King Crimson
The Power to Believe


4.5
superb

Review

by Jigglypuff USER (7 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 82 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


The latest album from the disgustingly talented sixth (!) lineup of King Crimson. The band is similar to the 1995-2000 "double trio" lineup but is reduced to a quartet featuring Pat Mastelotto on drums and Trey Gunn on Warr guitar (a variation of the Chapman Stick). You'd think that without the virtuoso rhythm team of Tony Levin and Bill Bruford, the overall sound would diminish. On the contrary, this is some of Crimson's heaviest music ever.

Here's a brief track-by-track review:

"The Power To Believe I":
This is the first of four movements in a suite. A very short spoken word poem, which leads into:

"Level Five":
This is like the heavy metal reprise of "Discipline". Distorted, evil guitar riffs trade over complex rhythmic polymeters in this lengthy instrumental.

"Eyes Wide Open":
KC has always been a balance of loud, crushing riffs and lighter, hippiesque ballads. This mellow song would do well on the radio. Nice lyrics from longtime frontman Adrian Belew.

"Elektrik":
This album has more instrumental work than is usual even for KC, but never disappoints. Opens with woodwinds and a quirky guitar melody, and continues for a fascinating seven minutes.

"Facts Of Life: Intro":
A brief interlude of white noise that segues into:

"Facts Of Life":
A hard-rocking satirical tune, with a nice "unison solo". Mastelotto and Gunn rock the house with their pounding rhythms.

"The Power To Believe II":
My personal favourite of the album, this is really Pat Mastelotto's piece. His layers of percussion (tabla, glockenspiel, tambourine, etc) play back and forth beautifully until the bass (Gunn seems to have inherited Tony Levin's sense of melody) and guitars come in.

"Dangerous Curves":
Another instrumental, which cruises along on a repetative 6/4 guitar riff. The rhythm section is almost techno-ish on this track, although they spice things up with constant variations and fills.

"Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With":
A downright hilarious parody of the nu-metal bands that dominate today's popular scene. Fripp's dissonant, amateurish solo is almost as amusing as the sarcastic lyrics.

"The Power To Believe III":
It's not KC without a little Crimprov (to use a Frippian expression). This is actually a live soundscape.

"The Power To Believe IV: Coda":
After several bars of atonal free-form improvisation, the album ends with a second hearing of the haiku from the beginning of the album (which is interspersed throughout the lyrics). A perfect conclusion to a great album.

Personnel:
Adrian Belew: Guitar, Voice
Robert Fripp: Guitar
Trey Gunn: Warr Guitar, Warr Fretless Guitar
Pat Mastelotto: Traps and Buttons

Overall Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars



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user ratings (359)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Matthijs van der Lee (3)
The group that was always home to change stays somewhat the same......


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jigglypuff
November 23rd 2003


31 Comments


It's better than The Construction of Light in my opinion.

Kaden
February 2nd 2004


222 Comments


Did you mean to rate it 41/2 of 5 stars or did you mean 4 and a half out of five?

Jigglypuff
February 3rd 2004


31 Comments


4 and one half, obviously. From now on I'll use "4.5" instead. Don't post if you don't have anything constructive to say.

Kaden
February 3rd 2004


222 Comments


[QUOTE=Jigglypuff]4 and one half, obviously. From now on I'll use "4.5" instead. Don't post if you don't have anything constructive to say.[/QUOTE]
I wasn't sure, I thought you were doing what Zappa did in his Freak Out review, rating it like a bajillion out of five.

BirdsOfFires
February 3rd 2004


92 Comments


Another good review - I don't hear the magic I hear on "ITKOTCK" or "Discipline" here, but it's a good review nonetheless. I'd give this album a 3.9/5 or a 4/5.

Could you review "Red"?

Jigglypuff
February 3rd 2004


31 Comments


[QUOTE=BirdsOfFires]Another good review - I don't hear the magic I hear on "ITKOTCK" or "Discipline" here, but it's a good review nonetheless. I'd give this album a 3.9/5 or a 4/5.

Could you review "Red"?[/QUOTE]

If you really want me to, sure. But that'll be the last of my KC reviews, because I don't own any more albums with the exception of Three of a Perfect Pair.

d4v
October 13th 2004


1 Comments


i give it 5 / 5 because I like every song on the album, King Crimson is really awesome.

the2stranger
October 14th 2004


130 Comments


Pat Mastelotto: Traps and Buttons

what does this guy do? :confused:

sounds_of_sanguinity
October 28th 2004


3 Comments


Excellent review and an even more excellent album.

Artemician
October 16th 2005


26 Comments


Pat Mastelotto=Percussion.

Oni
June 24th 2006


17 Comments


I'm a huge Crimson fan, however I feel the need to express my opinion here. While I understand the musical complexity of Discipline and this album, they seem to me not to be as honest as King Crimson's early and middle-era work (pre-Discipline, I suppose). The result to me is a slightly forced, almost-corny reflection of a great band.

And for the record, the lyrics to Eyes Wide Open (and pretty much everything by Belew in King Crimson) are horribly overrated. Typical fare for radio rock.


Rocksta71
July 21st 2006


1023 Comments


Everyone rates this one highly is it really that good?

Grant
August 7th 2006


26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a huge improvement over the ConstruKction of Light but not quite King Crimson's best. The Power to Believe Part Two and Three are really cool tunes.

Kage
August 12th 2006


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love the way they end this album. I find it very powerful, and a great way to tie it into the beginning. This might be my favorite Crimson album. It's got everything.

BurgerMcJackson
October 10th 2006


32 Comments


GONNA REPEAT THE CHORUS!!

I love later-day King Crimson, especially Thrak. That album rules.

FR33L0RD
August 22nd 2007


1464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thats a sweet album, i love it.

"King Crimson" is always special

MoonlitKnight
October 26th 2007


19 Comments


Is this album as cheesy as Thrak or TOAPP?

Kage
October 26th 2007


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Those albums aren't cheesy.

MoonlitKnight
October 26th 2007


19 Comments


Well, in my opinion they are, but that's just me, eh?

DoubtGin
November 25th 2010


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fourth track ("Elektrik") at the moment and this is awesome so far; got that King Crimson vibe with a great modern touch



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