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The Power To Believe

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

Price: £12.65
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Feb. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • ASIN: B0000793XU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,872 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The power to believe I: A cappella
  2. Level five
  3. Eyes wide open
  4. Elektrix
  5. Facts of live (Intro)
  6. Facts of life
  7. The power to believe II
  8. Dangerous curves
  9. Happy with what you have to be happy with
  10. The power to believe III
  11. The power to believe IV: Coda

Product Description

Product Description

KING CRIMSON The Power To Believe (2003 UK 11-track CD the thirteenth studio Crim & supposedly final album by the British prog legends a companion to the preceding mini-album Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With picture booklet SANCD155)


King Crimson's The Power to Believe has been a long time coming--band-leader Robert Fripp has always stated that they'll only record when music is ready to be recorded. But no matter how painful the waiting, it's always worthwhile: Fripp and his ever-changing personnel never fail to fascinate and challenge. The Power to Believe is no exception, opening with its title track, an echoing a cappella romance sweetly delivered by vocalist (and co-guitarist) Adrian Belew. The song is reprised three times later: once with jangling eastern percussion rising to a climax of soaring guitar: again as a sci-fi extravaganza harking back to Crimson's glorious past: and finally as a closing a cappella repeat. In between lies the disciplined, purposefully varied and often mind-blowing instrumentation you expect from some of rock's most accomplished musicians. "Facts of Life" is dirty prog blues, a more complex version of Jerry Cantrell's solo work, ending with what sounds like two trains on a collision course. "Dangerous Curves" is like a low-key "Kashmir" rising in intensity to a storming metallic crescendo. Then there's the filthy rock of "Happy...", with its sarcastic refrain "We're gonna re-peat the chorus"--Adrian Belew clearly and rightly berating younger outfits for their lack of artistic ambition. All in all, it's a tremendous effort. --Dominic Wills

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Marty From SF HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 May 2003
Format: Audio CD
King Crimson has always made a point of being deliberately different and always on the cutting edge. This album is no exception. Where else can a master guitar player (Fripp) make his instrument also sound like a mellotron, a violin or a synthesizer?
The motif of the album is in the four short versions of "The Power To Believe". The first is meek and sweet with Eastern percussion while the last concludes the session with Fripp's guitar soaring like a solo violin and a whole variety is in between. "Level Five" displays the tight, almost violently aggressive sound King Crimson has nearly patented. It's a great opener.
Of course, there are plenty of great prog-rock songs such as "Eyes Wide Open", a harken back to "Three Of A Perfect Pair" and "Facts Of Life" with cynical lyrics that made fun of the rich and greedy ("six millionaires crawling on a plate") and immorality ("just because you can doesn't mean you should").
'Newbie boy bands' get skewered on "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With", with lyrics like, "I'm gonna have to write a chorus, We're gonna need to have another chorus...". It's nicely vicious. Not all is parody, as is shown with a great progressive build of a song with an urgent crescendo in "Dangerous Curves".
Adrian Belew is obviously having a good time and is a great compliment to Fripp's guitar work. Trey Gunn is amazing with all his bass instruments and Pat Mastelotto is extremely confident. Mastelotto may not have the flash that Bill Bruford displays, but his competency and pinpoint accuracy more than makes up for it. This 'King Crimson' grouping is just as tight as any and it's great to hear more innovative and fascinating mixes of talent and instruments thirty years on.
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Format: Audio CD
Simply stunning. King Crimson are a band who continue to captivate me, because of rather than despite their willingness to get things wrong. Unlike pretty much any of the bands who flail away under the 'progressive' tag, King Crimson really do develop their sound and their ways of expressing it. And, sometimes, it doesn't work. But give me a band who'll stick their neck out in the pursuit of something new any day. When they find it, as they do on this astonishing album, it's more than worth it. Yes, some of the themes and motifs are familiar, and have been heard in embryonic form on a couple of recent releases: but this is as much to do with economics as anything. Essentially they release material at the time it's fresh, rather than saving it for a box set some years afterwards. And every now and then they'll take stock and capture the best of that material on a studio album, as they've done here. For me, The Power To Believe brings together different facets of King Crimson into one compelling and coherent package: music that exists somewhere between precise structure and group improvisation; an acceptance that light only exists in relation to dark, different moods of which coexist within their music, often in the same track; virtuosity in the service of music rather than the ego of any individual performer; a willingness to incorporate new technology and musical forms seamlessly into ongoing King Crimson concerns and styles; and a healthy sense of humour about what they're doing. This is a vital, compelling and powerful release from a band at the height of their powers, worth checking out if you're at all interested in music that pushes against boundaries to find an identity of its own. It's also hellish loud, guaranteed to upset people who think that music exists to provide a backdrop to dinner parties, and incorporates electronic rhythms and sampling into a live rock context with utter conviction.
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Format: Audio CD
Hated this on first listen.
Didn't think too much of it on listen 2
By the sixth or seventh it was beginning to make a great deal of sense.
Anyone expecting this to sound like any previous incarnation of KC would be better off buying the archival stuff - what this is is a distillation of the sound on Construcktion of Light, but with a more sophisticated approach, and a more relaxed interplay between the musicians. And because it gives the impression of "trying less hard" (more concise pieces of music, no tracks named after old 70's stuff, no griping about their fanbase a la "Prozack Blues") it succeeds for me much more than I was previously expecting.
Big kudos to the rhythm section - Mastellotto's drumming is on first listen more pedestrian than Bruford's, but his palette of sounds is fascinating, and his playing is a real pleasure to listen to. Gunn manages to sound nothing like a bass player most of the time, yet this is quite a bottom-frequency heavy beast.
Belew and Fripp have been doing the double guitar thing for well over 20 years now, and it shows. There appears to be an almost telepathic understanding in terms of arrangement and performance, and it's great to hear.
Standout tracks? Dangerous Curves, Happy to be..., and the nods to the past at the beginning of Elektrik, and Power to Believe 2.
It's a fine album. And a grower. And I usually find that they're the best.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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