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King Crimson - Islands CD (album) cover

ISLANDS

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.83 | 1978 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Eastvillage
4 stars With all the bad reviews of this album, I struggled for a very long time if it was worth buying. Such a lucky I did! It is incredible underrated. While maybe not containing much of either the stunning harshness of songs like red and schizoid man, or the powerful, symphonic side of songs like Epitaph and ITCOTCK, it's a very good and beautiful album, despite having some of-road improvised parts. The fact that it's very uniqe in style for king crimson is probably the reason why it's so underrated. People don't expect Crimson to sound like this. The album is easily the most mellow output from King Crimson, but the sound is still exciting and quite adventorous in some tracks, with some harsh, agressive moments.

Formentera Lady is a long mystic, surrealistic song, quite hard to grip and get into. Very mellow, but still exciting. The only problem is that the bass can seem to be a little bit simple and repetative. I really like the piano, and the saxes are not that wrong either. 7/10

Next one is Sailor's Tale, which have to be the most typical King Crimson track here, and the most famous of the album. It remember me much of "The Devils triangle", with it's haunting mellotrons and hurrying tempo towards the end, but it's not at all that repetative and better, wonderful! 9/10

Here comes another one that's probably hard to grip for some. The Letters goes from agressive to very quite and then back again. I think it's a very dynamic and interesting song, but some of the improvisations (it sounds at least like improvisations) can be a little bit dragged and out of tune. 7/10

Ladies of the road is a really uniqe song by Crimson standards! It's like a mix of Crimson and the Beatles, much like Cat food, but more daring and original. It goes from Beatles harmonies right into scorching saxes and guitars a la Crimson. Still, the entirety is somewhat ruined by saxes which are a little bit too much out of tune and seems improvised and sometimes annoying. Would have been wondeful if they were a little bit more "controlled". Lyrics are catchy and funny, maybe a little bit goofy for Crimson... 8/10

Song of The Gulls is not Crimson at all. It somehow fits out rather OK, and it's a nice little song, but not at all the reason why we like Crimson. It's a classic approach and... Classic music on a Crimson album? It's somewhat wierd... But as the song is well played, and the melodies are good, it's still a good song. 6/10

And then the title track, what an incredible warm, peacefull, beutifull song! Every single little jazzy interlude fits in perfectly, nothing interupts the flow, and the lyrics are as wonderull as the music. When the mellotron kicks in at the end you feel that it just can't get better done than this. 10/10

Buy this if you want a mellow, but still somewhat demanding and adventorous album

Eastvillage | 4/5 |

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