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The Power to Believe

4.5 out of 5 stars 146 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 4, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Exclusive Japanese Limited Edition reissue of this 2003 album packaged in a miniature LP sleeve featuring a free sticker. 2006.

Robert Fripp and the ever-changing lineup of King Crimson continue to fascinate and challenge with The Power to Believe. The album’s opener is an a cappella version of the title track sweetly delivered by Adrian Belew that’s reprised three times later: once with jangling Eastern percussion and a soaring guitar; once as a sci-fi extravaganza that harkens to Crimson's glorious past; and finally as an a cappella closer. In between lies the disciplined, varied, and often mind-blowing playing one expects from these accomplished musicians. "Facts of Life" is dirty prog blues, while "Dangerous Curves" is like a low-key "Kashmir" until it rises to a metallic crescendo. Then there's the sarcastic "Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With," which finds Belew berating younger outfits for their lack of artistic ambition. --Dominic Wills

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Power to Believe, Pt. 1: A Cappella
  2. Level Five
  3. Eyes Wide Open
  4. Elektrik
  5. Facts of Life (Intro)
  6. Facts of Life
  7. The Power to Believe, Pt. 2
  8. Dangerous Curves
  9. Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With
  10. The Power to Believe, Pt. 3
  11. The Power to Believe, Pt. 4: Coda [Live]

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • ASIN: B00008BXJF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,984 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alan Caylow on March 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
34 years after their classic debut, 1969's "In The Court Of The Crimson King," the veteran prog-rockers King Crimson are still going strong. The band, comprising founder/guitarist Robert Fripp and Whoever The Heck Fripp Wants To Work With, are rock monsters that can easily shred wallpaper with full force. But they can also dip into dreamy psychedelic soundscapes, take off into the wild avant-garde, and, with the inclusion of singer/guitarist Adrian Belew since 1981, they also have a fine pop sensibility. Their latest album, "The Power To Believe," gives you the best from all of Crimson's worlds, as Fripp & company blend a modern sound with a great throwback feel to the band's experimental early days of "In The Court Of...", "Larks Tongues In Aspic," "Red," etc. Diehard Crimheads everywhere should totally dig this disc.The band tear through incredible instrumentals like "Level Five," "Elektrik," and "Dangerous Curves" with tremendous intensity. "Eyes Wide Open," the only real radio-friendly track on the album, is a terrific song---I'm sure it would do very well on modern rock radio stations. "Facts Of Life," and the tongue-twistingly titled "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With," are great Crimson rockers. And the band ingeniously break up the title song into four separate sections that are spread throughout the album, each featuring a haunting vocal from Belew, and each one given a slightly different arrangement. It works wonderfully. Robert Fripp, now in his late-50's, still plays a lean, mean, slithering electric guitar. Adrian Belew's excellent vocals & guitarwork also stand mightily tall.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
It seems that the older each member of King Crimson becomes in age, the younger they become in spirit. You wouldn't believe that a bunch of 50-year-olds would be making music that sounds so heavy and so modern. If one were to listen to some of the tracks on this particular release, without any prior knowledge of this being the product of a musician who made "boring old fart" music in the late 60s and early 70s, they'd most likely be shocked, to say the least. Who am I talking about? That would be Robert Fripp, the driving force behind Crimson -- from '69 until now.
While Crimson were lumped with other classic progressive rock bands like Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, ELP and several others, Crimson possessed a darkness and a heaviness which set them apart from the rest. To make a personal hypothesis, symphonic-oriented bands like Tull and ELP seem to be generally more appreciated by the older crowd, while Crimson possessed more of a darker, heavier, sinister edge that many vituperative-loving youngsters -- whom otherwise wouldn't have much use for the sophisticated works of prog-rock -- felt they could latch onto. This definitely isn't "your daddy's prog-rock," but more like the prog-rock of kids who locked up their parents in a closet, threw away the key, and added their OWN twist on things, which would again, point to irony, given that the folks who created this music assumedly average a half-century in age. (Note: if by chance, you stumble upon this page and review, doubt that prog-rock could be heavy and "boring," and haven't heard a thing from Crimson, head straight to their 1974 release, RED.
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When I discovered just a few days ago that there was a new studio King Crimson CD, I didn't hesitate to get it. I love The ConstruKction of Light, but this is in many ways better. The most significant improvement is regarding the ProjeKct X-like spacey interludes. On ConstruKction, the ProjeKct X material at the end of the album served as a rather unrelated, albeit enjoyable and interesting Coda. Here, the ProjeKct X sound is integrated with the rest of the CD by distributing "The Power to Believe" throughout the disk. Fripp first used this kind of musical form in "In the Wake of Poseidon," lending overall structure to the album, elevating a collection of songs to a cohesive work considerably more complex, and ultimately, more deeply affecting.
"The Power to Believe" opens with a simple version of the title piece, labeled a cappella is a bit misleadingly, since Belew's voice is so intensely filtered and processed electronically. "She carries me through days of apathy, she washes over me. She saved my life, in a manner of speaking, when she gave me back the power to believe." This is followed by a monstrous (i.e., rocking, great!) piece, "Level Five," reminiscent of "Discipline."
King Crimson always includes lovely, acoustic tunes to soften the blows, and "Eyes Wide Open" represents yet another shimmering entry, just as attractive as the best of "Beat." "Elektrik," begins with woodwinds and smashes into a piece that recalls "Red" and the "Larks's Tongues" series. "Facts of Life" is expansive and mysterious in its opening, and we again are banged up against the side of head with a rocker that harkens back to "Indiscipline." Belew is in his element, singing soulfully over the cacophony, tongue-in-cheek.
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