King Crimson

The Power to Believe

Art rock, that pompous ass … shaking its finger at us as if to say, “I didn’t really care for Spinal Tap. Ah, never mind: I like King Crimson. Not a nostalgia act (like Foreigner), the band has a popster’s knack for career regeneration (like, oh, Anthony Hopkins), born in the 1960s, again in the 1980s and now yet again. And as America goes to war for no earthly reason, the world needs this: snarling guitars in near-serialist music; the interloping circles of Robert Fripp’s guitar modulating half steps up, up, up; the operatic heavy metal hovering over the restless time shifts; and all that ceremonial drum work. Adrian Belew, the eccentro-guitar god, is in better form as a guitarist than either a vocalist or lyricist. But in the end, it’s no matter. This is vintage King Crimson: Its time signatures go up to 11.