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

IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.79 | 1402 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

thehallway
Prog Reviewer
3 stars UPDATE: I'll knock one star off this one, mainly because the album it seems to have copied is also declining in quality over the years. But Lizard and Islands don't deserve the same rating as this; 'The Devil's Triangle' is really quite annoying on reflection. A few spins later and I will probably change my mind...... such is the miserable tautology of being a King Crimson listener!

REVIEW: I'm with those who would rather sympathise with Robert Fripp than criticise his very obvious decision to retain the format from 'Court' on this more-than-difficult second album.

Lets think about it logically; would a guitarist as original and innovative as Fripp really create such a carbon-copy though choice? No. It was a necessary evil, the result of most of the original Crimso line-up discarding their initial success and abandoning Bob at the time he needed them most. That is my view on the politics that surround this album; I'll move on to the reviewing without this unfortunate situation having any influence on my rating.

Firstly, the three 'Peace' sections. These are unnecessary of course, and could be described as filler (the last part is basically a merging of the first two) but they sound pleasant and are ultimately inoffensive. 'Pictures Of a City' is great, similar in structure to 'Schizoid Man' but a different composition nonetheless. And when one eventually grows bored of the former jazz workout (which is by no means immediately, by the way) they can enjoy this "equal sequel" just as much. The Haskell-sung 'Cadence and Cascade' is an appropriately calmer tune, although there is little here of much interest and I prefer Lake's voice. 'In the Wake of Poseidon' is the biggest culprit for replicating ITCOTCK, in this case borrowing most of it's chords and instrumentation from 'Epitaph', but I actually prefer this song. In my opinion, the melody and imagery has more to offer this time around; it links to the album artwork too.

'Cat Food' is my favourite. This is the one offering on 'Poseidon' that is totally original, showing a (then) new side of the band that would feature more prominently on side one of 'Lizard'. The heavy syncopation, tight rhythm section, maniac Tippet piano and amusingly cynical lyrics all work together to create a groovy and thoughtful song. And it's actually pretty short, so it never grows dull. The final track is the obligatory experimental 'The Devil's Triangle', an exercise in dissonant improvisation over a 5/4 ostinato, based on Holst's renowned 'Mars' piece. This is interesting, especially towards the end when the band discover various studio samples and whack them in. However, this piece of music is perhaps too long to effectively deliver it's intended atmosphere; possibly the "we've run out of ideas now" syndrome had an influence.

Most of the material here is as interesting and powerful as the adjacent Crimson outputs, suffering only from a general lack of personnel and song ideas. Lake's considerate vocal contributions and the impressive new sax player Mel Collins however, are highlights, lifting this record from the mere carbon-copy bin and into the King Crimson shelf of listenable albums. 'In the Wake of Poseidon' is safe but cool.

thehallway | 3/5 |

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