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King Crimson - Islands CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.83 | 1850 ratings

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4 stars In 1971, King Crimson finally got it together and had another touring band. Fripp, Collins, Sinfield return with newbies Boz Burrell and Ian Wallace and guests Keith Tippet, Paulina Lucas, Harry and Robin Miller and Mark Charig This resulted in their only album together Islands. This is a very interesting album and is a black sheep in KC's catalog.

Formentera Lady: Starts out with a very menacing deep double bass sound which plays the main melody of the song. Then Boz on vocals comes in and then it all starts. It's not very rock it's more a soft jazzy piece relying heavily on reeds and pianos and strings. It is still good nearing the end with a wordless vocal from Paulina Lucas and goes right into...

Sailor's Tale: Starts with a ride cymbal pattern from Ian Wallace and kicks in the whole band. They all perform very well here and this song has a lot of Fripp in it with his guitar solo mid song that works well and this became a live classic IMO

The Letters: Starts out soft and slow (like most of the songs) and then kicks in this kinda dated guitar sound from Fripp and duels with Collins on Sax for a bit and it works well but doesn't last long enough. Not a bad song but probably my least favorite of this album

Ladies of the Road: Kinda straight ahead rock (for King Crimson standards) about groupies and has been criticized for misogyny. I enjoy this song and like to sing along and not many KC songs can you do that. Has actual "hit" potential but glad it didn't. Prelude-Song of the Gulls: Not Prog, Not Rock just a classical piece and is impressive. Works well and is a good Prelude(ha) for the title track.

Islands: Stars with Piano from Keith Tippet. I wished he stayed with the band longer he was really good. It has a soft jazzy classical feel to it the whole time. It almost sounds like a death march at times. It climaxes with a powerful solo from Mel Collins and is very powerful and ends with about a minute of dead air and then a hidden track of chatter and Fripp saying "It has a number of high spots that I enjoy, What we're gonna do, do it twice more once with the oboe, once without it and we finish." Then the string section warms up and ends the album.

Overall, it is very soft and more quiet in tone compared to other KC releases but I do enjoy this album. It took me some time to do so but it was worth it. Nice to relax to. 4 Stars. Highlights: Formentera Lady, Sailor's Tale, Ladies of the Road and Islands.

criticdrummer94 | 4/5 |


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