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The album starts with a beautiful processed accapella version of "The Power to Believe." Reiterated in different forms throughout the album, TPTB acts as a unifying theme not unlike "Peace" on In the Wake of Posiedon, KC's second album. Then CRUNCH! The instrumental "Level Five" pastes your ears back with blasts of avant-math-metal. The third number "Eyes Wide Open" is a bitterweet "pop" song about missed oportunities by Adrian Belew and is one of the best songs on the CD. The ending coda is especially emotionaly charged and uplifting. If radio weren't so market researched/preprogrammed these days I'd say it could be a hit.
Heavy and dark, Level Five recalls the album Red, but thats not the only nod to the past on this album. Others songs bring to mind Starless and Bible Black or Discipline era material. "Dangerous Curves" sounds like an electronica influenced conflation of "The Talking Drum" from Larks Tongue in Aspic and "Mars" also from In The Wake of Posiedon. Robert Fripps guitar playing recalls and updates styles he's used throughout his history in Crimson: from fast unison lines, avant-metal, to soundscape electronica, etc... But rather than merely aping the past, Fripp and company have made "The Power To Believe" both a culmination of everything that made past Crimson great, and a step forward.
The playing on TPTB is confident and adventurous.Read more ›
Strange thing is that this album sounds very little like any of the band's other albums(maybe not such a strange thing for this band). Least of all does it sound like their previous effort, The ConstruKction of Light. You might say, however, that The Power To Believe sounds like _All_ of their past successes. Some of the songs could be compared with other songs they've done. For instance, "Eyes Wide Open" is along the same line of reasoning as were THRAK's "Walking On Air" and "One Time," but does not sound much like those songs at all. Instead, "Eyes Wide Open" is just enough less quiet that is fits with the controlled mayhem of the rest of this masterwork. "Level Five" and "Elektrik" are both awesomely complex instrumentals that both have a flavor of almost each of their most successful instrmentals to date. That, however, is where the similarities stop. "The Facts of Life" and "Happy With etc.." are something different, almost likening to the effect the song "People" had on the album THRAK, but these are infinitely heavier than "People." All the tracks titled: "Power To Believe I, II, II and IV" are from (or based on) a live performance in 1997 which was almost entirely improvisational. The jarring moments and improvisational harmony of these tracks add greatly to the overall feel of this album which is very brooding and, not to use part of the album's own name, but... _Powerful_, mightily powerful.Read more ›
The thematic structure of the record in general and the title track in particular (with its intro, theme and variation, and coda) recalls Crimson's second album, "In The Wake of Poseidon," with its recurring "Peace" theme. Ascending guitar patterns drive the instrumentals "Level Five" and "Elektrik" a la "Larks Tongues in Aspic Part II" and "Fractured." "The Power to Believe Part II" begins with exotic percussion reminiscent of "The Talking Drum" and "The Sheltering Sky," then segues into a vibraphone section that recalls the introduction to "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part I." "Dangerous Curves" updates the "Bolero" rhythm of "The Devil's Triangle" for the electronic age.
The major difference between the newer songs and their older counterparts is that atmospheric development has largely supplanted dynamic catharsis. The continued integration of Robert Fripp's "Soundscapes" and Pat Mastelotto's aggressive drumming into the Crimson sound - as well as spatial sonics vastly superior to any Crimso release - prevent these tracks from merely rehashing past glories.
Despite considerable references to their past, Crimso aren't quite ready for the (oyster soup kitchen floor) wax museum yet.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Definite five stars. The genius of Fripp is unmistakeably embedded in each piece. I especially treasure Level Five - what a gem!. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Seikofan
Well being a very large King Crimson fan, I was curious to hear this album. As it was one without Bill Bruford and Tony levin.. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2014 by Marcus Almighty
Pur King Crimson,à apprivoiser, .Ce n'est pas un album pour les amateur de rock conventionnel,vraiment pour les amateurs de progressif.Published on Sept. 27 2013 by francois duhamel
This is the best King Crimson album since Red. Unlike other album efforts since the mid seventies, this album works as a cohesive whole. Read morePublished on May 25 2004
This is not only the greatest King Crimson record, but also may be one of the greatest records in modern music period, IMHO. Read morePublished on March 20 2004 by D. Takeuchi
In case you haven't been keeping up with the Crims lately, you may want to grab this disc. People have been waiting to pronounce KC dead... Read morePublished on Feb. 29 2004
As a lifelong Crimson fan, I was moved by the power and intensity of this work, this ranks as a Crimson masterpiece.Published on Feb. 23 2004 by Lucky7
I'm a casual Crimson fan - I remember Court of the Crimson King (21st Century Schizoid Man,) Discipline (Elephant Talk,), etc. - have followed Fripp a bit, Adrian Belew a bit... Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2004
My first reaction after hearing this for the first time was, "Yes, King Crimson have finally done it! Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2004 by phobos