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King Crimson - Islands CD (album) cover

ISLANDS

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.78 | 1249 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I've been looking at this album in shops for almost a year now, trying to decide whether I should buy it or not. A couple of weeks ago, despite all the mixed reviews I read I finally bought it, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised! Granted, I didn't "get it" right off the bat, in fact, I almost cursed myself for buying it, but after giving it a second chance I finally discovered the genious behind the works!

This is likely Crimson's hardest album to get into, and for that reason it gets bashed a lot (like Floyd's "Animals" album). This happens because A) it's mellower than the first 3 crimson albums, B) Boz is on vocals and C) people expect something ballsier. All that aside, if you discard everything you know about King Crimson and listen to this album with a completely open mind you'll find it's quite the experience.

Formentera Lady - The opening track is nothing like "21st Century Schizoid man", but that doesn't mean it should be dismissed as bad. This is a brilliant, mellow, 10 minute long track that really has a lot of offer if you listen to it just right. This song has quickly become a Crimson Favorite for me.

The Salior's Tale - A nice, heavy instrumental that would later give way to works like Larks' Tongues in Aspic. It opens nicely, progresses nicely and finishes nicely. This song should catch your interest even if you don't like mellow albums.

The Letters - Actually a fairly dark, eerie track reminicent of Epitaph from "...Court Of The Crimson King". This one flows right out of Sailor's Tale and take the smae musical direction, a bit mellower, but still pretty dark.

Ladies Of The Road - Quite the track. Opens up side 2 with a bang if I do say so myself. A bit quiet in some parts, but hey, no complaints here.

Song Of The Gulls - This (dare I say) pretty song opens up the title track of the album. This is a great song to get lost in, and it's a great beginning to the title track.

Islands - This song is the epitome of the album itself. Everything this album stands for is in this track. It's a mellow, melodic track that is easy to keep pace to and once again, easy to lose yourself in. This, however, cannot be listened to like The debut's title track which was cataclysmic, powerful and raw (as much as Crimson can be). Instead, Islands should be taken in stride, this is a song you can get lost in instead of trying to run from it in the fear that it will and can eat you.

Again, people just need to give this album a second chance without expecting an album like "in The Court Of The Crimson King". This is a great piece of work and it's too bad many people simply toss it aside.

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |

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