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King Crimson - Three of A Perfect Pair
Label: Caroline Records
Release: 1984

Three of A Perfect Pair
Model Man
Man With An Open Heart
Nuages (That Which Passes, Passes Like Clouds)
Dig Me
No Warning
Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part Three
Three of A Perfect Pair - King Crimson
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The final album that the '80s version of Crimson put out, turns out to be their best. Criminally underrated, 1984's "Three of A Perfect Pair" showcases the '80s band at their absolute best - whether it be on poppy numbers or experimental numbers.The album is split into two sides - the first side is Belew's side, with several poppy numbers, while the second side isundoubtedly Fripp's, with lots of instrumentals and soundscapes. Both sides are fantastic.

Belew's side is wonderful - four great, KC classics - opening up with the head-spinning, but catchy melodies of the title track, and then going right to the more straight-forward "Model Man". "Model Man" could be the best here, actually - withit's fantastic chorus, and simplistic, smashing guitar lines. It's a brilliant, brilliant song. "Sleepless" is also magnificent - probably the catchiest number on here, with it's signature Levin bassline, and it's bouncy chorus - no wonder the song got a bit of airplay in a dance mix.

The final Belew number is "Man With An Open Heart" - and yep, it's also brilliant. Severely underrated, mainly due to itbasically being a straightforward pop number. But you gotta love those guitar lines - they're excellent. Another great...and then we go straight from that to "Nuages" which basically serves as an interlude between this side and the Fripp side.Atmospheric ambience with plenty of electronic drums, and a good way to set up the second side.

The second side throws you right in at the deep end, with the pumping, robotic "Industry", which is most certainly Levin'sshowcase. At live shows from the era, Levin basically took command of three instruments for this song - bass, stick, and bass pedals. And it's pulled off magnificently - it's forever rising mood being accompanied by odd mechanical noises andFrippertronics. Magnificent, magnificent track.

Just as good is the weird, uneven, messy "Dig Me", the only vocal track, with Belew's lyrics about a discarded automobile ina junkyard. Crazy Bruford drumming and weird Fripp guitar work - one of his most uneven tracks, but pulled off magnificently. And then, following "No Warning", another Frippertronics interlude, we go to the long-awaited sequel.

It was over 10 years ago that the '70s band created their best-known standard in the first two parts of "Larks' Tongues InAspic". And on this record, the '80s band revisited the tracks, and created "Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part III". It is,indeed, an updated version of the originals, only with even greater guitar interplay - especially in the middle. And Fripp's guitar at the start is unreal - this guy really does play like a demon. It's also, in parts, even faster than theoriginals - especially in the opening rounds of the main theme. It all ends with a repeating jam - sounding like it'll goon forever until it fades out. But that part's good too - the band really start rocking as Bruford's finally allowed to lean on his cymbals, and the guitars go crazy in the background. Excellent stuff.

It's such an incredibly uneven album this one, but it deserves a 10. The band are at their peak, whether it's on poppy stuff or atmospheric stuff. It all works, so it gets the 10. Incredible album that doesn't deserve any of the criticism itgets.

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