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King Crimson - The ConstruKction Of Light CD (album) cover

THE CONSTRUKCTION OF LIGHT

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.12 | 700 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars "You can never please everybody, that's a well established fact, he said, I recommend a fifth of king and a bottle of Prozac."

Well, I know King Crimson were progressing after "THRAK" but this was an unpleasant surprise. It didn't please everybody, in fact many Crimson fans shunned it and for good reason. It is bordering on abysmal in paces. The opener 'ProzaKc Blues' is a boozy bluesy number with dumb inebriated vocal delivery and a hypno riff.

'The ConstruKction of Light (Part One)' moves along nicely, always loved the instrumentals, and it sounds as polyphonic as anything from "THRAK". Fripp is incredible on guitar as always and it showed signs of greatness to come. 'The ConstruKction of Light (Part Two)' is where the vocals come in and they are harmonised and overlayed like Gentle Giant. The vocals of Belew are very good, but there is not much of a melody on offer, and the guitars are too repetitive with the same style played.

'Into the Frying Pan' follows clocking 6:54, with an industrial sound, elongated Fripp notes, then more harmonised vox. It is nothing special melodically, though the music is certainly dark and compelling. The lead break is dynamic, with odd signatures with bass evermoving and off beat drumming. It wears out its welcome though and is too long for its own good. The false ending was perhaps where it should have really ended in length though the lead break at the end is raw and versatile.

'FraKctured' is inspired by 'Fracture' from the glory days, and sounds like it. At 9:06 it is a bit of a slog to get through but this is pretty good if you are in the mood for some lightweight Fripp. 'The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum' is a real shining light on this album, one of my favourites with hilarious lyrics and a driving melodic rhythm that bounces along with sardonic delight. The vocals are raspy and it has a very memorable title that is sung after some brief verses. I like this better live though without the noisy studio effects and trickery and it goes too long, running out of steam literally.

Next we have something that would have all Crimson addicts salivating over as it was the long awaited and unexpected 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part IV'. Here we have it in Three Parts,though it meshes together as one right through to the coda making it a 13 minute epic. It has the cranking Fripp riff similar to the one heard in Part 2, the best part of this saga. Is it any good? It certainly livens up the album that is for sure and is not easy to digest, with all its challenging time sig changes and intricate instrumentation. The drums of Pat Mastelotto are crashing throughout, the bassline of Trey Gunn pulsates as a heartbeat, Belew and Fripp trade off beautifully. The lead break is stellar and there are exceptional rhythm changes during (Part Two), then it moves to (Part Three) where the sound settles after the crescendo, and the guitar descends lower in pitch and a slower rhythm locks in for a while. The lead guitar is relentless even here, and it is an amazing feat from the incomparable Fripp. This instrumental summarily rescues the album from the spate of repetition and forgettable songs. As far as instrumentals go it has everything a King Crimson addict loves. It ends with an unusual vocal on 'Coda: I Have a Dream' with lyrics about Kennedy, the holocaust, Saddam Hussein, atrocities, the bombing of the World Trade, and refugees. This is a surprise after all the musicianship and it is one of the only times the band blatantly refer to the 9/11 disaster.

'Heaven and Earth (performed by ProjeKct X)' closes things off with a "Blade Runner" synth style, and drums akin to Vangelis. There is even a synth rhythm that comes and goes; quite beautiful but very different, feeling a bit tacked on here and a bit of a fizzer.

Overall, the guitar work on this is again Fripptastic as we can expect, though there is something missing from the album; it doesn't seem to capture the magic found on other albums. Even the equally imperfect "Beat" and "Three of a Perfect Pair" had the two or three standout tracks that are indelible Crimson gems, but there are no real highlights here. It is hard to pin down but this is a very underrated album deservedly so as nothing really jumps out apart from the 'Lark's' saga which is an obvious crowd pleaser but extremely challenging. It's a decent album, by no means a write off, but nowhere near up to the standard of albums from the past decades.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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