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King Crimson - Islands CD (album) cover

ISLANDS

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.78 | 1221 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bern
4 stars Here comes the most controversial album in King Crimson's history, their fourth : Islands. At a time when the band was still going through lots of problems of personnal changes and when long-time member and writer Pete Sinfield and guitarist and leader Robert Fripp were at war, this album was bound to be different and controversial. I understand how people believes it to be different but I just can't get why it is a controversial album. I think it's a great effort and yet another unique gem in their repertoire.

Islands is really mellow and smooth throughout, possibly one of the reason why some hard-rockers don't like it. From the flute intro of Formentera Lady to the beautiful ending of the title track, this album has an atmosphere no other King Crimson album has. I can easily picture myself lying on a beach on a deserted island or on a little boat in the middle of a calm ocean while listening to it.

Unlike many who say Boz Burrell has an awful voice, I think his voice matches the music perfectly. His work is really appropriate. However, one of the few flaws I can find in this album is his bass playing. It is closer to mediocre than bad. The bassline in Formentera Lady for example is so dull that it makes it my least favorite song on the album. If it had been for a better player, this album would have been even better overall.

All of the songs are pretty good but I must give a special mention to both Prelude : Song of the gulls and Islands. The first one is a one of a kind in King Crimson catalogue and it displays Fripp hability to work with many different musical styles. Here, we have a beautiful classical piece with great string arrangements. This contributes to make this album so smooth and even soothing throughout. Prelude soon fades in the title track of the record : Islands. It's an extended piece of yet again beautiful music with great vocals and playing.

Overall, this album is excellent. The only flaw, which is sadly major and though to get over, is the bass playing of Boz Burrell. Fripp should have hired a full-time bass player instead of teaching a singer to play bass in two weeks. 4 stars for this great effort by King Crimson nonetheless.

Sincerely,

-Bern

Bern | 4/5 |

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