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King Crimson - Islands CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.81 | 1761 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
4 stars Before listening to Islands I've been subjected to both the positive and the negative opinions of this album from both friends and professional online reviewers so I knew that it wouldn't be an easy to get into. My initial reaction reminded me of all of the negative comments that it has received over the years. It might be a completely different album than the one you might expect to fill in the gap between Lizard and Larks' Tongues In Aspic, which made many people question it as a legitimate King Crimson release and I can understand that. Still, there was something in this material that made me want to revisit it on many more occasions since then and now my opinion has completely reversed into a positive such!

Please note that I rarely make myself listen to music that I didn't initially enjoy, i.e. there has to be something there to begin with that sparked my interest and this was definitely the case with Islands. I might not have originally gasped at compositions like Formentera Lady or the completely gorgeous arrangement of Prelude: Song Of The Gulls that sounds like nothing King Crimson have ever released even to this day. Still, I clearly remember liking the very raw sound of Mel Collins' saxophone on Ladies Of The Road and the melodic arrangement of the title track. Eventually I would go on to appreciate other sections like the wonderful instrumental Sailor's Tale where Robert Fripp finally takes his rightful place in the spotlight and the highly underrated The Letters, which to me sounds like the main inspiration for Anekdoten's sound.

Today I consider Islands to be a worthy addition to the King Crimson discography because, just like its predecessor, it offers another completely unique record experience that the band would never try to replicate again. If you've already covered the basics like King Crimson's debut album and Red and Larks' Tongues In Aspic then you can safely put Islands on your purchase list. Just remember to be open-minded about the initial experience and the music will handle the rest.

***** star songs: Sailor's Tale (7:21) Prelude: Song Of The Gulls (4:14)

**** star songs: Formentera Lady (10:14) The Letters (4:26) Ladies Of The Road (5:28) Islands (11:51)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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