !!! You know how they say that you can hear a musician's influences by how they play? WOW !!! Listen to p@ on this album... I hear Bill Bruford's influence in a big way. But the strange thing is, that it's not the Bruford from recent years that I hear... I hear Bruford from Yes's Fragile and KC's USA albums !!! A very good study in early Bruford, Indead !!! Bill had better watch himself if he ever returns to the fold...P@ is very serious !!!
"Trey Gunn has never been finer !!! This is the album that puts the touch guitar on the map !!! I hear influences by Jaco Pastorius, Chris Squire, Tony Levin, Fripp,and even some Gunn in his playing... For those who complained that they couldn't hear him in the double trio... YOUR HEARING HIM NOW !!!
"Adrian is a chameleon !!! I can't think of any other artist that can transform themselves like Adrian can !!! (OK, Maybe Michael Jackson !!!) But Adrian does it tastefully !!! And with really COOL guitar effects !!! You gotta admit !!!
"Dear old uncle Bobby is by far a total genius !!! People wonder what Hendrix or Bolin might have accomplished had they lived longer... My hero was Fripp then, and is now !!! Thank you for being Fripp, and taking care of yourself... This is your masterpiece !!! I LOVE IT !!!"
Date Submitted: 29-Mar-03
By: Michael Germana (michael-germana at uiowa dot edu)
"To liken this album to its predecessor is to do it a great injustice, I think, for The Power to Believe realizes potential that The ConstruKction of Light could only recognize. Where COL is like some sort of far-flung atomic toy out of control, TPTB is tight, focused, even organic. Where COL comes undone mid-album, TPTB sustains itself in a way that only Discipline could before it.
"There are plenty of quotations to earlier Crim masterpieces: the Thrak-like drumline of "Level Five," Belew's Indisciplinary guitar solo in same, and I swear I heard a sample of Jamie Muir's crinkling cellophane from "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part II" somewhere in "Eyes Wide Open." But what makes TPTB so special is not the satisfaction it gives to those of us who look back to earlier KC for inspiration, but its uncanny immediacy. It is, for me at least, the soundtrack of the zeitgeist.
"This being said, my first reaction to this album was intensely personal. A sort of synesthesia set in: I heard in the album's tracks the musical articulation of my frustration with a world going violently haywire, condensed with a long-lost and desperate love for the friend who turned me on to King Crimson so long ago.
"What more is there to say, other than that I wept after the Coda?"
Date Submitted: 3-Apr-03
By: Brian Mulligan (lauramulligan at snet dot net)
"As a long time King Crimson fan I anxously awaited listening to the new album. The Power to Believe continues in the Construction of light mold songs seguing smoother with also a bit of a harder sound. The concept idea flows through the album and works well. I feel the album is a bit of a disappointment in that we expect to much from this band (way to much). Many of the guitar leads seem to revisit COL and the overall sound seems the same and not as fresh. As much as I missed Tony Levin on the COL cd, I feel he was missed all the more on this album. The funkieness he brings to the group go well with Belew's lyrics. Limiting themselves to only guitar( I'm starving for some of the early sax work, where is Mel Collins? ) makes many of the licks sound similiar and reworked. This album is a throwback to the John Wetton day's, not my personnal choice of Krimson years."
Date Submitted: 4-Apr-03
By: (fearofhites at yahoo dot com)
"I decided to wait before writing this review. I bought the album when it was released. I decided to see if it would "linger" and guess what....It's still in my car stereo. For those that say TPTB sucks well...Obviously you have listened to the album and you haven't "heard" it yet. This is a Crim album that everytime I start it, I have to listen to the whole thing. Oh darn, you mean an album that you can actually listen all the way through...woooow! what a concept. You mean it isn't a crappy rock album with one or two good songs. I think some of you so called Crim fans rather have one top 10 song on a Crim album and the rest crap. KC pushes the envelop one more time. TPTB is stunning, dark, exciting, beautiful, hunting, rythmic, dynamic...... I hope the joker who wrote the again,and,again,and again review of HWWYHTBHW got this album and is now kicking himself...HARD! KC has used new technology, sounds and created a very good album. Oh and just to let you all in on a little secret......the lyrics to the song HWWYHTBHW ...IS SUPPOSE TO BE A JOKE AND AWFUL....THAT WAS THE POINT...DUUUHHHHHH!!! GO KING CRMISON! KEEP DOING WHAT YOU DO BEST----- my FAVORITE tracks from TPTB are --- Level 5, Eyes wide open, ElektriK, Fact of Life, TPTB 2, Dangerous curves and the title track. ROCK ON!!!"
Date Submitted: 4-May-03
By: (hectordiazt at yahoo dot com)
"After to listen the first time The Power to Believe I back to a previus EP Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With. Some song are included on The Power To Believe, similar situation was with Vrooom and Thrak. The introduction The Power to Believe (Peace a Begining) is the open door for Level Five (Very good Piece), similar tension than Lark´s Tongues in Aspic Part IV. The beautyfull song is Eyes With Open. Elektrik is the Construktion of the light, a Elektrik ligth. Facts of Life have very good solo of Fripp (such endind Sailor´s Tale), I broken many string with similar solos. The Power to Believe II is a special song with many silence with rhythms not so evident. Dangerus Curves (Evil´s Triangle) have wonderfull atmospherics string or pad from the guitars. H.W.W.Y.H.T.B.H.W. is from another CDs. The epilog is The Power to Believe III of a very interesting elektrical musical history. The Coda is the sound that is maintain in the ligth.
"Some little mistake is that the cover haven´t the words. For example In the Power to Believe, Adrian use a processor for voice. My english is not so good + processor I don't understand that he sing. The song is for a few people. Please, thinks in the people with dificients!.
"The Power to Believe to inspire to me a better world, more understanding, more gracefull but I look a world very different. The humanity is like a little child and many governments are like a sly child. Sly child can be crue. The humanity kill and eat inocents and defenseless animals but It is very normal and unnecessary....to kill people and It is so normal and unnecessary. People destroy his bodies and his life with drugs. A very strange world!.
"I was looking www.king.crimson.com I read, "Please remember: absolutely NO PHOTOGRAPHY, NO RECORDING and NO SMOKING at King Crimson shows". Thank KC!. A good solicitude for a better world, specially NO SMOKING. It is the beggining!!!!."
Date Submitted: 5-May-03
By: (chaim at sunpoint dot net)
"I loved TCOL, but I just don't get this album. The former didn't sound nearly as mathematical, although most of it was done that way as well.
"LEVEL FIVE. The intro is like the intro to LTIA 4, but I don't mind that. I love the main riff (G, Bb, C#, E with 5ths), REALLY love it. But I just don't get the dissonant theme that comes after it in the beginning of the song. It has a very nice sound, but I just don't "hear" the melodies in that tiny section. As mentioned above, the "polyrhythmic dissonant guitar chords" part is so identical with the one in LTIA 4, that I don't see any point in its second incarnation in this song.
"ELEKTRIK. They did this wholetone scale thing so well in "Fracture", that it's hard to top that. And they certainly didn't top it with this piece. I mean, this scale has this dark quality, that it sounds mystical and somewhat good no matter how you use it. I hope it's not becoming a cliche for KC to play a riff using the scale, then to move it up and down in the neck. A couple of times they move the riff within the original scale, then they move the riff a half step, so that they move to the OTHER whole tone scale (as two only exist, really). I can really remember only two songs in which they've used this trick, but in ELEKTRIK I find it boring and academical. In "Fracture" it sounds more natural and it ROCKS. It sounds like the constant "repositioning" of a riff is part of the composition, but in this song it sounds like they just keep modulating a riff. There is, however, one riff in this song that I find AWESOME. It's the ascending riff with distorted guitars, which appears out of nowhere. I probably would buy the album even just for that.
"FACTS OF LIFE. This song I absolutely love. I love the way the drums and bass radically change their parts under the same guitar riff. This song really works and flows smoothly from section to section.
"HAPPY WITH....I hate the "happy with..." bit. Stupid chords. But otherwise I love the song.
"Most of the other pieces I just don't get, although "Eyes wide open" is OK. There's also a riff in some instrumental that reminds me of the "One more red nightmare" riff, rhythmically. I don't remember the title of this instrumental, but it has some interesting sounds.
"Overall, I find I would like more bottom end in the whole album (with the exception of "Happy with..."). John Wetton might have brought it :)
"Excuse me if I'm speaking of some musical piece under a wrong song title. I don't have the album with me, to check if a part is in "Level five" or "Electric". But I think I pretty much remember in which song the riffs are."
Date Submitted: 13-May-03
By: Eduardo Gonzalez Muntaner (eduardomuntaner at yahoo dot com dot ar)
"the power to believe 1 a cappella, wonderful
"level five, wonderful
"eye wide open, wondeful
"facts of life intro, wonderful
"facts of life, wonderful
"the power to believe 2, wonderful
"happy with what you have to be happy with, wonderful
"the power to believe 3, wonderful
"the power to believe 4, coda, wonderful
"king crimson, forever."
Date Submitted: 25-May-03
By: (Fripp336 at aol dot com)
"I thought this was a really good album its not the best thing KC have ever put out but its still very interesting."
Date Submitted: 27-May-03
By: Eric Kearns (EKearns at ea dot com)
"Damn right... This is a solid release! I have enjoyed this one more than any of the 90's albums. I feel like the mighty Crimson has extended it's life again. Sometimes those awkward steps inbetween albums add up to massive genius. This album has all of the components of a King Crimson album... light & dark. I so enjoy The Power To Believe II Holy crap... it's almost Electronica! The interplay of electric drums and Fripp's Soundscapes is magic."
Date Submitted: 8-Jun-03
By: (tapkae at tapkae dot com)
"This album gives me wood. Its the light at the end of atonal. Its Bartok and Roll. Its Belewtiful. Its One More Larks Tongue in the Court of the Starless Dinosaur.
"Well, whatever I am trying to say... Its flippin' bad assed. Level Five stretches my mind every which way and its never going back. These guys keep writing my music before I even think of it. There are only two reasons I ever got into playing guitar, and half of them are King Crimson. This one just made me want to put a 4 piece band together and go do some brain bending.
"I might echo, though, that I wish there was some more sonic depth from horns and strings and more 'Tron (not because I am some hardcore prog geek, but the 'Tron does stand out among instruments, and KC has always made good use of them.) I also would like to hear the current Fripp and Belew go nuts with a fairly organic tube amp attack, while keeping the current rhythm section sound. One of my few complaints about the recent electronic Crim output is that its too phoney sounding. Get me some Fripp into some old style tube amps while making tunes like Level Five or Facts of Life, add some woodwind or strings, while P@ and Trey rage beneath, and I can just lay down and die.
"I hereby nominate a certain violinist named Aryeh Frankfurter from a band in California called Azigza for King Crimson's new violin player. He is flippin' incredible.
"I gotta go mainline Level Five for a few more hours..."
Date Submitted: 24-Jun-03
By: James R. McDaniel (jrm029 at latech dot edu)
"I have to immediately voice my respect for the instrumental virtuosity of these guys on this album...the interplay and technique they employ is incredible.
"However, in my opinion, instrumental prowess and stretching the boundaries of musical style for the sake of instrumental prowess and stretching the boundaries of musical style does not guarantee a good work. Much like 20th century atonal and serialist music, this music breaks down existing barriers in its closest genre (rock), but what does that fact alone do for me as a listener (especially if I'm not a musician)?
"I understand that there is some intense harmonic and rhythmic development in the music. And if I wasn't familiar with Thrak, the Projekts, or TCoL, then maybe I would view this music as something extremely profound. However, some of the more recent material has struck me as emotionally devoid and too drawn out (Frying Pan, LTIA4 [minus coda], ...Oyster Soup...). Unfortunately, this void of emotion and lack of memorable melodies/phrases is still very present in TPTB, and I can't escape the fact that I become numb to a lot of it.
"I know that complex harmonies are employed and interesting sounding material is being produced. This is musically awesome to a point, but an entire album's length of it seems to be a bit too much to enjoy from beginning to end. This type of rhythmic and harmonic complexity without emphasis on memorable melodies/phrases has been done very successfully in the past (title tracks from Discipline, Thrak, TCoLp1), but part of these successes can be attributed to their inclusion on albums with songs that have a specific focus on memorable melodies/phrases (Frame by Frame, One Time, TCoLp2)? With songs like these absent (save Eyes Wide Open), the album seems to be more of an experiment as opposed to a benchmark studio album.
"On a separate note, (perhaps it is because of the nature of this new-sounding music) a lot of this material seems to be a reworking and reappearance of ideas that have been done before. As stated in other reviews, some of the forms, riffs, interplays, and moods seem very similar to previously recorded songs (most notably TCoL and Thrak).
"I liked the vocals and lyrics to only one song (Eyes Wide Open). In the case of HWWYHTBHW, I understand the point of the lyrics, and they raise a legitimate point--but do I want to hear them over and over again? They become less and less effective with each listen. The post-chorus is really good, but I can't say much else positive. And "Facts of Life" seems like its lyrics could've been set to a vocal melody that would do justice to their content, but instead they just seem goofy. Goofy isn't too bad, but goofy without enough serious/legitimate vocals for the whole album (save EWO) can tear at the album's worth. It seems like most of the vocals/lyrics are too much of a mere afterthought (maybe if I couldn't speak English, it wouldn't matter).
"High points in my opinion are the first 5 minutes of the album, Eyes Wide Open, TPTB II.
"All in all, I think this album showcases a unique style of music, but does very little to make it significant to the listener. I think that all of the pieces are good alone, but together they become a little monotonous--too strong of a dose.
"Final Words: Impressive but not very meaningful."
Date Submitted: 8-Jul-03
By: Dan Anderson (dananderson at dananderson dot com)
"Where "The ConstruKction Of Light" was the introduction to the Double Duo, "The Power To Believe" is the concept coming to fruition. This band is as tight and as powerful as it has been in any incarnation, with the lyrics to the title track being the most aesthetic thing put out by the band, even moreso than "Peace - A Theme." The only drawback to the album is that there isn't more of it. Wonderful album and very worth the wait."
Date Submitted: 2-Aug-03
By: (usivius at rogers dot com)
"To be brief:
"I liked it much better than 'Construktion of Light'. There is a better overall feel to the album, and unity of the group. Adrian's lyrics are haunting. I like it. And "Happy..." is hilarious! Pat is doing a great job and I have got over my "really, really missing Bruford" days (now I am just "missing" him). One thing about the rhythm section though, although they are performing great, one thing that is missing from this post-Levin/Bruford section is the great tension that they could build up in the back (and front!). This group has great power but have yet to develop an effective tension to the music they play. Crimso has almost always been about dread and tension. But there is hope - they are talented."
Date Submitted: 22-Aug-03
By: Robin (payzon at zonnet dot nl)
"My ears were aching after seeing you guys at the North Sea Jazz Festival! Most of the work in the past was brilliant already, but 'Elektrik' is a masterpiece. Thanx!"
Date Submitted: 29-Oct-03
By: Gunnar Schillings (aquamine at iafrica dot com)
"I am astonished to see that my initial comment on this album was correct.
"After reading all the other fab crits, I got a bit nervous that I argued down the "wrong way".
"I did not want to do "Damage", although that was excellent.
"I did not hear the album at that time, because it was too expensive.
"But now that I got hold of a copy at a flee market stands recycle box for the reasonable amount of $3, I might add a couple of lines to my previous comment:
"The triangular device hidden in the booklet assumes the "Dark Side" of KC is coming upon us. Funny I did not see any Pink Floyds in the recycle box, maybe it is because of the voices and lyrics?
"And then Phil Spector sprang to mind as I contemplated all the uhs and ahs about this production. Yeah, there is a certain sheen to be felt and clarity especially in the funnily named "A Cappela" where the reverb meanders to the right.
"But Johnny Ramone was right, when he checked the final production of the Phil Spector produced Ramones album, after Phil fiddled with the opening guitar chord for months, and said: "Thats how I sounded in the first instance".
"Are the guys getting a bit too technical here? This is definitely a refined offering, reminds me a bit of the "Listen Fine" productions of Gong in the mid seventies, shit, Pierre Moerlen was groovy.
"Exxtremely skitso so so! Aha.....soso some body must follow me....
"Pluspoint: I like the way Adrians Vox misses the Q points in Eyes in an almost Hendrix like guitar style. Completely forgetting that poor Jimi only "developed" this style, because he could not damn hear the others playing on stage, because his guitar was cranked up so loud right behind him and they had no monitor speakers at that day and age on stage. Making an art out of this is remarkable and very crafty.
"Another pluspoint: Adrian mentions the word "Apathy" more than once. This word probably derives from a "path" in the dangerously curved minds of these creators and hints at something like "One Way Street", which ought to be the title of the next eagerly awaited albumm. No, it would not be "Exile On Main.." or "Wish, I would not hear". Like the comments on these comments from rightfully stirred up commentators, who showered my inbox with warfarish cries after my last outings.
"In this spirit: Congrats, good acid rock and I like noodles with my Chianty, noodles with my Chianty...... Maybe its time to go to the beach with the boys, stop the bitching and chat up the ladies of the road to do some serious romping next time. Papagalli.
"Nee, even Eno, Ian and Pete could sing better, especially the parts in "Elektrick".
"Still........it makes u tick................thick.................off the tail
"Thx 4 inspiration."
Date Submitted: 21-Nov-03
By: Gunnar Schillings (aquamine at iafrica dot com)
"I thought, u have not published my latest comment. Seems u r a bit behind.
"Anyway, the things I want to add are:
"It is in fact actually a bit better than the "Final Cut" of that other band from the sixties.
"Listening to it without pretending to have listened to some other worx from the band, and really forgetting about the past, this turns out to be a finally, aehh... finely crafted album.
"Like in the beginning, when Poseidon followed in the court, and things were very similar, this is very similar to the rest and of course Poseidon. This seems to be the thing with a couple of music creators. They want to write "that song" (or a couple of these). They do not loosen up. But there are a lot of indications, that especially Mr Bob can loosen up, like we know from an abundance of various collaborations. Why is the brand "KC" then so limited? Does he think he is "MacDonalds", no not like in "Ian" but more like "Burger King".
"Did he do too much time in USA?"
Date Submitted: 6-Jan-04
By: Andres Burbano (aburbano at msn dot com)
"Power to... fue uno de mis álbumes más esperados... desde que escuché el EP... Happy... me dí cuenta que KC es una banda gradiosa (aunque siempre lo he sabido).... pero que es lo que la hace grandiosa?? pues el hecho de reinventarse a si misma. Ese sonido tan compacto que casi ninguna banda de esta época puede lograr con tal virtuosismo... heyyy, Adrian y Robet pasan los cincuenta años pero su voz y sus guitarras suenan como en sus mejores tiempos. KC es el poder hecho música.
"KC POWER MADE MUSIC."
Date Submitted: 14-Jan-04
By: Scott McFarland (mcfarland at ac-tech dot com)
"I have not been impressed with Crimson’s recent efforts, and am not especially with this CD either. The music has become too overdriven, too constantly loud for me to get much from."
Date Submitted: 11-Mar-03
By: Phill Lister (phill.lister at btinternet dot com)
"Hello all! If you like what Dangerous Curves does, check out The Devil's Triangle on In The Wake Of Pos...(can't remember how to spell it!) and the live version at Hyde Park.
"The first Crimson album I heard was ITWOP and for me the most gripping thing on it was The Devil's Triangle. I loved the rest of it but as well as the Triangle being so scary and ecstatic it was just something so Crimson - no-one else would have made this.
"The earlier versions of Dangerous Curves tentatively put their toes in the water of the sea god, the TPTB performance gets right in there. And they're still exploring "being King Crimson" - partway through, Pat gets into an acoustic groove that seems like it's getting just the effect Bruford was able to pull out of the bag sometimes, but he's doing it in a distinctive Pat way.
"The rest of the album is also brilliant and it's music I've waited a while to hear - heard it hovering in the background recently (and nailed on Potatoe Pie and LTIA4(?) on the EP). Both those tracks are brilliant and playfully outrageous!
"Where are they going now? I think there's some fascinating music in TPTB3. Four strong individual musicians with access to all sorts of noises making music that's clearly got an amazing interplay and sense of history and future.
"I Like It!" doesn't say enough..."
Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
Date Submitted: 18-Mar-03
By: Richard Royston (troyston at snet dot net)
"To start at the wrong end: the self-referential verses are reminiscent of 'Boring Song', the HeeBeeGeeBees' 1981 parody of Status Quo:
"We have to sing the same refrain
"And the same refrain again
"Of this boring song
"'Happy' may - possibly - be somewhat more post-modern, but is it worthy of the great Crim? Or of the rest of the album?
"But the 'Happy' chorus is brilliant. The endless wern, with words to match."