Saudi Arabia is a country defined by paradox. It is a modern state driven by contemporary technology and possessed of vast oil deposits, yet its powerful religious establishment would have its customs and practices rolled back a thousand years to match those of the prophet Muhammad.
God Save the King is actually a split release and/or a Robert Fripp compilation, depending on how you look at it. In 1980, Robert Fripp released something of a split disc himself, called God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners, consisting of a side of Frippertronics and a side of Discotronics, the latter being Frippertronics with a "dance-oriented" (according to Fripp) rhythm section. Also in 1980, Fripp formed a new group, borrowing the name from his early-'60s band, the League of Gentlemen.
Fripp continues his Soundscape series with this typically evocative piece. As with his other work of this period, the theme touches on devotional and spiritual matters, with Fripp painting challenging and solitary impressions with "Frippertronic" brushstrokes. The new age set will most likely balk at his more dissonant passages, but King Crimson fans and those with a taste for the unusual will delight in his ascetic excess.
As much as The Moody Blues have earned the right to make a mediocre album, they shouldn't have been given the keys to the studio without a better batch of ideas than what ended up on Keys of the Kingdom. Like Sur La Mer three years earlier, many of the songs on here feel like prefabricated studio pop: programmed drum beats, sterile keyboards and soulless guitars pop up in the speakers seemingly untouched by human hands, compounded by brass arrangements and backing singers that were never a part of the Moodies' original vision…