The Power to Believe

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The Power to Believe
The Power to Believe album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released4 March 2003
LabelSanctuary, Discipline Global Mobile (reissue)[2]
King Crimson chronology
Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With
The Power to Believe
EleKtrik: Live in Japan
King Crimson studio chronology
The Construkction of Light
The Power to Believe

The Power to Believe is the thirteenth and most recent studio album by English progressive rock band King Crimson. It was released on 4 March 2003 through Sanctuary Records and met with generally favorable reviews, with several critics appreciating its heightened aggression. It is the second and final album to feature the quartet of Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto. The Power to Believe was preceded by the EP Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With (2002), which features alternate and otherwise unreleased tracks.


After a tour opening for Tool in 2001, King Crimson refined and focused their four-piece structure for their second album in that configuration.[3] Prior to its release in 2003, The Power to Believe was preceded by Level Five (2001) and Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With (2002), two EPs that functioned as work-in-progress reveals for the album, which Fripp described as "the culmination of three years of Crimsonising".[4] While Level Five was a live release featuring two songs that would appear on the full album,[5] Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With was a limited-edition studio release that, much like 1994's VROOOM to 1995's THRAK, featured alternate and early versions of its upcoming album's tracks.[6]

Content and composition[edit]

Originally titled Nuovo Metal,[3][7] The Power to Believe continued the aggressive and occasionally industrial experimentation of King Crimson's previous album, 2000's The Construkction of Light, with several critics appreciating its increased weight.[8][9][10] Like that previous album, The Power to Believe was recorded with King Crimson as a four-piece.[3]

The album derives its title from "The Power to Believe", a four-part suite of songs that runs throughout the album. The phrase originally appeared in the song "All Her Love Is Mine" from Adrian Belew's 1996 solo album Op Zop Too Wah.[3] The album's second track, "Level Five", acts as the fifth and final entry in the "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" suite, which began with parts one and two from the 1973 album Larks' Tongues in Aspic.[11][12] Lindsay Planer of AllMusic wrote that "Level Five" "is so intense that it could easily be mistaken for the likes of Tool, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, or KMFDM."[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
Mojo4/5 stars[14]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[9]
Stylus Magazine6.5/10[15]

The Power to Believe was met with mostly positive reviews. The album received an average score of 72/100 from 8 reviews on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13] AllMusic's Lindsay Planer praised the album's aggression and "sonic belligerence", writing, "If the bandmembers' constant tone probing is an active search to find the unwitting consciousness of a decidedly younger, rowdier, and more demanding audience, their collective mission is most assuredly accomplished on The Power to Believe -- even more so than the tripped-out psychedelic prog rock behemoth from whence they initially emerged."[8] David Fricke of Rolling Stone appreciated the album's contrast of heavy, frightening periods against peaceful moments, concluding with, "In the face of war, King Crimson make hopeful thunder."[9] In their 2003 review, Mojo wrote, "This is a more consistent set, and, hopefully, a revelation for a few young metal heads."[14] Chris Jones of the BBC called the album "simply stunning".[3] Still, some critics were more lukewarm on The Power to Believe. Writing for Pitchfork, Dominique Leone said, "I can admit to feeling some of that old Crim magic a few times during [the album], but would be kidding myself if I thought it was as potent a spell as their adventures of yore."[7] Stylus Magazine's Ed Howard called The Power to Believe King Crimson's best release since 1981's Discipline but thought it did not live up to the band's earliest releases.[15]


In 2019, King Crimson announced that The Power to Believe would be the fifteenth and final phase of their “40th Anniversary” release schedule. An enhanced and expanded master of the album was released in hi-res stereo audio as well as lossless 5.1 Surround Sound.[16]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto with lyrics by Belew, except where noted.

1."The Power to Believe I: A Cappella" 0:44
2."Level Five"instrumental7:17
3."Eyes Wide Open" 4:08
5."Facts of Life: Intro"instrumental1:38
6."Facts of Life" 5:05
7."The Power to Believe II" 7:43
8."Dangerous Curves"instrumental6:42
9."Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With" 3:17
10."The Power to Believe III" 4:09
11."The Power to Believe IV: Coda"Fripp2:29
Total length:51:11


Credits adapted from liner notes.[17]

King Crimson

Additional personnel

  • David Singleton – mastering, management
  • Machine – production, programming, engineering, mixing
  • Simon Heyworth – mastering
  • Jeff Juliano – additional engineering
  • Ken Latchney – haiku voice recording
  • P. J. Crook – artwork
  • Hugh O'Donnell – sleeve design
  • Tim Faulkner – voice source (track 4)


Chart (2003) Peak
US Billboard 200[18] 150


  1. ^ Most of the record taking the clattering industrial art-metal — A Beginner’s Guide to the epic music of King Crimson
  2. ^ Discogs. "King Crimson – The Power To Believe". Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Jones, Chris. "King Crimson – The Power to Believe Review". BBC. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  4. ^ Fripp, Robert. "Robert Fripp's Diary, 1 November 2002". Discipline Global Mobile. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b Planer, Lindsay. "King Crimson – Level Five". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  6. ^ Planer, Lindsay. "King Crimson – Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Leone, Dominique. "King Crimson: The Power to Believe". Pitchfork. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Planer, Lindsay. "King Crimson – The Power to Believe". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  9. ^ a b c Fricke, David (July 2003). "King Crimson: The Power To Believe : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 25 April 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  10. ^ "The Power to Believe". Discipline Global Mobile. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  11. ^ Fripp, Robert. "Robert Fripp's Diary, 13 June 2018". Discipline Global Mobile. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  12. ^ Smith, Sid. "The Elements of King Crimson 2017". Discipline Global Mobile. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for The Power to Believe". Metacritic. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  14. ^ a b "King Crimson: The Power to Believe". Mojo: 89. February 2003.
  15. ^ a b Howard, Ed (July 2003). "King Crimson – The Power to Believe". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 7 July 2003. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  16. ^ Sid Smith (29 March 2019). "Heaven & Earth Pre-Order". Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  17. ^ The Power to Believe (CD liner notes). King Crimson. Sanctuary Records. 2003. SANCD155. Retrieved 19 June 2018.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  18. ^ "King Crimson Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 June 2018.

External links[edit]