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King Crimson - Islands CD (album) cover

ISLANDS

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.78 | 1249 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Islands" was my second King Crimson album. Being a mere teenager I felt both terrified and confused when I put it on. The music was nothing like I had expected, being a huge fan of their debut. The cover of "Islands" is and was stunning in it's simplicity, yet the music seemed disconnected and everywhere. The only thing I truly enjoyed was the singer screaming "Impaled on nails of ice...". Being a fan of Sabbath I thought it to be kind of cool lyrics. I put the album on hold, discarding it everytime I talked of Crimson, even wondering why anyone would be so stupid as to buy the bloody thing at all. Years later I came crawling back, with my head hanging from shame and publically announcing my arrogant ignorance of the yesteryears.

Actually, "Islands" is on of my favorite Crimson albums. I find it to be both inspired and a progression from the previous efforts. One thing I have to admit is that I am really only a fan of Crimson's first four or five albums, due to it's dreamy, fairytale atmospheres. The remaining albums I dig, but not to that extent as with the first, say, five efforts. "Islands" is as far as I'm concerned the last gasp of the debut and the sound of the first phase of the band. The fairytale dreaminess is still there but the music is somewhat edgier, harder and different than before. I am not saying that previous albums lacked the hard rock influence, because I don't. It was always evident, still it comes to the fore in a different way on "Islands", though in a more disjointed fashion.

Apart from "Ladies of the road" (which is good but really nothing more) the tracks are really enthralling and captivating. The british prog sound is there, along with the dreamy textures and spaciuos atmosphere. The music captivates my imagination and flows like a river through my body, producing pictures and emotions like all the best of Crimson's music. It is magical in places. The crown jewels of the album is "Prelude: Song of the gulls" and "Islands". These two tracks (really one massive piece) ranks among the best Crimson ever made. They are pure magic. The music is so relaxing it is ridiciolous and without ever becoming a kind of noodling new age-nonsense which goes nowhere. Brilliance!

"Islands" is a great album and one of Crimson's best, maybe only surpassed by the debut and "In the wake of Poseidon".

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |

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