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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.82 | 1715 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
3 stars King Crimson: In the Wake of Poseidon [1970]

Rating: 6/10

King Crimson's second album was released during one of the many periods of tumultuous lineup changes that would mark the band's early history. Ian McDonald left the band after the release of In the Court of the Crimson King, and Greg Lake was soon to follow. However, Lake sings on this album despite the fact that he was no longer a member of the band. In the Wake of Poseidon is often considered to be a sophomore slump, particularly in the wake (no pun intended) of ItCotCK. It is also criticized for being too similar to its predecessor. I tend to agree with these criticisms. However, this is still a very good album with a few brilliant moments.

"Peace -A Beginning" is a pleasant a-cappella intro. "Pictures of a City" is an energetic heavy jazz-rock song that's almost structurally identical to "21st Century Schizoid Man." Still, the man hook is enjoyable and the instrumental section is intriguing. "Cadence and Cascade" is one of my favorites here; its quality allows it supersede of the label of "'I Talk to the Wind' Part Two." It's a very mellow folky track with Gordon Haskell on vocals. The flute solo is especially lovely. The title track brings out the epic Mellotron. Lake sounds solid here and the whole song has a good atmosphere, but it ends up not really going anywhere. I like the song, but it doesn't live up to its potential. "Peace - A Theme" is a soft acoustic interlude. "Cat Food" is probably the most original song on the album. Jazzy piano, excellent drumming, and quirky vocals/lyrics make this a strong track. "The Devil's Triangle" is an eleven-minute bolero with epic Mellotron. Although this track is pretty cool, it's a little bit overlong and drawn out. The conclusion is intense, but the sound collage at the end kind of throws the mood off. "Peace - An End" ends the album on a soft and pleasant note.

It's obvious that Fripp had some excellent material to work with when he was constructing this album, but it didn't manage to completely pan out. There are some great moments here, but these are brought down by flat sections, creating an inconsistent whole. I don't want to harp on this album too much, however. This wasn't the follow-up it could have been, but this is probably due more to the awkward state of transition the band was in during the recording than to an actual lack to musical creativity. Although one of the less essential King Crimson albums, In the Wake of Poseidon is still a solid, albeit disappointing, slice of progressive rock.

Anthony H. | 3/5 |


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