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King Crimson - Islands CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.85 | 2135 ratings

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Zac M
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is may be my favorite King Crimson album, but it is still not not a masterpiece in any sense. King Crimson changed music al direction on this album, for the better in my opinion. King Crimson became a vehicle for Fripp's ideas and compositions, although Sinfield is still there to create lyrics. Every time I listen to this album, I thoroughly enjoy every piece/song on it.

The album starts out with Formentera Lady, a Sinfield-penned ballad, sung by Boz Burrell. Many think that Burrell's voice and bass playing are inadequate on this album, but I have to disagree; he may not be the best, but his voice definitely fits the music. Harry Miller provides an excellent string bass part, while Mel Collins's flute flourishes throughout certain parts if the song. Formentera Lady bridges into the Sailor's Tale, a piece accentuated by Fripp's use of the mellotron and guitar. The Sailor's Tale starts out promising, but ends up going on longer than needed. The Letters is another Sinfield song with strange lyrics involving infidelity, and it contains chaotic instrumental passages; it's definitely a darker side of Crimson.

Side Two begins with Ladies of the Road, a definite Crimson classic, although still not my favorite on the album. Boz does an excellent job handling the vocals here. Prelude: Song of the Gulls is a classically-inspired piece composed by Fripp. It's one of the best pieces on the album, followed by Islands, the final and strongest track on the entire album. There is a great deal of emotional impact this song has on me. I love the beautiful Oboe and Cornet parts, the Cornet part performed by a member of Soft Machine and an excellent free-jazz musician. The instrumental passages and vocal textures are the main highlight of the album. Probably one of the greatest album closers in all of King Crimson's discography.

I highly recommend this album. Sure it's very different than every other release, but that is what makes it enjoyable. Every Crimsonite is already going to have it, and if they don't they need to go get it!!! Although this album still has minor flaws, I cannot stop myself from awarding it four stars; it's truly an excellent addition to any progger's collection.

Zac M | 4/5 |


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