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King Crimson - Islands CD (album) cover

ISLANDS

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.83 | 2010 ratings

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Walkscore
3 stars Another transition album.

With his band members fleeing, and with questions about Crimson's future plaguing him, Fripp recruited new members for a tour. He brought Mel Collins on board full time, Ian Wallace on drums, and asked Box Burrell to sing (and to learn the bass - when he joined he wasn't really a bass player). The result is a bit of a new sound, but again it would be transitory, as Fripp would disband this version after the tour, when he would ask Bruford and Wetton to join. The result of this lineup, Islands is again a mixed bag. And once again, the main problem is Sinfield's lyrics, although Burrell's singing isn't as bad as Haskell's. Islands has a harder and darker feel, with ribald songs ('Ladies of the Road'), more serious numbers than anything on Lizard ('The Letters'), and more grand statements (the title track). Fripp himself dismissed the opening track ('Formentary Lady') as crap, and really it doesn't go anywhere. The shining light on this album, however, is 'Sailor's Tale'. Excellent guitar solos, and very inventive structure, this instrumental track acts as the link between Schizoid Man and the kind of sound Crimson would develop under Bruford and Wetton. After many years, I find the rest of the album hasn't maintained its charm, with the exception of this one piece. 'Sailor's Tale' is the reason to pick this one up. I give this album 7.1 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

Walkscore | 3/5 |

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