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King Crimson - In The Wake Of Poseidon CD (album) cover

IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.83 | 1927 ratings

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Ludenberger
4 stars Even though "In The Wake Of Poseidon" lacks the impact and innovation of King Crimson's debut, it certainly isn't a sophomore slump. It isn't nearly as adventurous of an album, and most of the tracks derive from songs on "In The Court," but by no means does this make it bad. It does a pretty serviceable job of following up one of the best progressive rock albums of all time, in my opinion.

For this album, the only remaining and credited members in the band are Robert Fripp and Peter Sinfield. Greg Lake still lends his vocal talent on most of the songs, but his bass parts were left unfinished after he joined ELP, so King Crimson alumni Peter Giles steps in to record the bass parts. Ian McDonald still holds writing credits to songs on the album, but the great Mel Collins fills in for his woodwind parts and Keith Tippett fills in the spot for a pianist. Fripp also picks up the keyboards, something that would be seen on every KC album to come, save for David Cross playing some here and there in the mid-70s. Gordon Haskell, one of Fripp's good friends at the time, sings on "Cadence and Cascade," since vocals were unfinished by Lake. Michael Giles also returns to bring his stroke of brilliance on the drums, but he just plays as a session musician this time around.

Even with all of these drastic personnel changes, King Crimson still manages to pull off a great album, although not as tight of an experience as "In The Court of the Crimson King."

One of the more notable and inventive tracks on the album is "Peace," which is scattered throughout the album in three sections, and the final section is just beautiful. The vocal performance from Lake is so touching and calming, and Fripp's simple guitar work makes all of the difference.

"Cat Food" is also the most adventurous, off-the-wall, and just amazing things on the album. The concept is absolutely bonkers: I originally thought it was a blues tune about how bad cat food is, but I was actually corrected (see comments) and the song is really about how frozen food and food manufactured to just be heated up is bad, so the band is comparing it to cat food. Still, a pretty bizarre concept and definitely progressive lyrically. It also contains bits of nods to the Beatles, such as the bassline being eerily similar to "Come Together." This is the best song on the album, and the things that really make it are Lake's amazing vocal performance and Keith Tippett's abstract piano additions.

"The Devil's Triangle" is a wonderfully intense instrumental piece mostly by Fripp on the mellotron, and some writing and arrangements done by McDonald. "Garden of Worm" is the best section on this monster of a track, and it even includes vocal samples from "The Court of the Crimson King" from the first album.

"Cadence and Cascade" is simply breathtaking, and still one of King Crimson's best tracks to date. Gordon Haskell does a fine job on vocals (even if they were pitched during mixing) and it is a beautiful song, especially during the section starting with the lyrics "Caravan hotel..."

"Pictures of a City" is good, but it is evident that this song is heavily based on "21st Century Schizoid Man" and it begs for more development. It's an enjoyable song, and I especially enjoy Peter Giles's performance on this track. The title track is also derivative of past songs, sounding similar to "Epitaph" and using lyrical structure similar to that of "The Court of the Crimson King." However, Lake's vocal performance is great here, and Fripp and Sinfield's chemistry is shown through the guitar sounds made in response to certain lyrics. My only real gripe about the song is its lackluster interlude entitled "Libra's Theme."

Overall, it's a 4/5. Yes, it has more flaws than the debut, but it is still a solid album and is worth it if you really liked the first album (I certainly did.) Thankfully, the ever-progressive King Crimson catalogue gets even better from here.

Ludenberger | 4/5 |

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