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King Crimson - In the Wake of Poseidon CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.84 | 2217 ratings

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4 stars This album evokes mixed feelings in this reviewer and Crimhead. There are many similarities to In the Court of the Crimson King. Even the title is similar (In the of ). Then again, the albums were released one year apart. I more liken this to elaborating on a theme than to a brazen attempt to cash in on a formula or rip onself off. Pictures of a City does have a likeness to 21st Century Schizoid Man in places. But, it is still musically tight with enough differences from "Schizoid Man" to keep it interesting and Greg Lake's vocals are awesome here. Other than the fact that Cadence and Cascade (sung by Gordon Haskell) is another mellow tune with a breezy flute, it frankly bears nothing other than superficial resemblance to I Talk to the Wind, and, if you bother to listen carefully, there is really some very tasteful (sometimes almost ambient) piano work by Tippett on this song that help set the relaxed mood of this piece. Mel Collins' flute play is more than credible here. The fact that his woodwind and reed playing made it into the recording sessions of many progressive bands in the 1970s wasn't happenstance. Peace-a Theme is a delightful and all too brief little acoustic guitar piece that is both folky and jazzy but is long enough to demonstrate Mr. Fripp's versatility in stylistic range. Cat Food is a remarkable piece of music unlike anything done on In the Court of the Crimson King, with outrageous lyrics about some lady who brings cat food home to feed her family, with frenzied singing by Lake and even more frenzied jazz piano by Tippett, heralding what was to come muscially with the next album release, Lizard. Devil's Triangle is a great piece of period exploration. The lyrical theme of the title track (In the Wake of Poseidon) does bear a bleak message reminiscent of Epitaph, but Lake's voice never sounded better. In terms of new musical ideas, my opinion is that the title track is the weakest link. I really wonder what people would think of this album if there wasn't an In the Court of the Crimson King. I suspect that it would be heralded as a masterpiece. Inevitably though, In the Wake of Poseidon will forever suffer from the stigma of "sophomore jinx" even though it is an outstanding record in its own right. Considering the dynamics in the band at the time, with Lake jumping ship but agreeing to stay long enough to sing on most of the album, and, with Ian McDonald's departure prior to the recording of this project, it is amazing that this record was ever made. The fact that it is as solid as it is musically servess as testimony to the overall skills of all the musicians involved in this project. It rates 4.5 out of 5 stars.


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