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2 stars If you compare what Fripp produced here to the live recordings on Epitaph (of the previous lineup playing much the same music live in concert before the band split) the relative flattness and lack of energy on this album is immediately evident. The absolutely great Pictures of a City is almost ruined here (could Fripp not find anyone able to play the version as it was originally composed, and recorded on Epitaph). Instead of the fantasitic version of Mars that the band played, Fripp (perhaps wanting the composing credit?) recorded a slightly inverted version under the title "The Devil's Triangle". Changed the music to Cadence and Cascade, etc. The beginning of Fripp's obvious selfish approach to music! (and don't get me wrong, I think he is a brilliant guitarist and composer!)
Report this review (#14803)
Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars The early CRIMSON albums have always been a personal fav of fine and "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is a wonderful journey. Oft criticized album consider by pundits a mirror of their debut album, in contrast for me, "...Poseidon" sparkles with original character full of some breathtaking KING CRIMSON musical moments. To this day "Cadence And Cascade" remains one of the most emotional and nostalgic songs of all time for me. Title track "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is one of my all time favorite tracks from KING CRIMSON of all time... loads of mellotron and some grand musical escapades. With the mystical lyrics of Pete Sinfield, "...Poseidon" will fill your ears with a nice range of musical idea, textures and full instrumentation. If you don't already have this beauty on CD then I would suggest the HDCD 30th Anniversary version to max on the sound repro.
Report this review (#14801)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When you have 3 tracks that contain the word "peace", then you should expect a very mellow and relaxing album. Well, this is the case here! Greg LAKE's lead vocals remind the listener the early ELP. The omnipresence of well structured acoustic guitar remind us that FRIPP is a great guitarist. There are good parts of mellotron, piano, flutes and saxes. The influence of Pete Sinfield is obvious here again. Sounds sometimes like their first album.
Report this review (#14807)
Posted Sunday, April 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
Carl floyd fan
3 stars Hmmm....I have mixed feeling about this one. Sometimes it sounds a little to much like their debut, which gives you that "been there, done that" attitide. But than again, why mess with a good thing, right? Pictures of a City alone makes this cd worthwhile. Overall, I don't think this is as good as the first but it is close. It isn't as hectic, and a lot more peaceful throughout. After Red, Lizard and the debut, this one should be the one you pick up.
Report this review (#14805)
Posted Monday, April 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Imperilled on fickle seas suited to the ill moods of a Poseidon Stormbringer, steadfast even as Scylla plucked the strongest oarsmen for her own dark designs (IAN MCDONALD, GREG LAKE), our guitar-slinging ODYSSEUS still had the presence of mind to steer his splintering charge safely into port with a second stunning album. That you can hear the lightning strike the mast, feel the upheaval in the tempestuous arrangements separated by sections of tantalizing calm, is to sense the shipwrecked King struggle against the strong pull of Charybdis and succeed. Amazing to think that, one album earlier, the band began with a halcyon of foreseeably smooth sailing. It was revealed to be merely the eye of the storm, thrusting their second album into a destructive force of unbearable intensity. Listen to "The Devil's Triangle", "In The Wake of Poseidon" and "Pictures of a City", and you'll find yourself in the middle of this musical vortex. In retrospect, no band could have withstood the fury of this music and survived intact. The albums that followed sailed clear of such dark waters, that is until "Starless And Bible Black". As challenging and harrowing an experience as this is, you may be reluctant to be buffeted and bruised by the crushing magnitude of this Wake. But if "21st Century Schizoid Man" stirred something in your blood that the remainder of Court couldn't quell, strap yourself to the mast and ride in the wake of Poseidon's vengeful might. You'll find respite in the three Peaces, and fall in love with the siren's song of "Cadence and Cascade", but they'll be your undoing if you let them lull you into their trap. Also included is "Cat Food", selected as the single because it's in the middle of the two extremes, but not a suitable appetizer for the rough journey ahead.

This and "Starless" are the two harshest entries in the Crimson catalog; if these float your boat, you really need to plug in to VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR too.

Report this review (#14802)
Posted Saturday, May 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars Understandably after the brilliant 'In The Court' album King Crimson didn't want to stray to far from a successfull 'formula'.So here it a very poor version of the first album.Still you do get 'Cat Food' but overall this is to be avoided unless you really like King Crimson or Greg Lake and want completeness for your collection.
Report this review (#14825)
Posted Sunday, May 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars A fair enough repeat of the First Album "In the court of the Crimson King" and I don't think, I could have taken a 3rd rehash, but after all, the first one is a landmark album, so I would give it, a riding the first coattails 4 stars;

& after all, in all seriiousness; the "Peace" 3 short brief songs, reminiscent truly of say praying or religious type of singing, is very moving, maybe it has even brought tears to my eyes and it is something that KC had not done prior. Very earnest and honestly done.

Unlike others, I am not a big fan of the second track, "Pictures of a city" nor does similar sped up music "Catfood" do much for me, but "Catfood" does make it's mark, in foreshadowing an excellent similar type of song, from "Larks Tongue in Aspic", that being "Easy Money", and before you say, I've got to be kidding; I mean in the light almost humourous type of vein both are in.

"Cadence and Cascade" outdoes "I talk to the wind", one might think, of both as sorts of mellower rock songs; ballad even?

"The devils triangle" really, does come together, is worthy of listening too as a precursor of the type of music, that Fripp, Eno and even some David Bowie became, in being instrumental. With it's parts a b and c; and I trip out, with all of the taping; and weird noises it presents, that it takes from, if not for only a few seconds, the "aaah aaah" from the masterwork song, "IN the court of the Crimson King." Finally, about the "triangle", is the cool foghorn I would describe it as, that takes over nearing the finale. Build up and climax.

Definitely I concur with those who say, it is a lot like the first album, but is it so bad; plus, that is a concept worth revisiting. Sidenote, the cover is absolutely spectacular; the inside cover, as any Pisces might attest too, has that cool oceanic type of watercolor in it. Alas, I will repeat again, this is "in the wake of Poseidon" so a Pisces might be an aficionado of this further.

Report this review (#14796)
Posted Monday, May 31, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Most reviews for this album are calling it repetitive and not as good as the first. The latter is true, but i thought its sound was unique. Reviews are also lacking praise for the awesome "pictures of a city" and "cat food", my two favorite tracks. Overall the album is excellent, and a solid sophmore. I bought it after "In the Court...", and i was pleased.
Report this review (#14799)
Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you love King Crimson (specially their first album "In The Court Of The Crimson King"), you will also adore this great musical masterpiece. Both albums have similar style and feeling: "Pictures Of A City" is a song close to "21st Century Schizoid Man". Both of them have plenty of aggressiveness. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" has a dramatic mood that remains "Epitaph", etc. Anyhow, in my opinion, "In The Wake Of Poseidon" isn't as good as their first album but there is some innovation in it: the band creates terrifying atmospheres with the track "The Devil's Triangle" (perhaps, a type of psychedelic instrumental song). Mell Collins replaced Ian McDonald for wind instruments. Anyway, both of them are fabulous musicians. One of the songs is beautifully sung by Gordon Haskell (although, I still prefer Greg Lake). Lake doesn't play bass guitar on this album. He was replaced by Peter Giles (who came from the previous band Giles, Giles and Fripp). "Cat Food" is an original song with a distinctive and chaotic piano with a particular sense of humor. At the beginning and at the end of the album there is a short song with the same melody but with different lyrics. Robert Fripp uses the melody of these songs to create an instrumental acoustic guitar piece that sounds gorgeous. "Poet" Peter Sinfield, who also appears on the previous album, writes all lyrics. On the other hand, I must say there are some magical moments that don't appear "In The Court Of The Crimson King".
Report this review (#14811)
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars In The Wake Of The Crimson King?

One of the bigger debates among Crimson fan is how much a carbon copy Poseidon was to Court. Given the strong pressure to release another album by their label, and the fact that members were leaving left, right & centre, that there was no real group around the time of recording Poseidon, it was probably tempting to reproduce the same kind of songs that made the debut such as success.

So yes, Pictures Of A City is based upon Schizoid Man, yes, Cadence is a rehashing of Talk To The Wind, and this album's title track is definitely inspired on the title track of the previous album. So all these three "derivative" tracks are grouped on the first side of the album and bookended by two of the three Peace pieces, which are completely original and pleasant, even if a bit needless. And furthermore, the three "guilty" tracks are debatably superior technically to their inspirational muse.

Onto the flipside, Cat Food is an amazing track where young "jazz" pianist sensation of the time Keith Tippett gives an incredible performance, a highly original track, which came in an edited version as a single. The rest of the album is made from another completely original piece, The Devil's Triangle, based on a Gustav Holtz piece, but the three part epic sounds like nothing that'd been, done before, even by a certain King Crimson. Excellent eerie stuff that sees a small prolongation in the last part of the Peace theme that closes the album.

PS: rare enough to mention on Crimson albums, Poseidon might just be the only studio album ever to come with bonus tracks in the future, as both sides of the Cat Food/Groon single have been added, but not on every issue. In either case, Poseidon seems to be marked forever and a bit unjustly with the "carbon copy" sticker, but even if partially true, it remains a must for every Crimson fan.

Report this review (#14812)
Posted Thursday, October 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
James Lee
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Warning (or suggestion): turn the volume way up to catch the hymn-like "Peace- A beginning", and then be blasted by the first notes of "Pictures". KING CRIMSON rarely has difficulty making an impression with their opening tracks...

The issue of similarity is an important one with this album. If you loved ITCOTCK, this album dishes out much of the same flavor. Since one of my criticisms of the first KC album involved McDonald's overbearing Mellotron, you'd think I'd prefer this release. Also, the now-complete reunion of the delightfully experimental virtuosos of "Giles, Giles, and Fripp" provide the foundation for Lake's expressive vocals and Mel Collins' inimitable sax. So why is this not as satisfying an experience as ITCOTCK?

Certainly not for lack of trying. "Pictures" is every bit as heavy and acidic as "20th Century Schizoid Man" and replaces some of the latter's unfocused noodling with more interesting instrumental insanity. The tightly shuffling beat and minor-key intensity even presages later works (I can hear the jazzy middle section of "Starless" especially). Yet "Pictures" is somehow less individualistic than its earlier comrade; Fripp's guitarwork towards the end is curiously conventional and there are even sections when the band adopts a straight-time three-chord blues progression!

"Cadence and Cascade", however, is soft bliss...poor maligned Haskell delivers a quietly emotive vocal over lovely piano-and acoustic guitar backing. The lyrics, like most of those on the album, are strangely minimalist for Sinfield; however, they depict in few choice words a timeless tale of fame and frailty. The multi-talented Collins shows he can be as expressive and interesting on the flute as McDonald. And yet once again I can't say this song is as memorable as "I Talk to the Wind".

The biggest reminder of ITCOTCK comes in "Epitaph"...oops, I mean in the album's title track. The Mellotron returns to the fore, as do the classical references in the lyrics. About halfway through the song, I am shocked to realize that it sounds slightly plodding- not usually a big problem with KC. Indeed, the epic track feels somewhat rote and made-to- order following the uniqueness of the first album. Still, if you wished that there had been one more song on ITCOTCK, this will fully satisfy you.

"Peace- a theme" is respectable and pleasant and a must-hear for Fripp fans, who tend to get a little short-changed when it comes to solo acoustic pieces. But necessary? I'm not convinced.

And then there's "Cat Food". Less stuffy folks may disagree, but the tone strikes me as very un-King Crimson-like, though it shares notable elements with the future "Indoor Games" (which I also don't much care for, although fans of Gabriel's more playful writing for GENESIS may indeed find it attractive). In fact, I'm tentatively suggesting that "Cat Food" and "Indoor Games" are pretty much the same song, right down to the jazzy rhythms and acoustic guitar punctuation. Perhaps it's just a matter of style- a lesser band could have made a career out of this type of sound, but I wouldn't be a fan.

"The Devil's Triangle" is also less like KING CRIMSON than the spookier washes of Ummagumma-era PINK FLOYD (which I do like very much). I suppose this is where instrumental epics from "Lark's Tongues" to "The Sheltering Sky" began, but I'm still tempted to skip it, except that it provides such a wonderfully contrasting lead-in to the final "Peace- an End". The album is tied together- or given contrast- by these short, inter- related segments, and I'm sure someone can come up with a good reason for them being here, but to me they're mainly throwaways that fail to provide a structure to a disjointed and not fully-realized conceptual experience (and this coming from a guy who loved "Tales from Topographic Oceans"!).

It pains me to be so critical of a KING CRIMSON release, but honestly I cannot recommend this even to casual fans of the band, let alone to newcomers. There's just not enough essential material here; it's too much like ITCOTCK and shows only brief hints of the queasy experimental majesty of "Lizard". On the plus side, it's much less shrill and brittle than ITCOTCK and the "Peace" segments are an intriguing prod to contemplation. And it goes without saying that the worst KING CRIMSON album (which "Wake" is definitely not; that dubious honor goes to a later release) is still better than the best that most other bands have to offer.

Report this review (#14814)
Posted Saturday, November 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Background - This album was a follow-up after the band's groundbreaking debut album "In The Court of The Crimson King". The making of "Poseidon" was remarked by the wave of change in the Crimson line-up. Greg Lake was ready to accept an offer from Keith Emerson to form a band that later we know it as ELP. Lake was asked to fill the vocal line in the recording of this second album. Ian McDonald (sax) and Peter Giles (bass) left the band and created a collaborative effort under McDonald & Giles. For the sake of recording "Poseidon", Peter Giles was asked to contribute in the album. On sax and flute, the band hired a session player Mel Collins - a gifted musician who in 1969 helped Circus as font man. After the recording of Poseidon Collins was offered by Robert Fripp as permanent member of the band. The band also added jazz piano player Keith Tippet. [1] So, even from this second album, it seemed that King Crimson is like Fripp, Sinfield and friends instead of a group.

Album Review

For me personally, this album's musical quality is at par excellent with its predecessor. The music is dark with a combination of rock, jazz, classical influence and avant-garde. The album opens with an ethereal voice of Greg Lake in "Peace - A Beginning" that also ends the album. The voice is that soft so that when the intro of "Pictures of A City" comes into play, it created a shock impact - volume wise - as we tend to put high volume due to quiet voice of opening track "Peace - A Beginning". This second track comes suddenly with a hard driving rhythm, full of energy music, in the vein of "Schizoid Man". All music instruments, dominated by sax and guitar, form a complex musical textures but they produce excellent harmony. Lake's "almost" distorted vocal - as in the tradition of "Schizoid Man" - enters the scene energetically. I observe how powerful the drumming work of Michael Giles in this track. I absolutely agree with the quote in Record Mirror 16 May 1970: ".,some really incredible drumming - Mike Giles must be one of the best rock drummers around." [2]. The guitar effects created by Fripp create a distorted sound and drastic move from low to high register. Amazingly, this effects have even made the song much stronger in term of sounds and composition. No doubt, this track is a masterpiece!

The band brings us to quieter music with "Cadence and Cascade" in mellow style with classical influence. This time the voice is filled by Gordon Haskell. It opens with a simple acoustic guitar fills followed with Lake-like vocal line. The melody of this track is so catchy and memorable - it reminds me to "I Talk To The Wind" of ITCOCK. Noticeable instruments used despite acoustic guitar and piano is flute. The flute sound played during solo and as accompanying sound of voice line is really catchy. Some vibraphone sounds are also used to accentuate end of the bars. Top notch composition!

The title track "In The Wake of Poseidon" starts of with a subtle sound of mellotron accompanied with acoustic guitar. Again, the band has created a killing melody thru this track. Try to observe how Lake voice enters the music right after opening mellotron sound. Wow! It's so catchy, my friend! It touches my heart really. The soft mellotron sound at background with dominant acoustic guitar and powerful drumming have made this track so great. This track reminds me to "Epitaph" of ITCOCK album. It's not the same. But, the musical nuances created by both of them share similar soul (of Crimson's music). By the way, on drumming, I like the rough sound it produces. Another great composition by the band.

"Peace - A Theme" demonstrates an acoustic guitar work that provides a solid laying ground for the next hard driving rhythm track "Cat Food". Composed in a strange manner, this track projects a perfect marriage between rock and jazz but not in the vein of typical fusion music we've heard frequently. Lake delivers his voice with power accompanied with improvised guitar work and unique piano sound. The bass line is also dynamic and characterize the soul of this track. The music is very original. "The Devil's Triangle" is a relatively long instrumental piece that is suitable for film scoring. The mellotron is used in subtle way combined with piano and sax in an avant- garde style. This is probably the least accessible track compared to other tracks of this album.

Overall Conclusion : It's a masterpiece album. As far as rating I would give a 4.5 out of 5 rating considering the wave of influence this album has created on later development of progressive music. Keep on progging! - GW, Indonesia.

Personal Note : With a current situation of national disaster of tsunami in Banda Aceh city of Indonesian Archipelago where the city has totally ruined; 80 thousands people have lost their lives, the song Pictures of A City seems like a perfect outfit of the situation. It was exactly what the song was all about: "Sinfield maps out a dystopian vision of the modern city, riven with chaos and inevitably down into ruin and loss." ([1] page 89). If last week "Epitaph" was the theme, this week is colored with "Pictures of A City" and "In The Wake of Poseidon". Very sad situation. Sorry for connecting this review with our situation down here in South East Asia. Personally, music (especially prog and classic rock) has always colored my experience through a passage of time in my life. Of course, it's different with your situation.


[1] "In The Court of King Crimson", Sid Smith, Helter Skelter Publishing, 2001 (reprinted 2003). [2] Sleeve note of album CD, 30th Anniversary Edition, HDCD, 2000, Virgin Records Ltd.

Report this review (#14816)
Posted Sunday, January 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Simmilar to their previous album, this one's a bit worse but it's not bad at all: "Pictures Of A City" has the same style of "Schizoid Man" but it's not on the same level, while the title track borrows from "Epitaph", and "Cadence And Cascade" is simmilar to "I Talk To The Wind", but they aren't as good as those. "Cat Food" is a nice weird insane rocker, and "The Devil's Triangle" is an instrumental that pretends to be "scary" which I don't really enjoy . Those are the only great differences with their debut. Oh, and those "Peace" acoustic things, which are unnecessary, although "A Theme" is nice. If you like "In The Court..." you might love this one.
Report this review (#14817)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not as good as the fantastic "Court of the crimson king", but still worth having! The "Peace" themes are just useless, but the rest is very good! Especially "Pictures of a City"! If you are a Crimson fan, you should buy it! If not: Stay away for a while!
Report this review (#14818)
Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I bought this album shortly after ITCOCK and again it took me a while to get into it. Some songs are again easy to love, others have more hidden gems to be uncovered only after repeated listenings. Not as good as ITCOTCK and fairly reminiscent to it in overall sound, there is a more jazzy approach to the songstructures. It is a nice album that fits in every prog collection.

Peace,a quiet intro Pictures of a city, continuing the heavy symphonic sound as created on ITCOCK, with frantic playing and singing. one of the better songs on the album Cadence and cascade, a soft ballad, Gordon Haskell, the substitute for Greg can't really convince on the vocal line, some nice flutes and keyboards, but nothing really exciting happening In the wake of Poseidon, A great song, somewhat reminescent of Epitaph in structure and sound, heavyly symphonised. Peace - A theme, a nice accoustic guitar part, very mellow and slow, makes a nice interlude. Cat food, a jazzy song, with some nice moments. The devil's triangle, a very slow build up, becoming more and more powerfull, great hypnothising instrumental passages, with franticly incoherent structures creating a heavy symphonic atmosphere, the best song on this album IMO. Peace, closes the album in peace.

Overall I liked the album very much, but not enough to be considered a masterpiece. Greg doesn't convince as he did in ITCOCK, the intrumentalists are again great. For those who like ITCOCK it is definetly a worthy successor, and you'll probably like it. For those who haven't heart ITCOCK, listen to that one first. Recommended, but not essential

Report this review (#14822)
Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This was the album that had to do the dirty job of following the groundbreaking "In the Court of the Crimson King" - some album had to do it, anyway. I am amongst those who enjoy "Poseidon" more than " In the Court", mainly because it feels more cohesive as a whole, and also because there is a higher degree of musical diversity and frontal energy. Taking a closer look to details, it is obvious that Fripp, without McDonald by his side and Lake and Giles having become just session partners, took his chances with the first part of the "Poseidon" repertoire. He made it pretty much parallel to its "In the Court" counterpart, and in some ways the new stuff can't seem to stand the comparison. 'Pictures of a City' is not as nerve-cravingly incendiary as the emblematic '21st Century Schizoid Man', the poetic beauty of 'Cadence and Cascade' doesn't equal the eerie magic of 'I Talk to the Wind', and the title track is not as compelling as the ravishingly majestic 'Epitaph'. But on the other hand, the way I see it, the three following observations can't be disputed: 'Pictures' exposes a more mature approach into the realms of jazz rock; 'Cadence' displays a genuine glimpse of serene melancholy in its bucolic motif, creating an irresistible intimate ambience; and 'In the Wake of Poseidon' shows some of Giles' best drumming ever, a Lake possessed by passion on his sung parts, and a very brilliant Fripp on acoustic guitar, too. Generally speaking, Sinfield has grown as a lyricist, becoming more Baroque and multi-referential - a factor that helps the band to enhance and organize more properly its artistic ambitions. It was Lake himself who kicked off the album with his vocal solo version of 'Peace', approaching like a soft rivulet before 'Pictures' starts bursting out like thunderbolt. The same motif is picked up by Fripp's classic guitar for the start of the second half of the album: in this instrumental version, the evocation becomes less romantic and more solemn. Then comes a not so solemn jazz-oriented ode to fast food, which is ruthlessly regarded by Sinfield as "not even fit for a horse". The sensual mood provided by the instrumentation is given a burlesque twist by both the lyrics and the R'n'B melodic lines: pianist extraordinaire Keith Tippett displays his mastery in full swing, offering a top-notch companion to Fripp's guitar leads, while Giles continues to be as brilliant as always. This piece was co-written by McDonald, so you can tell for sure that the band was actually going toward the direction intended during the last half of 1969, regardless of the fact that the original line-up was slowly falling apart and became practically non-existent for the recording of "In the Wake". Next comes the instrumental master opus 'The Devil's Triangle', pretty much based by Gustav Holst's "Mars", but developed in a more dramatic way, becoming quite sinister, wicked, aggressive, and for the last section, massively dissonant and chaotic. Nowhere before now had the mellotron sounded so devilish: it's almost unbelievable how its magnificent, oppressive walls-of- sound make the martial rhythm pattern fade into obscurity in many passages, and also blanket a guitar solo or two. The final moments are a pure manifestation of sheer destruction and the mayhem that comes with it. But immediately after the concluding cascade of mellotron flutes, here comes a final moment of reflection: the second reprise of 'Peace', performed by the marriage of Lake's voice and Fripp's classical guitar, gives a message of hope for recovery and reconstruction. In conclusion, "Poseidon" manages to surpass "In the Court" by following partially in its footsteps and taking the band's ideology to a further level - 4-4½ stars for this gem.
Report this review (#14823)
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I discovered this gem at the record store the other day, and not being a big KC fan, decided to pick it up. At the time, I owned In The Court of the Crimson King and Discipline, neither of which really excited me. This album, on the other hand, is an album that will see many a spin on the turntable.

For starters, what a fantastic album cover! Although the CD version may not be as mesmerizing, the vinyl gatefold version of this 1970 recording is amazing. The cover art is fantastic! Truly a predecessor to other great prog rock album covers á la Roger Dean. This album is truly a fun experience. ITWOP sees Crimson flexing its creative muscles, employing elements of jazz, classical, and avant-garde styles throughout. "Pictures of a City" and "Cat Food" see KC churning out some great grooves while still employing Fripp's "devices". My favorite piece on this album is the title track, "In the Wake of Poseidon." Similar in many ways to "In the Court...", King Crimson truly explores the symphonic grandeur of early progressive rock. Nicely bordered by the three segments of "Peace", ITWOP is a great listening experience. I shy from rating this album as a five star album because of its striking similarities to In the Court. Some segments of "The Devil's Triangle" lack direction as well, and find the band rambling on for minutes at a time for the sake of having another 10+ minute song be on the album. Despite this, ITWOP is another great addition to any prog collection. Recommended.

Report this review (#14824)
Posted Sunday, February 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Man With Hat
Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
4 stars It sounds like i heard it before....This is an interesting outing by King Crimson. They have created an album that is very similar to their first. Pictures of a City is very similar, at least in the beginning and some of the middle, to 21st century Schiziod Man and In The Wake Of Posiedon is eerily similar to Epitath. Cadence and Cascade is not really the same, except for the fact that it is a quite slower song that follows the first power-song. The Devil's Triangle sounds very little like In The Court Of The Crimson King, excpet for the part where they use the sound from it. Also included are the "Peace Trio" and very excellent Cat Food. Cat Food is reason enough to buy this album. Despite all the similarities, it has those certian elements that make it its own entity. DO NOT dismiss this album as a carbon copy of ITCOTCK. This album should be listened to and appreciated by all who are prog fans.
Report this review (#14836)
Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I actually enjoyed this album more that their first one! I think that their musical ideas have been matured, and the compositions are a bit better. "Pictures of A City" is in my opinion much more interesting aggressive song than the "21st Century Schizoid Man", and "In The Wake of Poseidon" is better symphonic ballad than those which are on the first album. Also the idea with "Peace" tunes is nice, and the covers are more tasty. But surely, this is very similar album in structure and style to it's predecessor.
Report this review (#14837)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Initally I was turned off by this album, I was only interested in the essential KC. Then I picked this album up a week or two ago, and I decided that I was wrong. This is a great album, though not as great as... say... Red.

Every song on this album fits perfectly. Pictures of a City is essentially the "21st Century Schizoid Man" of the album, but it has a unique sound that is truly great. In the Wake of Poseidon is the "In The Court of the Crimson King" of the album, with Bob Fripp's Mellotron leading the way. But the real gem of this album is the Devil's Triangle. The first time I listened to this, I was awe-struck. A jazzy instrumental that really adds a true ending to the album (Although Peace- An End is the actual album closer).

The only thing I didn't like was Cat Food. I was never really excited about that song. It seems like filler and a good excuse for a single to me, but that really doesn't bother me because it's on an album with so many other great songs. Another thing I don't like is that is seems like they were going for ITCOTCK 2, with songs similar to the predecessor. There is a lot of potential in this album, I just don't see it, I guess. This should be one of the last albums to collect if you're aiming to complete King Crimson's catalogue. Despite the strengths of the album, it just is weak in comparison to it's predecessor and its successor. 2.5/5.

Report this review (#14838)
Posted Saturday, April 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Now, I gave this album at first 4 stars because it is, without a doubt, not a masterpiece, but it is not nearly as bad as some people make it out to be. Of course, it is a very close copy to the debut, but it stands on its own. This is the last Crimson album on which Greg Lake appears, and the first album with the Giles brothers rhythm section. Lake, of course, sings greatly, and the Giles brothers are incredible on their respective instruments (Peter on bass, Michael on drums). Keith Tippet provides some... interesting... piano on the album, and Fripp, as always, is outstanding.

21st Century... I mean, Pictures of a City: Great, great song. When I first heard it, I knew it was going to sound like 21st Century Schizoid Man, but I was still shocked at the similarities. In the middle section, they both have repeating stopping-and-starting riffs. So alike, but Pictures stands on its own, though still not as good as Schizoid Man.

Cadence and Cascade: Now, some people compare this to I Talk to the Wind, but the only real similarity I see between the two is the fact that they are mellow songs appearing after more upbeat songs. Other than that, it is a different song altogether. This is the first song on which Gordon Haskell sings for King Crimson, and he does very well. In fact, I was talking to my friend not too long ago, and he mentioned that he knew this song, even though he doesn't know prog. He loves it. Great acoustic song.

In the Wake of Poseidon: Well, the Epitaph/Court of the Crimson King of the album. The opening riff harks back to the title track of the previous album, while the verse is very reminiscent of Epitaph. However, this is a different song, and very well done. I have always loved the Crimson Mellotron, Fripp always has it used perfectly. Maybe the best song on this album.

Cat Food: Unique, unique, unique. No song like this one. Here is where the interesting piano enters the scene, but it is still very, very good.... even though it sounds like he is just banging on the piano. Different side of King Crimson, and very good as well.

The Devil's Triangle: One of the most haunting experiences ever. Taken from "Mars" by Gustav Holst, Fripp takes classical and has his way with it. He even adds in the Court of the Crimson King riff into it towards the end. Instrumental song, and extremely frightening.

I've excluded the Peace songs, just because there is no point in reviewing them. They're good and all, but they are just short songs that provide an intro, an interlude, and a closing.

No matter what, you do need to have this album if you know and like King Crimson and are a serious fan. Do not skip over it because everyone says it is a carbon copy of the previous album. 3.9 - 4/5 stars.

Actually, looking back, this is a 3.5 star album. I enjoy it a lot, but it falls under the "Good, but non-essential" category as opposed to the "Excellent addition to any prog collection" category.

Report this review (#14846)
Posted Thursday, May 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Their second album, on which the line-up from the debut album has changed on some accounts. In fact, the band generally was a mess in the first few years, but it has brought excellent music, strangely. It's a tad better than the debut album and explores some more ground. The changes are marked with Cat Food, a strange jazzy song with dissonant piano which actually became a small hit in Holland and Devil's Triangle, which is the first of many lengthy, exploring instrumentals in a long line. It's also one of the eeriest tracks ever, starting with a long build-up and eventually going through all kinds of evil-sounding changes and weird sounds. Much of the other tracks essentially replicate the sound from the debut, but in a more delicate and refined way. The 30th Anniversary Remaster contains 2 bonus tracks in the form of the single edit of Cat Food and it's excellent, fiery flipside Groon, and these sensibly appear 1 minute after the rest of the album. This album is highly recommended for people familiar with the Bruford-Fripp-Cross-other line-up and wanting to delve into the earlier stuff.
Report this review (#14849)
Posted Wednesday, May 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Now don't get me wrong, this is a very good album, decent follow up to an altogether masterpiece and strong piece of work. However "In the Wake of Poseidon" has some serious issues which I am sure anyone who has listen to this album and the debut can recognize. I am not the first reviewer to adress this.

The clues are there from the start, another album with a title that goes "In the ... of ...". This album offers some very good pieces yet, from the very first listen it is evident that this is a complete rehash of the debut album.

The various peace themes on the album are similar to the intro of "21st century Schizoid Man". These pieces are very quiet, short and gloomy much like the intro part of the first album. This then leads into quite a loud and long winding experimental piece. "Pictures of a City" has very unsubtle similarities in structure and sound to the incredible debut tune that kicked off King Crimson as we know it. Pictures is good but has nothing on Schizoid Man.

Now you may remember the debut album leading into a mellow ballad like track (i talk to the wind), this is very much the same case on this album. Similarly with "Pictures of a City", this is a very good song, yet it does steal from "I Talk to the Wind", perhaps less noticeably than the way Pictures of a City steals from Schizoid Man.

In the Wake of Poseidon carry's on these issues as it is a complete blag from the title track of the first album. These 3 tracks in a row have confirmed that this album definetly has some troubles with originality. By now it is kind of tedious just how much it sounds like the debut. Still very good written pieces but this album is lacking in anything new to offer. I think King Crimson do manage to get away with it though, after all they are young, new to the rock scene and still finding their way through new material.

Fortunately, the remaining tracks on this album, "Cat Food" especially, do sound very original and are more interesting pieces. Overall this album could possibly be a very flawed masterpiece. The music here is very good and I would recommend this album to any KC fan, however it's lack of much new stuff to offer really is a problem on this album and leads to an overall 3 stars out of 5. Luckily, King Crimson's next albums offer much more original and new sounds, though this did cost them constant line-up changes. In the Wake of Poseidon marks itself as Greg Lake and Michael Giles would be part of King Crimson.

Report this review (#37848)
Posted Monday, June 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I think this album is really good, and while the people who say that it is a mirror of the debut are right to a small extent, that doesn't make this a bad album. I love how the 'Peace' sections run throughout the album, and they are all great with great vocals (except Peace- A Theme, which is instrumental).

Pictures of a City, while similar in music and lyrical themes to Schizoid Man, is good in its own unique qay, although the middle section can get boring after a while.

Cadence and Cascade, which doesn't feature Greg Lake on vocals, is great nonetheless, with some great guest vocals from Gordon Haskell. Very melodic and emotional. While some people say it is similar to I Talk to the Wind, I think this is a tad better.

In the Wake of Poseidon is the best song on the album. Featuring great mellotron, acoustic guitar, vocals, melodies and truly outstanding drums, this song, while slightly simlar to Epitaph, is still great and pretty unique if you ask me.

Cat Food is tied for the worst song on the album. It would be pretty good except that the piano keeps churning out these disgusting chromatic sour notes, but the end of it makes up for it. I also don't like the lyrics of this one.

Devil's Triangle is the other contender for worst track. It starts out with great mellotron, and it sounds really good, but after you've listened to 8 plus minutes of no vocals scary sounding repeatitiveness, it gets kind of boring. The ending is good though.

So no song is truly bad, but this album is not as consistent as the debut. Its still worth a buy though. Highlights are: Pictures of a City, Cadence and Cascade, In the Wake of Poseidon, and all the Peace sections.

Report this review (#38246)
Posted Friday, July 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars King Crimson's second album is very much like the first. There are new members hear, and some old ones are replaced. It's structured very much like the first, except for the Peace themes coming in at the beginning, middle, and finally completing at the end. It's an interesting structure, but the rest of the album is a little too much like the first. Pictures of a City is similar to Schizoid Man in many ways. Cadence and Cascade (the weakest song on the album), seems to fill I Talk to the Wind's spot, and In the Wake of Poseidon fills Epitaphs spot. Unfortunately, none of these songs are as good as their predecessors, still really good, but not as good. Side two opens with the most original track on the album, Cat Food, a jazzy number reminiscent of Steely Dan. The Devil's Triangle is the experimental track. It is actually adapted from Gustav Holst's Mars. It starts off extremely quiet, forcing you to turn up the volume, but gradually gets louder and more chaotic. King Crimson, in their first album, has a very dark and unsettling sound to it, and this one simply gets black at this point. It's not the blackest King Crimson has ever gotten (in fact they seem to get blacker as time goes on), but it is certainly the blackest point on this album. This is definitely the best track on the album, but can be very unlistenable at times. You have to be in a certain mood to experience this. When the final part of Peace comes in, it is both welcome and beautiful after the opening of the depths of hell that was the Devil's Triangle.
Report this review (#38748)
Posted Thursday, July 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I enjoy this album more than In The Court... and I'll tell you why. Poseidon has more songs on it that are just more interesting. Epitaph and Moon Child are nice songs, but there's too much jazzy fluff that's not on this album. Cat Food is a great song with jazz influences that are certainly not fluff. The Devil's Triangle is a stupendous instrumental piece that just never quits. I wish it was twenty minutes long. Pictures of A City seems to be a little bit of a knockoff of Schizoid Man, but is different enough to make it worthwhile.

All in all an utterly marvelous albums in all ways possible.

Report this review (#39155)
Posted Monday, July 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars King Crimson's second album is a very excellent one. I think it does not beat their first, but then I understand people who claim they think it does. "Pictures of a city" somewhat looks like "21st century schizoid man" in my opinion and I remember I used to find this very 'inspirationless'. I've got to say though that when I listened to it more often it became more and more different from "21st century schizoid man". Now I think it's a lovely track. Personally I think the best tracks are "Cat food" and "In the wake of poseidon", especially that last one. This album is incredible and no one should forget to check it out. I shouldn't forget to mention "The devil's triangle" which is also an excellent, though inaccessible, song that actually is among the other tracks I mentioned to be great. Great album, try!
Report this review (#39787)
Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars King Crimson follow up the masterful, groundbreaking In The Court Of The Crimson King with an album that somewhat clones many facets of the debut. Even the title becomes a mouthful and certainly looks like a chapter from the very same book. But like the first one In The Wake Of Poseidon is a strong album as Robert Fripp and company are still streets ahead of the pack as the 1970s take hold. The music on King Crimson's second release is even more extravagant than before with the title track coming across so very orchestrated and almost theatric with the mellotron just that bit overboard creating a massive drama for the nearly eight minutes duration. But the album does have a fine variation. "Cadence And Cascade" is a beautiful delicate and melodic ballad sung by Gordan Haskell, though the nature of his singing makes it almost difficult to hear, especially it coming after the rampart urbanesque "Pictures Of A City (including 42nd at Treadmill)" as sung menacingly by Greg Lake. A song which has its roots in "21st Century Schizoid Man" though not as dynamic as that which opened the debut album. The B side of In The Wake Of Poseidon is a very complex and dark affair, with the exception of "Cat Foot" which sounds like a typical 60s beat track except this is King Crimson so it does have an extra bite, but it does stand out like a sore thumb for all its humour, intended or other wise. "The Devil's Triangle" (which includes the sections a) Mesday morn b) Hand of Sceiron c) garden of worm) is a super fused mix of orchestrated noises and dark layers of sound with all the imagery of a feverish nightmare, does it work? I'm uncertain, but then I hardly give it the time to dissect it to be sure. Peace, An End"is more or less where we came in and serves to capture the whole scenario of the album in a story telling mood. In The Wake Of Poseidon would mark the end of this part of King Crimson as Fripp took the band, or the new variation of the band, in a new direction which would only partly follow the adventures contained within the album in hand. This is an interesting album but it never fully opens up like the debut.
Report this review (#41088)
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars It is 2nd album of KING CRIMSON. A profound work of masterpiece "Devil's Triangle" etc. that develop gramary development queues up in "Picture Of The City" that instrumental that conceived frenzy approaches and a symphonic title tune. Moreover, it will be able to be said that "Cat Food" is new one side of this group. And, a simple singing seems to retrace the memory of the bottom of the mind in childhood to "Cadence And Cascade" gently.
Report this review (#41244)
Posted Monday, August 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars In sports, they have this thing called sophomore slump. Basically, it means that after a great rookie season, an athlete chokes at their second outing because the pressure is too high. Everybody wants to find a way to have a great second season, even if you don't match the first year stats. The problem is you have to find a way to do so. In the cae of King Crimson, they found a way: do an album extremeley similar to their first one. In The Wake Of Poseidon finds a band full of internal feuds, members leaving, member coming aboard, member takign a higher role. It this mess Robert Fripp leads the way. Every song on this album is great, though never as groundbreaking as its predecessor, In The Court Of the Crimson King. Mostly everything is similar, but one thing is better than on the first album: the drum playing from Mike Giles. As good and mixed as he was on the first one, Giles finds a way to get better here, more subtle and he is just on. It showed where the band would have gone if it stayed intact. A great recommended album. 4/5
Report this review (#43487)
Posted Friday, August 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars First of all it's difficult to express a disinterested opinion about this album, because it belongs to a circumstantiated group of easier works which can be as much strident as pleasant at the end. So, if you compare it to their usual experimental and "standardized" art rock, you can find some defects inside; nevertheless here you can listen to the most versatile K.C: in fact They are able to meet the exigencies of the common listener and the tastes from the experienced musicians as well. Secondly I can understand the choice of the songs: as a matter of fact their typical "brainy" style (think of "Lark's Tongue in Aspic" or "Starless & Bible Black"), nowadays resembling the post rock genre, has been recently avoided by the media and that's probably the reason for which They tried to reach a certain compromise since the issue of their 2nd "derivative" album. Therefore, by thinking of their debut album, then considering some other works like "Island", "Lizard" and in a few circumstances even the complex "Red", I begin appreciating such a diverse kind of music. Each of them are often easy to get, along with this "In the Wake of Poseidon" and it's a surprise for me!!

Nevertheless We all know the destiny of such a controversial band like K.C.: so many times (still recently) They have changed their line-up, however seldom emulating their best ideas produced in the early seventies and moreover with uneven or unsatisfactory results. So probably They will be always kept away from the "stream", even though you could reply that in the early eighties there was a radical change regarding their music ideas. The compositions were often intricate and inspiring, also during the development of their accessible rhythmical songs (often resembling the style of Talking Heads!!) and the feedback of the market was guaranteed...well it's true, but such a different style was better fitted into the Electronic New Wave genre, successfully embraced by a wider crowd of fans and soon replaced by their most complex style, often uneasy to take. At the end, coming back to the songs of "In the Wake of Poseidon",like "Cadence and Cascade" or for instance the title track ( both quite remarkably arranged), were a coherent effort within an uneven contest. If you regard of their successful "milestone" entitled "In the Court of." and the way this latter album was almost "duplicated" once again, you can remain disappointed: there is a number of derivative songs indeed, all along the duration of their second album, except on a few harmonic passages at the guitar, but the sense of melody is a bit present anyway. Moreover, talking about the other episodes, I find a certain unevenness inside their main passages, sometimes being quite unnecessary (above all the fragment "Piece-a beginning" ) but after all, as already foreseen before, there wasn't a different purpose here. In fact you can't appreciate any strange harmonization or a new exploration concerning the whole range of music colours;nevertheless by regarding of all these reasons and therefore thinking of their early inspiring days, I point out that their intention was clear from the artistic point of view. In this manner the unique trouble was connected to such an extraordinary success brought about their debut album, which obliged Fripp & C. to be always "aligned" to the commercial exigencies of that time, without exaggerating their intricate harmonic solutions (especially if you consider the stirring atonal scales - an imprinting by Fripp -whose lack could be unsatisfactory.).But never mind, cause after all their creativity was developed and also better appreciated afterwards, when They chose a different "strategy"; so in spite of a certain sense of tiredness, which dramatically began to emerge in the recent gigs of the nineties, the accessible K.C. of "In the Wake of Poseidon" were not bad and you could even give this album another half star at least!

Report this review (#45923)
Posted Wednesday, September 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars Absolute dribble that ended up being nothing more than a reworking of "In the Court",and almost certainly some of the tracks may have been left over Jazzy scraps that didnt make their debut release."Cat food" is definatley the real gem here and is a crimson classic.The rest is aimless and totally forgetable.If Crimson needed an album to ensure statewide success after In the court,Poseidon was the one, but it was a failure.
Report this review (#46152)
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars After shaking the ground with their debut, Fripp apparently ran out of ideas or was feeling insecure if he and Sinfield could make something better or more different and then this album totally inspired by its predecessor came out. It is good, in fact very good, but it doesn't contain the same magic as Court. What we have here are somel songs that are mirror versions of the past ones and some few new numbers that fail to be too remarkable (Cat Food again? No thanks...).

The first track that reminds a bunch of "21st...", don't you think? Even the middle part is identical. In my opinion this is a very dry song that doesn't captivate me a bit. It seems that they didn't want to think too much on the production of this track - they could have made a jazzy number but with similar riffs surfacing the track and screaming lack of creativity or simply laziness. Things get better on an acoustic number called "Cadence and Cascade", which in my opinion doesn't remind me too much of "I Talk to the Wind" - there's not even flutes on here. This is the first appearance of Haskell on vocals, and he doesn't disappoint! He will lead the vocals on their next album and then become one of the most underrated people on music...come on the guy sings much better than Boz or Wetton, i sometimes like him more than Adrian Belew! Well, Greg Lake is still the master of the voice, though, and it is showed on the title track, that reminds me a bit of "Epitaph". It is a beautiful song with a beautiful intro, but the fact that it becomes drum-lead during the middle (notice the way the drums are played as a main instrument, it doesn't fit one bit with the song) breaks the magic a bit. "Devil's Triangle" is an interesting track but i don't know why they repeated the choirs from the last album's title track at the ending since it sounds awful but the rest of the song is indeed very interesting and shows that the band is great even on classical music (as they are on jazz, pop, rock, etc). The "Peace" themes give the album a FLOYDian cyclic effect, but i only like the second Peace song since the others reveal an annoying side of Greg's voice that i only found here. The acapellas sound awful, but the guitar interlude is very neat. "Cat Food" is a bit boring, and it is one of those songs that i rarely refuse to press the skip button.

Overall this is a good album but nothing special. Fortunately Lizard will arrive soon to show that they didn't depend of the debut to be great, in fact they got even better as their epic of same name with a rare appearance by JON ANDERSON will show.

3.5 stars

Report this review (#47377)
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars According to many prog fans, "In the Wake of Poseidon" is nothing more than a clone of the far superior "In the Court of the Crimson King". However, though obviously I recognise that KC's debut album is the real thing, I must also admit that "In the Wake..." is rather high on the list of my most-often played records.

It may be true that the album's strongest tracks, "Pictures of a City" and the title-track, are rather reminiscent of "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "Epitaph"; nevertheless, calling them imitations is grossly unfair to two excellent songs, both of which feature some of Greg Lake's best vocal performances. "In the Wake..." is an especially stunning piece of music, not only vocal-wise but also for its hauntingly beautiful, Mellotron-soaked coda. I am not too keen, though, on the single "Cat Food", as much as I like Sinfield's vitriolic lyrics and Lake's biting delivery. As to the mellow, lilting "Cadence and Cascade", with lyrics full of sophisticated double-entendre ("licked his velvet glove"... that's quite brilliant to me!), it is the only track sung by Gordon Haskell that I can tolerate. The lengthy instrumental "The Devil's Triangle", which is a reworking of Holst's "Mars" (though the composer is uncredited), starts off in an intriguing way but gets somewhat boring after a while.

"In the Wake..." is not by any means an essential masterpiece like its predecessor, but it is definitely a worthy addition to any prog record collection, as are all KC albums.

Report this review (#53993)
Posted Sunday, October 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars What do you do when you score with the greatest album of your generation? Do another one!

Indeed, this is certainly In the Court part 2...and as good as the original! Well, why would it be the contrary? Every tiny bit that made Court a masterpiece is well recycled. I'm using the term 'recycled' to say that the ingredients are the same, but just not in the same order.

BUT, not everything's the same. We have some new arrival with the pre-Lizard song Cat Food. A good blend of crazy writing and quirky lyrics. And also the instrumental Devil's Triangle who bears some ressemblance to Watcher of the Skies (genesis), thanks to the intensive use of the mellotron. The track's quite well represented by the title, as the anxious and claustrophobic atmosphere that gets thicker and thicker and thicker...and cacophonic (a prelude to Lark's Tongue perhaps?).

Honestly, I frankly think that Fat Lake's voice is THE one. It's crystal clear and it can be pushed to more ragged textures (Cat Food). Too bad, but I do enjoy my ELP records for that reason.

With Lake's voice, truck loads of Mellotron and some very adventurous tracks (Devil's Triangle), Wake of Poseidon is in my humble opinion AS good as Court of Crimson King since they're so alike. I know the comparison is hazardous for many!

The long forgotten twin brother of Court.

Report this review (#63169)
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Thanks to the Almighty that when I first listened to this album I was pure and sinless - centuries ago, and I made no association between "In the Wake of Poseidon" and previous and famed debut "In the Court of Crimson King". I simply sat and enjoyed the songs, but I expected to hear something like the band's debut and became a bit disappointed - things were not the way I wished they were. Many years later, ripe and sinful I heard it again and I liked although it was not my cup of tea (or coffee). Then I noticed more clearly the changes in the band's line-up and a certain parity with the other album; but still I continue liking this one.

The songs are: 'Peace - a beginning' a very short poem-song acting as an introduction to the nervous 'Pictures of a city', with a hectic start, with a jazz-like sound alternating with a kind of fusion melody and vocal, not easy if one is more interested in only cleaning the mind. Good appreciation only possible after continuous hearings.

'Cadence and cascade', where the atmosphere changes completely to a calm and soft rhythm, the vocal, not by Lake, is suitable and there are parts on piano, flute and acoustic guitar simply lovable. Now one may clean the mind!

'In the wake of Poseidon', the title-track is a very pleasant song, with good Lake's vocals and a very catchy refrain, backed by great mellotron tunes. Drums seem to be higher than the normal which spoils the overall atmosphere.

'Peace - a theme' adds few to the album but interestingly sounds much like Genesis' 'Horizons' - a song that I listened before this, and serves to introduce to another nervous song, 'Cat food', this time more rocky than jazzy with excellent singing and with guitars providing a hard background.

'The devil's triangle' does here what 'Moonchild' did in the previous album. It is tough, complex, experimental, but with certain amazing passages but I think that the general result is below the average; all that jam finishes in 'Peace - an end', with prayer-like vocals closing the album.

King Crimson is surprising as ever, the musicianship is fine, the production is fair and for each new listening there's always something new not gathered previously. I recommend to hear and hear again and while hearing to catch the cover and appreciate the agreable art work. I rate this work as being essential to understand King Crimson's history, but not a masterpiece, so it's an excellent addition to any prog collection. Total: 4.

Report this review (#65275)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, this will seem like sacralidge, but I consider this to be nearly equal to Court. Yes, it has a similar layout in terms of tracks. It also has a song I consider to be a signpost of the classic mid-70's lineup, Cat Food. And how can you not love Lakes vocals on the title track? Excellent stuff. Pictures Of A City certainly seems weaker than the Epitaph box versions, but I had not heard those when I first got into this album years ago. And I think it is a respectable version anyway, since even the original band was unable to capture their power and incredible playing on their one album, Court. Cadence and Cascade is perhaps a bit weak, and certainly no I Talk To The Wind. But Haskell gives it a nice variety in the vocal department, and it's not a bad song by any means. The Devil's Triangle is, to me, a much more interesting interpretation of Mars than the original band played (though theirs was more powerful and direct). Fripp was unable to secure permission to use the original name, so he had to recreate it as an original. I think he did a fine job. The Peace themes are very pleasant, and are the main divergence from the format of the first album. Overall, a very good album I think. A half star less than my rating for Court, so a solid 4 stars.
Report this review (#65357)
Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'm listening to it just now, and I think there are some good songs. Pictures of A City, well it's not so far from Skizoid Man... Cadence and Cascade is an interesting sweet song but not so good than you'd think... IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON, forth track, is amazing, wonderful. the other songs are strangely void and worthless, and I don't understand what Peace means... well, there is just one masterpiece here, the titletrack, all other songs are... well, worthy to listen to...
Report this review (#69843)
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album is great, but some of the songs are a little bit dischordant, and if youve heard King Crimson's debut album, some of the songs are bassically in the same format. Take the title track for example, In the Wake of Poseidon is an amazing song, but isnt it bassically Epitaph with differant words? Cadance and Cascade reminds me of "I talk to the Wind" if you really liked "In the Court. . ." then i would get this, but there are plenty of other crimson albums you should get instead. this is for big fans only
Report this review (#69846)
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don't see why people would hate this album as they loved "In The Court Of The Crimson King". "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is a nice follow-up... of course it's really similar, but it's almost as good in quality.

The "Peace" themes are ok - though I prefer the acoustic part to the two a cappellas. "Pictures Of A City" is very similar to "21st Century Schoizoid Man", and it's maybe the weakest track on the album as it really suffers the comparison both musically and lyrically. "Cadence And Cascade" is a nice ballad - a bit in the mood of "I Talk To The Wind" but still quite different. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is an awesome ballad - and here it really surpasses its model "Epitaph". "Cat Food" is one of the most original tracks I've ever heard - the music is jazzy and the lyrics are very funny (for something similar try listening to "Gary and Melissa" from King Missile). "The Devil's Triangle" has a very catchy melody with a really threatening first part (Merday Morn + Hand of Sceiron) - too bad the last part is boring (like the second part of "Moonchild").

Rating: 81/100

Report this review (#70461)
Posted Saturday, February 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars There are three kinds of songs on this record. The first one is unusual - Fripp signed Devil,s Triangle as his own composition, however it is changed version of "Mars" composed by Gustav Holst. Wasn't it too proud? I guess it was, but I don't bother. I can close my eyes and go to some fantasy place while listening this suite. All the pieces of "Peace" are to shoort to review them, but they give you time to breathe after listening the second cathegory of songs - beautiful ballads, such as the title song or "Cadence and Cascade". And my favourite type - groovy pieces, with jazz elements. You just can't help smiling listening to the introduction of "Pictures..." or whole "Cat Food". I checked it e few times - I can't. This album also gave to the world of music Gordon Haskell - who succeeded many years later, but with great style, as a wonderful remedy to all the highly introspective songwriters, like Cave or Waits. Good for Fripp - it was him, who suggested his friend Gordon to become a musician. Why only four stars? Of two reasons - first of all, "In the wake of Poseidon" is not a monolith - the songs are great, but the climate changes to rapidly. What is more - the record bases on the wonderful debute, Fripp hadn't invented anything new during the time between the first and the second album of King Crimson.
Report this review (#74879)
Posted Thursday, April 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the second album of King Crimson, fortunately with the same line up that in the first album.

After that masterpiece called ITCOTKC, the less that King Crimson could do was another masterpiece, sadly this is not the case, I have to say that I love this album and for me its really good, but I do not consider it as the same line as ITCOTKC, because it is less complex I think, and it could be sometimes a bit boring .

The great voice of Greg Lake is still here, that was a good point, and the jazzy influenced sound stayed here too, it has some powerful songs ,and some soft songs, a three piece song called Peace, but lets start . "Peace: A Beginning", a nice introduction, with only vocals, it is maybe a poem introduction I don't know, but its quite nice. But next. The best track of the album, a very creative song, "Pictures of a City" is one of my favourite songs of King Crimson, it is really amazing, again with a great mix of rock with jazz, here I love the work of Mel Collins with his sax, it makes that song very powerful and special, also it has the great voice of Lake, a superbly sound of guitar, and a great structure and arrangements , this song is really enjoyable step by step, I love it, another great point is that great lyrics, done by Peter Sinfield, a representative writer in progressive rock. "Cadence and Cascade", is it the real first song of Gordon Haskell as a vocalist of King Crimson?, well I don't know but this song is beautiful, an acoustic guitar sound, and this is entirely a light song, maybe like "I Talk to the Wind", with a nice flute and a delicious drums sound. "In the Wake of Poseidon", this track is great, in fact, this is one of that tracks which when you listen to the first note, you cannot leave it, I really get excited when I listen to that shocking sound of mellotron, I don't know, maybe im exaggerated , but I really love this beginning, my skin turns white, oh no , that mellotron again is killing me, great beginning, but well, the song is great with good guitar and some nice bass lines and great atmosphere in all the song. "Peace : A Theme" again like the first song, it could be a poem, but this time with a bit of music , interesting sound. "Cat Food", I have to be honest, when I listened to it for the first time, I swore that they were The Beatles, because the style of the vocal lines reminds me to Paul McCartney, but well, I made a mistake, this song is good, strange in some ways, maybe my less favourite. The seventh song and the most special song is "The Devil's Triangle", this is a clear example of what progressive rock is, the song is also progressing, it starts with a very silent sound, but little by little the sound is increasing, it has some great changes along the song, is really experimental, it has so different sounds, in fact in one moment of insanity it reminds me 2001 a space oddity , but well, then again it stars to increase and making a pure progressive sound, almost at the end of the song it has a peculiar sound of a musical box, and then, a scream of Lake in the song "In the Court of the Crimson King". Great song. Finishing the album is "Peace: an End".

So after all, I'm very please with this album, I think it is great, sadly after it Lake left the band, and inner problems and changes started since this album. Excellent addition to any prog fan, 4 stars!

Report this review (#76141)
Posted Monday, April 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am in the very small minority that thinks this album is equal to (or even, gasp, better than) KC's debut. Yes, it came second. Yes, Pictures of a City is worse than and a clone of 21st Century Schizoid Man. Yes (that's three yes's in one Crimson album review), the title track is worse than and a clone of Epitaph. However, I believe In The Wake tops In The Court pretty much everywhere else.

I believe the real meat of this album is on the second side. Cat Food and the nearly "Mars" are very underrated and two of the top twenty (or so) songs in the band's long catalogue. That's not to say the first side is bad, though Cadence and Cascade is slightly boring at points. The clones are very good too. I like the Peace tracks all around too.

In the end, this is in the top five KC albums in my view. Nowhere near LTIA or Red, but in the area with In The Court and Lizard. Four stars, maybe 4.25 if such a thing were allowed.

Report this review (#77186)
Posted Thursday, May 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I agree with most reviews about this album saying it's kind of "In the Court..." pt.II. Yet there is something from "In the Wake..." that does it more for me than "In The Court...". Better songs, better arrangments, a band getting better together, a direction more firmly established. I cannot think of a song I like less than others on this album, whereas some moments from In the Court, I find, are weaker. Sure enough, the album is built on the same "frame" it's predecessor was built upon, namely the order of songs, succession of moods, etc. But I think it's more an accomplished opus. Makes you wonder how Islands would have sounded if the same lineup played on it. 4 and a half stars.
Report this review (#77403)
Posted Sunday, May 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars It´s kind of a In the court II, ok, it is, but isn´t it a good thing? In my world, it is. Greg Lake sings more than I think it´s possible, always when I don´t listen to this cd for a long time, I get amazed by his performance in Peace and the title song. I strongly beleive after this album they got really worse, Lizard had its moments, Islands had some, too, but then they started to do crazy music that I really do not enjoy.
Report this review (#79669)
Posted Sunday, May 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The sequel to In the Court of the Crimson King has a similar name, a similar excellence but, sadly, a similar format.

This album would get 5 stars if it was not for their first effort. The only song that ressembles nothing to the first album is Cat Food which was meant to be a single of some sort. The epic agressive song is represented by Pictures of a City, the smooth and beautiful song is Cadence and Cascade, the Mellotron-heavy epic is In the Wake of Poseidon and the dramatic epic is the Devil's Triangle. It is indeed really similar to their debut only a bit less good. This album has its excellent moments though if we can stop thinking about the similarities.

The album is introduced with something new : a little smooth song about peace which will be a recurring theme. Then, the heavy song begins. Pictures of a city is a great piece with excellent saxophone and guitar playing. I really dig the sax melodies in this song. The vocals are really similar to 21st Century Schizoid man. Cadence and Cascade follows. I think it's the only copycat song in this album that I prefer to the original (I talk to the wind). Both are great but this one does something for me. In the wake of Poseidon is an excellent epic and, in my opinion, it rivals In the Court in quality. Greg Lake does his best vocal performance with King Crimson in this song. The Mellotron dominate this song thoughout only to give the guitar the spotlight in the middle part for a beautiful guitar/Mellotron interlude. The second movement of the Peace theme isn't long. It fastly changes into Cat Food which is the single song of the album. However, it's King Crimson so single doesn't mean absolute pop. This song features really interesting and original piano work from Keith Tippet and cool vocals from Lake. The following song is a favorite of mine. It features one my favorite Mellotron uses of all time. This song sounds so evil and intense at times, it gives me chills. It creates a wonderful haunting atmosphere. Oddly, the evilish theme of the album is followed by the end of the Peace theme.

If I would listen to my heart, I'd give this album 5 stars since it contains a lot of songs I'd rate as excellent but my stupid mind wins this time. I have to give at least a star less for his lack of originality. It's one of the only Crimson album I can say it lacks originality. It does sadly. 4 stars nonetheless for this recommended album.


Report this review (#81752)
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This second album from King Crimson wasn`t as good as the their first, IMO. Robert Fipp and Peter Sinfield became the only official members of the band for this album, which was recorded after Ian McDonald, Michael Giles and Greg Lake had left the band. Fripp and Sinfield, knowing abot the success of their first album, tried to repeat the formula. So, with Giles and Lake as guests, and with Peter Giles on bass and other guest musicians,they recorded this album. It still has good songs, but the sililarities with the first album are clear.

The best songs in this album are "Pictures of a city", "Cadence and cascade", " In the wake of Poseidon " and "Cat food".

In comparison, "The devil's triangle" sounds like Fripp and Sinfield were thinking "How we fill the rest of the time of recording for this album?" . This is a noisy song which sounds like an arrangement of Holst`s "Mars" from his work called "The Planets". The best things in this noisy song are the melloton sounds played by Fripp, but the long duration of this song makes them sound boring.

Michael Giles played the drums very well in this album, like he did in the first album and in the "McDonald and Giles" album recorded later with Ian McDonald. His drums playing is maybe the best thing in this album.

Report this review (#81763)
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars After 'Court' and having expected something even more mature and dramatic, this was a slight disappointment. Despite interesting material 'copy-paste' concept was too obvious, even glaring I would say. It seems like 'Cadence And Cascade' track has been inspired by 'I TalkTo The Wind' while 'In The Wake Of Poseidon' sounds pretty much as counterpart of the previous album title track. Distinct Crimson tune can be heard only on 'The Devil's Triangle' which is to me a real highlight of the album. However, later that same year King Crimson came with album which has been so anxiously awaited-a pure and superb sympho prog release.
Report this review (#85287)
Posted Monday, July 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I think it's a vast improvement over the previous record, regardless of Ian McDonald's departure. Ian is a virtuoso compared to Mel Collins, or at least in this album my point is taken; whilst Cadence and Cascade is a mellow, flowing and humble piece, Mel's execution, although not so horrible, is somehow weak, as if he felt overshadowed by Ian's virtuosity or simply went plain nervous playing with the same band that recorded the memorable Crimson King album. He improved a notch in the Lizard album, delivering that beautiful woodwind entry in the "Lady of the Dancing Water"; but no comparison with the marvelous talents of Mr. McDonald (if you have any shadow of a doubt, listen to him on Steve Hackett's "Tokyo Tapes" playing "I Talk to the Wind" and "The Court Of The Crimson King"... astonishing!). While the first album had an evident "gothic" feeling to it (considering that "King Crimson" was inspired by the german medieval character King Frederick, and that the title track of their debut album proves somehow to be a biographical piece of the same character), this album has more of a greco-roman imagery (obvious point!). Plus, I'm not sure about this, but I think that the similarities of both albums were intended, as Sinfield and Fripp suggested continuity; but mostly Sinfield, who wanted to show some kind of mirror or something of that sort between them.

Anyway, if you want me to sob and whine about the "copy-paste" job in this album's making, I won't please. Starting with the sound quality: the instruments sound more clearly and one could easily listen to each instrument as if they were playing separately and the sound and mastering overall is more fresh (despite of the irregular volume contrasts, between the 3rd and 4th track and, most of all, the 1st and the 2nd). Then, there's the themes involving the two albums: the first one involves themes concerning historical and political issues, while the second flirts with mythology (Poseidon, Mars). I do find certain similarities between them (as far as track sequence and song structure), but this album is lighter and less tight than it's predecessor, and the music seems to flow a bit more (maybe due to sound quality too); "Pictures Of A City" is less frantic than "21st Century Schizoid Man" and I consider "Poseidon" to be more embellished than "Epitaph", despite McDonald's absence with the woodwinds.

Now don't get me wrong, I consider Crimson King a very good album and one of the best debut albums of all time (and nothing can beat that title track, at least in the KC discography), but this is an improved version of the before mentioned, at least in the output sound and the subtle delivering, although they do share a certain commonness.

a 4 star

Report this review (#85464)
Posted Wednesday, August 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not their best it feels like Crimso are treading on the same ground, the Song In the Wake of Poseiden sounds almost identical to epitaph save the chorusy part. Catfood borrows too much from the Beatles song Come Together on Abbey Road, but Keith Tippets chaotic piano is intriging and used to great use on King Crimson's following album Lizard. The Devils triangle originally impressed me but I later found out it was a cover of Holst's Mars, still enjoyable but really is their any original material on this album? Well perhaps Candence and Cascade, not a bad mellow track but not a classic.

I do like Pictures of a city, but the instrumental and basic structure of this song borrows too much from 21st Century Schzoid Man.

But I will say this in the albums favor, there are better textures used in this album I like the added jazz elements as well as the brief piece a beginning and them the agressive trumpets at the beginning of Pictures, I also like the chaos music at the end of the Devils Triangle which influenced Van Derr Graff Generators music on H to He and Pawn Hearts. I've read somewhere that it was Robert Fripp's interntion to consolidate their previous album's sound (In the Court of the Crimson King) while hint at the next album (Lizard) . If this is what Fripp's vision of this album is he has succeeded, perhaps it was all preparation because Lizard is a massive leap in terms of sound for Crimson.

So this album gets three stars, not unlistenable and an evolution in terms of sounds and textures, but not essential for the reasons above.

Report this review (#86534)
Posted Friday, August 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars This album gets unfairly panned. Yes, it closely follows the formula of the previous album, but it stands on its own. I could even agree with many arguments as to why other albums are superior. There is one fact I can't argue with. This CD finds its way to my stereo more than any other KC creation. Why do I find it so appealing? It could be that I let it stand on its own. It also could be that in many ways, it improves on the debut. The Idea of the "Peace" theme helps to tie it together. "Cadence and Cascade" could be slightly more beautiful than "I talk to the Wind." "The Devil's Triangle" is far more successful, as controlled experimentation, than "Moonchild."

But, in the long run, all this doesn't really matter. This is a pleasure to listen to. They even inject some humor with "Cat Food" (don't be fooled, this is track is also a musical extravaganza). All of it is played with the excellence, and creativity you would expect from this group of pioneers. It takes you through every mood imaginable, and in the end you feel refreshed. It is an apt title, as you could liken it to a voyage over varied seas.

I love this band, and the earlier output should not be missed. Don't listen to the hype. Do yourself a favor, and judge it for yourself. You might be pleasantly surprised.

H.T. Riekels

Report this review (#87965)
Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars In The Wake of Poseidon was the second release of King Crimson, with some new members, and some old. What it turns out to be is a great album, with some of the most mellow, and yet some of the most chaotic passages of King Crimson's career.

''Peace - A Beginning'' is the song that starts off this album. It involves vocals by Greg Lake (None other) and fades out with some guitar notes. It's a rather quiet song, that makes the listener turn up the volume... only to get struck by...

''Pictures of A City'' which by many is seen as In The Wake's version of 21st Century Schizoid Man. It is a great song, with absolutely stunning drumming from Michael Giles and very cool guitar lines. The vocals are screamed, but unfortunately they don't share the same exiting and distorted sound that 21st Century Schizoid Man had. After the vocals, the guitar goes higher and higher, until the awesome jazzy middle section, sometimes even dual layered. The sax soon joins. It builds up and reaches a stunning climax, in which I get amazed every time. Then it evolves into a quiet, very jazzy section were the ride cymbal and bass guitar leads it forward. Some guitar playing by Robert Fripp makes it even more mellow. Again, it slowly builds up, with the guitar picking getting harder, the drumming faster and the bass louder. Then the vocals kick in again, and end this masterpiece, in the same way as 21st Century Schizoid Man (And that way is chaos).

''Cadence And Cascade'' then kicks in. It's a beautiful track, and the guitar is great. The vocals are soft and mellow, and they fit the mood for the song very well. The chorus is definitely one of the highlights of the song. The soft, exressive drumming, the beautiful guitar work, Greg's gorgeous vocals and the piano to close the chorus all work amazingly well together. At 02.20 a beautiful flute solo by Mel Collins kicks in, and makes me smile every time. The song then returns to vocals that work together with the flute, and the song has a small instrumental passage before closing up. And that leaves us with...

''In The Wake Of Poseidon'', that's the title track. And what a splendid title track! The song is heavily driven by loud, beautiful mellotron and some of Greg's best vocals ever. The guitar work is brilliant, and perhaps some of Fripps best acoustic pieces, and the snare drum is heavy yet fitting. The flute also kicks in to create this albums most beautiful song. The chorus is just like Cadence And Cascade in that it is so great that I just get amazed every time. After more beautiful vocals, Libra's Theme kicks in, which is the middle section of the song. It is amazing, and the mellotron is really put in the light here. With dashing chords, it plays together with Michael Giles' almost emotional drumming, and on top of it all Fripp's amazing guitar work. Again, the chorus comes in an instrumental way, and that doesn't make it worse. The mellotron delivers some of the most emitional chords of this album, followed again by Greg's amazing vocals. However this time, Robert Fripp plays around with string bends, and make really awesome sounds. The song goes instrumental again, and this time even better. It ends remarkably well, with the mellotron chords fading out. Then comes...

''Peace - A Theme''. This is one of Robert Fripps most emotional pieces, trust me. Very very beautiful guitar chords, and however the song may not be to complicated, it sure does move me every time. It's a very short song however, and sometimes I wish it was longer, since it is so beautiful. Amazing song. And here comes...

''Cat Food'' is unarguably the most jazzy song on the album. I just love this piece! Absolutely mad piano, so awesome. Greg Lake screams out the vocals loud and piercing, with distortion to. The bass is loud and leads the song over some clean electric guitar played by Fripp. The vocals are quite amusing to listen to, and very clever. The crazy piano playing tops up the verses while the bass makes your speakers bounce. The chorus is awesome again, and then comes an awesome instrumental section with acoustic guitar by Fripp, still crazy piano, and then comes that great chorus again. The last verse delivers the same great vocals and end with the lines ''Don't think I am that rude if I tell you that it's cat food, not even fit for a horse'' which moves into the most bluesy guitar solo Fripp ever did, with absolutely great bends and guitar notes. It ends with the a lot of piano notes spun together fastly, and some guitar chords. This leaves place for...

''The Devil's Triangle''. To me, unarguably the best track on the album. It's one of the most chaotic pieces by King Crimson (It's actually a ''cover'' of Gustav Holst's ''Mars'', done in a Fripp fasion). It builds up slowly, with ''nice'' mellotron chords, and hypnotic drumming. This section goes up until 01.55 where a haunting mellotron chords makes way for a chaotic passage with the same hypnotizing drumming and more ghostly mellotron playing. It evolves into different chord formations and chords overall, yet maintains the overall chaos surrounding the song. It fastly spools up, and at 03.25 exactly come groundbreaking mellotron chords, even louder and more aggresive than before. The absolut best section on the track. It's chaotic, hypnotic and aggresive. Everything that symbolizes what King Crimson would become (Larks' Tongues In Aspic). Some piano also joins in, with diminished chords that add to the experience. More and more effects kick in with the mellotron rising higher and higher in key. At 05.45 it goes back to low-key mellotron, and eventually turns into an aggresive, loud and almost scary climax at 06.30. Wind noises then kick in, followed by a clock ticking slowly, then there is quite. Then, at 07.26 comes chaos again, with new mellotron chords and faster drumming than before. Various sounds kick in between the different chords that reaches a climax at 08.30, followed by strange piano noises and sounds that I can't really put my finger on. The drumming moves away from the hypnotic pattern and goes into more free-form improvisation and the piano get's more chaotic than before. The drumming get's really fast until 10.12 where all instruments play together, with the choir from In The Court of The Crimson King singing the chorus from the song In The Court of The Crimson King. It ends with slow guitar notes, at 11.39 (The longest track on the abum). And here comes the closer...

''Peace - An End'' is another shortie, however this is gold. Since it combines Greg's beautiful vocals with the stunning guitar from Peace - A Theme. Greg follows the guitar for every note, and the lyrics are beautiful. At 01.12 comes the most beautiful section of the album, to me. It's so lovely and stunning. Incredibly well played.

Thank you so much for taking interest and time in reading this review! I hope this has helped your motivation of buying this album. Thank you again.

Report this review (#89585)
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, I'm yours for a dramatic and melancholy mellotron track, so the title track does it for me. Enough members have posted the obvious comparisons of certain tracks to "Court," so I won't bother. I give this one four stars (as I would Court) because its best tracks, Pictures of a City, the title track, and the whole Mars/Holst thing, while not as good as the best of Court, are right up there, and the weaker tracks (a relative term) are not quite as weak as those on Court.

While the band was in disarray in terms of personnel, there are still plenty of choice moments here. Lake's vocals are very strong, and Fripp is in usual form. Peter Giles plays some choice bass bits as well, especially on Pictures of a City. If Court is a 4.25-star, this is a 3.99-star.

Report this review (#92022)
Posted Monday, September 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars A great masterpiece for prog

so i hate to use the term sophmore jinx but this is a step down from in the court


but at the same time its an excellant follow up

at times like in the court yet very differant fripp and sinfield taking more lead in the direction WITHOUT IAN MCDONALD yet some credit given on the devils triangle a wild excursion of mini movements ala ravel,and holst with this new pattern of developement small themes within the whole work something fripp later tried with the league of crafty guitarists show of hands yet here peace being a reaccuring them dividing each section of this ,masterwork

"Peace - A Beginning" (Fripp/Sinfield) 0:49 "Pictures of a City" (Fripp/Sinfield) - 8:03, including: 42nd at treadmill "Cadence and Cascade" (Fripp/Sinfield) - 4:27 "In the Wake of Poseidon" (Fripp/Sinfield) - 7:56, including: Libra's Theme "Peace - A Theme" (Fripp) 1:15 "Cat Food" (Fripp/Sinfield/McDonald) - 4:54 "The Devil's Triangle" (Fripp/McDonald) - 11:39, including: "Merday Morn" "Hand of Sceiron" "Garden of Worm" "Peace - An End" (Fripp/Sinfield) 1:53

i like each simplistic folk classical styling of each of the peace movements this shows some of the original folky art rock connection to the earlier gile gile fripp period of this band also the introduction of the bolero ravel mars approach to composition you see later in lizard and larks tongues in aspic , three of a perfect pair , and the power to believe one interesting connection to this developement shows up on epitaph an early collection of live and rare tracks

Personnel Robert Fripp (guitars, mellotron and devices) Greg Lake (vocals) Michael Giles (drums) Peter Giles (bass) Keith Tippett (piano) Mel Collins (saxes and flute) Gordon Haskell (additional vocals on track 3) Peter Sinfield (words)

after the intro of peace we find a interesting followup to schitzoid man some of the "in the court of" formula in tact with heavy schizoid tunage "Pictures of a City" (Fripp/Sinfield) - 8:03, including: 42nd at treadmill followed by sweet cadance and cascade ala i talk to the wind and epitaph-ish in the wake of poseidon (complete with giles drum blow outs but no court of follow up! or moon child!) but the similartity ends there

now one track strikes me as interesting as this predates the soon exit of lake to form elp tippet a highly underrated painist improvisor and band leader from centipede another band fripp was connected with early on during crimson's history the other being vander graff generator on a tune called cat food a very strange yet alost elp-ish track that serves to get us ready for the bolero section of this album greg lakes serves up only his excellant vocal performances gordon haskell debutes only as a guest on cadence and cascade a sort of follow up to i talk to the wind an excellant flute solo ala i talk to the wind by mel collins fripp taking the lead mellotron roll and doing a fine job ! michael giles genious drumming a follow up to epitaph with in the wake of poseidon

WHAT I LIKE ALSO ABOUT THIS ALBUM IS THAT IT IS A PROPHETIC WINDOW INTO THE FUTURE DIRECTIONS OF FRIPP AND CRIMSON ! i see the beginning of crafty guitar larks tongues starless ,red and beyond a lot of cretive beginings plus picking up were " in the court" left off

I highly recommend this album

yours truly a pleasant symmetry

Report this review (#93401)
Posted Wednesday, October 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars this is another amazing effort on the part of crimson! Picture of a city (though similar to schizoid man) is a jazzy, menace of a song! Heavy distortion and sinister saxes power this song. Greg lakes vocal also add menace to the song. Next, cadence and cascade has some of the most beautiful vocals i've ever heard. After that is the mellotron drenched title track, reminiscent of epitaph. Next comes catfood, which is a little weird and out of place, but amusing nonetheless. After that comes one of my favorite songs of all time (I have really crazy musical taste), the devils triangle: a. mesday morn-slowly building menace of militaristic drumming and mellotron. Soon to come is b. hand of sceiron-a louder continuation of the intro adding musical layers of madness to make you quiver! Soon, the storm calmes, but your ship's equipment is broken! Your at the mercy of poseidon now! Next, out of the silence comes c. garden of worm-this the cacaphonic conclusion to this horror. Really cool basswork and some crazy sound layers in the backround! You'll even here a breif musical clip of in the court to remind one of yesterday. 4/5, but only because in the court came first. This is essential for any true crimson fan. Oh yeah, ther are also short 'peace themes' at the beggining, middle and end of the album. They help contain the concept of the album and add balance. Again, 4/5. Bravo fripp, never ceases to amaze, well, untill 1980(discipline)...
Report this review (#96203)
Posted Monday, October 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The essential thing with this record is that it has just one little fault: the incredible similarity, almost "clone-like", with the world-shaking debut In The Court Of The Crimson King. Yes, the chord progression in the title-track is basically the same as the one in Epitaph. Yes, Pictures Of A City is really close to Schizoid Man. And yes, Cadence And Cascade has a pretty similar feel to I Talk To The Wind.


To be honest, who cares?

The opener is not Schizoid Man, we all agree with this, but still it remains a heavy prog-rock damn jewel. Cadence And Cascade is just as beautiful as I Talk To The Wind, magical and nostalgic. And In The Wake Of Poseidon is far better than Epitaph, in my humble opinion. The emotions that the two songs evocate are both strong, intense and everlasting, but In The Wake has a chord variation (when Greg sings "Balance of change, wordl on the scales") that just struggle me everytime, and I sincerely prefer the melodies of this one. Obviously we're talking about two masterpieces, but In The Wake Of Poseidon is my personal favourite. For the rest, the intro, interlude and ending Peace has once again a beautiful melody and a simple and catchy chord progression, and I just love it. And The Devil's Triangle is a sort of angushing, hypnotic and dark 5/4 Bolero, marvellous, majestic and genial.

Probably the only fault of the record is Cat Food, which I personally find pretty ugly, except for the nice part when Lake goes "No use to complain, if you're caught out in the rain", but it doesnt't change the fact that "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is a stunning second output from King Crimson. Highly reccomended!

Report this review (#99546)
Posted Sunday, November 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "...I am the story, I never end..."

And so it is. History flows like a river and, sometime, repeats. In the Wake of Poseidon is one of the most charismatic albums in all my own discography and I personally don't care if it's too similar to the previous miliar stone In the Court of the Crimson King. Music is the most importantr thing. Prog in particular. And In the Wake... is all any die hard prog fan needs to satisfy his his ears. Ok, it's not a masterpiece in the purest sense of the word but very near to that and still nowadays an exciting experience from an almost same line up of the previous glory.

So the album is obviously part of the so called first era of Crimson, still symphonic enough for what it means. "Pictures of a City" is simply an amazing track and has already all it's necessary to be a Crimson's classic: warm and passionate vocals from an inspired Greg Lake, wonderful sax by Mel Collins, a superb rythm' session and a remarkable work on guitar by mastermind, Mr. Fripp. A strong achievement for the year 1970!

"Cadence and Cascade" is a nice acoustic tune, very well sang with delicate piano and flute leading the way out. A perfect intermezzo. Very enjoyable.

"In the Wake of Poseidon" opens magnifically with strong mellotron' sound soon decaying into the warm vocals of Lake and then re-appearing and building a deep and wonderful atmosphere. The song's structure is not complex but is still an appreciable effort from the band. This sound is memorable! Maybe, the most favourite of mine.

"Peace - A Theme" is a short instrumental (acoustic guitar) interlude that introduces the listener into a more intimate state of mind, a contemplative tune that opens for the following "Cat Food" also released as a single. An excellent track with a more conventional structure but improved and imbellished by rapid and quasi-jazzy piano movements and a "Beatles" light feel all around it.

The most serious part, then, to close the record: the memorable "The Devil's Triangle" which is simply the most evil, dark and anguishing instrumental track ever offered by Fripp and co. Basically isn't also complex: an obscure mellotron's marching at the sound of drums from behind as it was an ancestral march to the final battle or destination. The theme goes on loudly and loudly until it fades out for the first time and return more powerfully and evil than ever until it reach pure nonsense and disturbing musical images. An impressive experience for sure and an historical musical document!

"Peace - An End" closes the circle where it all happened.

In the 30th anniversary remastered edition there are also two bonus tracks: "Cat Food" single version and the (good) b-side "Groon".

What could I say? This record seems to me a little bit underrated from the legions of the reviewers here. This album really deserves a four stars treatment, at least!

4.25 the correct evaluation.

Report this review (#104606)
Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The o so hard second album. Especially if your debut was one of the best albums that had ever been made so far (and still is in the eyes of many)! On top of that: the band was falling apart.

Still King Crimson put out one heck of an album. Many people rate this not so highly because it's basically a copy of "In The Court Of The Crimson King", and while this is mostly true, isn't it a real accomplishment to make a great copy of one of the greatest albums ever made?

This album also contains one of my favourite KC songs "The Devil's Triangle", a dark and hypnotic song that I never seem to be getting tired of!

As pointed out before, this album, just like their debut, also has a weaker song. In this case it's "Cat Food", a far too poppy sounding track for this album.

Nevertheless, this is so underrated but I do recommend this to all. One of my KC's faves!

Report this review (#106642)
Posted Monday, January 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Transition.

This album runs along many of the same premises as the band's famous debut, but with less favorable outcomes. The album is much mellower, much softer, and although that isn't a bad thing, it lacks a certain bite to it that other prominent King Crimson material has.

If you are familiar with ITCOTCK, you will notice some similar musical lines here incorporated into the songs. I wouldn't go as far as to say they ripped everything off their debut, but the similarities are there and noticeable if you are familiar with the material. Songs like Cat Food stand out here as just poorly designed songs, and seems perhaps to have been constructed by Lake, who went to take on his pointless songs to ELP.

The best track here is the instrumental and eerie album closer (well, except for Peace), which sounds the freshest and is the most diverse. It is their best controlled experimentation effort until Larks Tongues. Overall, a solid album with a few letdowns. I would come to this later in one's efforts to collect KC material. For those who would have enjoyed a more toned down In the Court... this album will be for you.

Report this review (#107646)
Posted Tuesday, January 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don't know, many say it's a carbon copy of ITCOTCK, but I think I enjoy this album more than the former. I think it's less cold. Some minor lineup changes, mainly the absence of wind master Ian Mcdonald. However the talented Mel Collins fills his place.

The songs strangely relate to In the Court, Pictures of a City/Schizoid Man, Cadence & Cascade/I Talk To the Wind, In the Wake of Poseidon/Epitaph, Devils Triangle/Moonchild (Mostly due to both not having much content)

But musically, it is a superb album and the similarity factor doesn't ruin it for me. My favourite is probably the title track, it has such a great epic quality to it. "Devil's Triangle" to me is mostly filler, it is not unlike ELP's Abaddon's Bolero, that it is a riff repeated for the length of the song, with minor differences in sound. The quirky "Cat Food" is a welcome addition, I haven't quite heard Crimson like that since.

If you listen to this album with the premeditation that it's a clone of ITCOTKC, you will enjoy it less than if you woud have taken it as a unique release. Reccomended for fans of the first!

Report this review (#108737)
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars Ok, so McDonald and Giles leave the band to form their own, but Giles still contributes to this recording, while Lake also leaves to join Emerson and Palmer, but he also contributes his vocals to this record. Added are session players Collins, Haskell and Tippet. As far as the music goes, it is very similar to "In The Court Of the Crimson King". I guess if that formula worked once they figured they would try it again. Well the results are not the best, as this is a pale comparison. Having said that, I would also say this is a good record.

It is kind of interesting that they use the "Peace" songs at the start, middle and end of this record. Like in later years with the theme that runs through "The Power To Believe" album. The three "Peace" songs add up to less than 3 minutes of peaceful music. "Pictures Of A City" reminded me so much of "21st Century Schizoid Man" and I don't think you'll hear Greg Lake sing any more aggressive then he does on this song. The drumming is excellent and also the sax. But check out the guitar of Mr.Fripp 4 minutes in.

"Cadence And Cascade" is an acoustic song with light drums, piano and flute with Gordon Haskell singing. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" opens with mellotron and drums. Awesome intro ! This is a slow paced song with incredible vocals from Mr.Lake. And in my opinion the best song by far on this album. "Cat Food" has some crazy piano and is a silly song that reminds me of THE GUESS WHO for some reason. Not a fan. "The Devil's Triangle" is a mellotron feast ! It gets a little experimental later on and I like it a lot.

For me this album is a huge drop off in quality when compared to the debut so, 3.5 stars for this one.

Report this review (#111136)
Posted Thursday, February 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Over the years both critics and the audience were split over the role this album had in CRIMSON's catalogues. Some strongly criticised its lack of originality and heavy similarity with the previous, remarkable debut "In The Court...". Other tried to be more in favor of "Poseidon", saying that if the formula was good on the first why should they change on the second album.

No doubt, when you listen to "Pictures of the City" or "Cadence and Cascade" you will surely think of "Schizoid Man" or "I Talk to the Wind" respectively. However, it must be noted that "Poseidon" is not just a copycat of "In The Court", but is a well-made album in its own right. Despite the line-up changes, Gordon Haskell seems to offer a solid replacement to Greg Lake as vocalist. Maybe not on par with phenomenal debut (after all it does sound similar in many moments), "Poseidon is still a strong musical statement of Fripp and Co. In addition Keith Tippet's piano work on "Cat Food" contains indication of where their sound would evolve in the next albums, starting from "Lizard", exploring avant-garde jazz territories.

Highly recommended album, but if you are young prog fan please do start with "In the Court of the Crimson King".

Report this review (#111144)
Posted Friday, February 9, 2007 | Review Permalink

I am usually reluctant in reviewing old works from band of the late 60'ies / early 70'ties but I was positively enthusiast when I discovered "In The Court" (in 1974) and this feeling still prevails. Would their next effort reach or surpassed "In The Court..." ?

The very short intro (50 seconds) is the first of a "suite" of three. We'll get "Peace - A Theme" in the middle which is a good accoustic track (definitely inspired Hackett/Howe in some acoustic parts of their respective works) and finally "Peace - An End" to close the album.

It is followed by "Pictures of a City" which is a lenghtly jazz number. During the intrumental parts it sounds as an inprov. Vocal part are really good. The link with "Schizoid" is obvious. It is a strong, almost heavy number. Quite representative of the "second" side of KC. "First side" being the subtle and symphonic one featured mainly on their debut album only (unfortunately).

"Cadence And Cascade" is a very nice and gentle soft song like "I Talk To The Wind". It is also an indicator of some ELP work to come ("Lucky Man", "C'est La Vie"). At this stage, it is defnitely noticeable that this album is a second attempt to recreate "ITCOTCK". But who can blame them, since it was so beautiful ?

"In The Wake of Poseidon" is the type of wonderful KC song I love : symphonic mellotron, great accoustic guitar, fabulous vocals. The highlight here and one of their best track ever. Very similar to "In The Court..." of course (the track). This is my preferred KC. Alas, there are not plenty of these ones in their repertoire. It is a song of an incredible beauty, passionate. Side one of this album is of course VERY similar to their first album, but it is not at all annoying to my ears. Really on par.

"Cat Food" is a jazzy song tempting to be rocky. Poor and boring : this track is very dispensible and the weakest of the album IMO.

"The Devil's Triangle" is a scary track. Good for a horror movie. For almost two minutes, one can hardly hear the music (even at full volume). One only can guess the nice mellotron melody. It only starts after three minutes and sounds like a "Bolero" type of song. It is very hypnotic and works quite well, I must say. At times, it sounds too much as an improv to my ears though.

This album might sound as a secondhand copy for "ITCOTCK". It is less creative (since it has already been done before) but still quite remarkable. Four stars.

Report this review (#112524)
Posted Saturday, February 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars King Crimson's debut was so incredible that their legion of fans could hardly wait for the follow-up to hit the racks. Unbeknownst to most of us there was more drama going on within the band than a TV soap opera with members coming and going constantly. When I learned later on about the personality conflicts and constant strife the group was enduring while trying to record this album it's a wonder it got finished and even more surprising that it's as good as it is.

The Poseidon adventure starts with a simple theme that will recur from time to time, "Peace - A Beginning," with Greg Lake singing the melody solo. Those of us who aurally devoured the first LP couldn't help but smile as the beginning of "Pictures of a City (including 42nd at Treadmill)" gave us a needed taste of what we loved about this band. It features a gutsy crawling blues progression from Hell and Lake's snarling rendition of Pete Sinfield's subliminal lyrics ("Concrete cold face cased in steel/stark sharp glass-eyed crack and peel"). Peter Giles on bass and his brother Michael on drums combine to make an outstanding rhythm section and it's nowhere as obvious as it is here. Many characteristics that made "21st Century Schizoid Man" so alluring are included in the arrangement of this song and that's not meant as a detriment at all. It's great. However, the next tune, "Cadence and Cascade" makes you realize that something is askew in the Crimson household. Some guy named Gordon Haskell weakly sings this dismal ballad that is about as intriguing as day old dishwater. Some nice flute from newly acquired Mel Collins is welcomed but it's not enough to save this toadstool. A return to familiar territory is desperately required at this point and "In the Wake of Poseidon (including Libra's Theme)" is a step in the right direction. It's vaguely akin to "Epitaph" yet not quite as good. Robert Fripp does a decent job of replacing Ian McDonald on the Mellotron, Lake turns in another excellent vocal performance and Michael Giles adds his interesting crazed drum fills to the finale but there's an underlying stress weaving throughout the song that can't be ignored. The short "Peace - A Theme" is a sweet acoustic guitar return to the original melody that further displays Fripp's versatility. "Cat Food" is a cool, hip tune and the most commercial sounding in the band's history. I picture in my head some big cheese at Atlantic (after reviewing the success of the 1st album) shouting "Now we just need those boys to give us a hit!" and this is the result. I've always loved this song personally because, even though it kinda reminds me of the riff from The Beatles' "Come Together," there's no way this group could play it straight. Keith Tippet's wild piano spasms and Greg's snide crooning of Sinfield's sarcastic lines like "Goodies on the table/with a fable on the label/drowning in miracle sauce/Don't think I am that rude/if I tell you that it's cat food/not even fit for a horse!" create a fun five minutes for the listener. (Imagine what Pete thinks of today's processed foods!) And the last two minutes get delightfully weird with everybody taking a turn or two at contributing a moment of strangeness.

Next is a little over eleven minutes of Robert Fripp and, as it lists in the credits, his "devices." With one of the longest Mellotron fade-ins in history, "The Devil's Triangle" establishes a musical theme played over a marching drumbeat. "Merday Morn" is a continuation of the same melody as it grows more intense and discordant. Manic piano runs can be heard in the mix, then things reach cacophony. "Hand of Sceiron" is just howling wind noises and then what can only be described as arrhythmic taps before "Garden of Worm" returns you to more bizarre avant garde dissonance in which you'll hear a short snippet of "The Court of the Crimson King" whiz by your ears. The song is adventurous, to be sure, but it doesn't do much for me in the long run. "Peace - An End" bookends the album with the same air you heard in the beginning. This time Lake sings softly over an acoustic guitar, bringing the album to a serene finale.

I've always found that tiny sample from the debut swirling inside "Garden of Worm" to be significant. It's as if Robert Fripp was bidding farewell to the attitude and sound created by that initial collection of musicians because KC would never sound much like that again. The 3rd album would find the band going down a wholly new path with different personnel and never looking back. While this sophomore effort is flawed, it still deserves merit for a couple of outstanding songs and the determination it must have taken to get the album in the record bins at all.

Report this review (#113494)
Posted Sunday, February 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars If you mixed In The Court of the Crimson King and Lizard together, this album that appeared between them is pretty much what you would get. One could find many analogies track by track, e.g. 'Pictures of a City' reminds of '21st Century Schizoid Man'; 'In the Wake of Poseidon' is a gorgeous prog song similar to 'Epitaph', in which Greg Lake's strong vocals and good ol' Mellotron sound better than anywhere else; 'Cat Food' is an ironic song with manic jazz pianism of Keith Tippett, like 'Happy Family' on Lizard. 'Cadence and Cascade' features the main singer of Lizard, Gordon Haskell, and is a peacuful ballad like 'I talk to the Wind' or 'Lady of the Dancing Water'.

But the idea of this one being a mixture of Court and Lizard albums unfortunately doesn't imply that it's the best of both worlds without faults. It simply can't compete with the famous debut by copying things from it - though I adore the title track. Nor can it surpass the follower since in here the new chemistry of the line-up to be (if only for one album only) is just forming - though 'Cat Food' rocks and jazzes like hell. To my taste the stark instrumental 'Devil's Triangle' is representing the side of King Crimson I'm not so fond of. The three tiny pieces of 'Peace' is something not familiar from either of the other two albums, but I consider the beginning and theme starting the album sides rather useless extension of the ending track, which is a charming little acoustic song with tender lyrics. In short, this album lacks some coherence, it is literally a mixed bag of the preceding and following works. But its highlights are worth having it. For a Crimso fan this is an obligatory album anyway.

Report this review (#114029)
Posted Friday, March 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Aprt from the 2 first Peace parts, this album does not suffer as a sophomore offering from KC. Yes, there are more than a few similarities to the first one, but then groups will tend to sound, well, like themselves. So if you love ITCOTCK, you'll like this a lot. As an added note, you may hear some "melodic" similarity between Pictures of a City & Sabbath's Iron Man ... check it out
Report this review (#115360)
Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars I think after a couple of listens I am starting to warm up to this album. The first time I heard it I was totally disappointed. I couldn't believe that KC could turn out a piece of work so unremarkable. But as I say, I'm warming up to it.

Pictures of a City is as good a track as they've ever produced, with that trademark intensity that we've all come to expect. Things cool down a little after that, and I find Cadence and Cascade boring and overly long, even though it's only four and a half minutes. I have somewhat mixed feelings about the title track. On the one hand, it sounds almost exactly like an inferior version of Epitaph from ITCOTCK. On the other, it features the amazing Michael Giles (my favorite drummer ever and a major part of the reason I bought this album in the first place) banging away magnificently. I actually like the "Peace" themes. They are very pretty and restful. However, Cat Food (which many of my fellow reviewers seem to love) strikes me as totally out of place on the album. It reminds me of ELP, which to my ears is not a good thing. If there is one track that should have been left on the cutting room floor, it's Cat Food, because it totally breaks the flow of the album. Finally we come to the "epic" of the album, the instrumental "Devil's Triangle," with its sinister mellotrons and sinister 5/4 rhythm. The first time I heard the track I found it meandering and directionless, but the more I listen to it, the more I appreciate its brrooding atmosphere. The ending could have used a little trimming though. This is supposedly a rip off of Holst's "Mars" from The Planets, but I don't really hear the resemblance. Then again, I am one of the few people who don't think the theme from Star Wars is a rip off of that same piece, so go figure.

Overall, ITWOP is not a bad album, and not even a bad KC album, but compared to their other masterpieces such as "Lizard," "Red," and the aforementioned debut, it's just a bit lackluster.

Report this review (#117610)
Posted Saturday, April 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars A good attempt at a followup to their great debut, though it falls short in many ways. The first half of the album reminisces over some of the ideas used in their debut. After Peace - a Theme the album segues into a more experimental vein, a taste of what we will hear in Lizard.

Pictures of a City's use of horns and Lake's bolder vocals reminds me of a less frenzied version of 21st Century Schizoid Man. It is a good track, but is not as wild or progressive as Schizoid Man. 8 minutes is also rather long for this track, as the band starts noodling around the halfway point. This isn't a pointless drawback like the second half of Moonchild, there is structure for these few minutes, but it is experimentation that I don't find to be that interesting. This builds up for the remainder of the track until it explodes at the end, similar again to the end of Schizoid Man.

Cadence and Cascade is likely my favorite track off the album. This track's mellow beauty and simplicity reminds me of a less flute based I Talk to the Wind, though again not as good as its predecessor. Still, I really do like this track from beginning to end and in my opinion is a classic KC track.

In the Wake of Poseidon is a mellotron heavy track that reminds me of the In the Court... track off the debut. Still not quite as good as In the Court..., but about as strong as Cadence and Cascade. All in all a good track.

The album changes direction with Cat Food, a track that reminds me more of the Lizard album than the debut. Though once again it fails to rival anything on the great Lizard either. It is a decent and original track, but nothing really stands out.

The Devil's Triangle is certainly one of the much more interesting KC tracks. It starts out rather mellow but menacing at the same time, layer of layer of dark instrumentation and steady drumming. This very slowly and gradually builds up over the course of the song. A bit more than halfway through the song this completely dies out, only to return a minute later even faster and scarier than before. The buildup continues until the final stretch of the song, where the instruments start to branch out in different musical directions. Likely one of the least accessible KC tracks, but it still has something to offer. I view it to be more of an interesting track than a musical accomplishment.

I'd recommend this to KC fans who are able to appreciate the difficult Lizard album as well as the debut. Though it is not an essential album to those who aren't big KC fans.

Report this review (#118095)
Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Poseidon's Wake is among Crimso's more sinister albums (which is saying a lot). It's very gloomy, and foreboding, and still very experimental. But apart from being jagged and wicked, this is an extremely jazzy album. In this album, we see the start of something of a trend. Especially with their 2003 release, the format of the songs is similar. There is a short vocal song (Peace, or The Power to Believe) which leads into the explosion of the proceeding song (Pictures of a City, or Level Five). That short vocal song is very brief, but filled with meaning and foreshadowing and begins to shape the overall atmosphere of the album. Skipping this song will make the listening of the album very different, as is the same with The Power to Believe.

Pictures of a City is a very, very jazzy tune which is similar to 21st Century Man in many respects, but at the same time its own song. The saxes mimicking the guitar (or the guitar mimicking the saxes) is very effective and darkly exhilarating. Greg Lake's vocals fit like a puzzle with the music, but unfortunately for the last time. He left the band at this time, after Crimso toured with The Nice, and keyboardist Keith Emerson invited Greg to start a separate project, to be named ELP.

Cadence and Cascade is one of King Crimson's softer tracks. It is excessively easy to draw similarities to I Talk to the Wind, and the song later to come, Lady of the Dancing Water. Its lyrics' meaning is hard to decipher. The title track is odd, and not quite as aggressive as other songs, and even moderately touching with strong mellotron. More jazz to come with Cat Food: a very free-form, nimbostratus piece that is mildly dull. But the bulk of the experimenting, and the aura of menace comes from the eleven-plus minute track The Devil's Triangle. It's excitingly twisted, and very moody and atmospheric. At times it is somewhat boring, but for the most part holds the listeners attention with its many, many layers of ominous sounds, and even a reprise of the melody from In the Court of the Crimson King (track). The album wraps up with another version of Peace, and many seconds of silence.

I wouldn't consider this Crimso's best work (nor, of course, their worst), but it is a very different side to them (and yet, simultaneous, very similar to their debut release). Perhaps this album is kept in the dark because it wasn't ground breaking, like In the Court of..., nor was it extremely innovative as Larks' Tongues.... But despite lack of popularity, I find this album enjoyable and verydark!

Report this review (#118322)
Posted Friday, April 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

Yes and no would be tha answer. Obviously, what was side one seems to folloe in the footsteps of the first album, but i think the songs have their own personalities and are good ( maybe the title track is kind of close to ''Epitath''). But ''Cadence and Cascade'' has its own character, a sentimentall mellow ballad sang beautifully by Gordon Haskell. ''Pictures of a city'' offers great musicianship, especially the guitar of Robert Fripp.

Ian Mcdonald is gone; Mel Collins does an excellent job at replacing him on sax and flute. Greg Lake does only singing on this album, bass duties have been transfered to Peter Giles, brother of Mike. What makes this album also different is the inclusion in the band of the greatly talented pianist Keith Tippett. You can enjoy him with his crazy playing on the single ''Catfood'' , a tune somewhat different from everything else KC has recorder to this point. Catfood opens ex-side2 and from there, King Crimson will go in a total new direction that has no ressemblance whatsoever with anything from the first album.

The main part of this side is the bolero ''The Devils Triangle'' a mellotron orgy that starts slow, peacefully, getting more and more agitated by the minute until it ends in utter disjointed chaos ( a future KC trademark). Only the vocals of Greg Lake at the end brings some kind of relief and peace to the listener. At this point, Robert Fripp has completely taken control of the band and will bring the band to a new direction with the next album, but that's another story.

So, that's not a copy of the first album; this is ''In The Wake Of Poseidon'', not ITCOTCKpart2. I would have give 3.5 stars to this album. so will be 4 as it's an excellent addition to any prog collection

Report this review (#119094)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars In the wake of their great debut

To me, King Crimson started at the top, and worked their way down rapidly! By recording the sublime "Court of the Crimson King" for their first album, they were always going to be faced with a stern challenge to emulate the power and majesty of that masterpiece. The band were torn apart almost immediately by significant line up changes. The multi-talented Ian McDonald had already departed; in his place came Keith Tippet on piano and Mel Collins on saxes & flute, while Robert Fripp took over the mellotron. Greg Lake was still around, sort of. He and Gordon Haskell are both credited at various points as lead singer here.

The likelihood of their follow up album living up to the enormous expectations they had raised with their debut were therefore rapidly diminishing, but hopes were still high that this album would manage to recreate, at least in part, the magic of the first album.

After the brief overture of "Peace - A beginning", things start of in relatively reassuring fashion, with the "Schizoid man" like "Pictures of a city". This 8 minute song leans far more heavily towards the jazz improvisations of the opening song on ITCOTCK than the more structured and majestic songs which dominated that album. Lake's departure during the recording sessions meant that the following "Cadence and cascade" saw Haskill making his debut with the band. The song is a highly delicate rendition, with echoes of Peter Gabriel as his most "beautiful". The flute is reminiscent of "I talk to the wind" (anyone spot a pattern here yet?).

And as sure as eggs is eggs, the first side of the album closes with a track similar to, no I kid you not, "Epitaph". In some ways, it really is a great pity that the title track of this album has been tarred with the "clone" brush, as it has much to recommend it. Greg Lake gives a fine vocal performance, and the 8 minutes are positively awash with mellotron. In retrospect, if only "In the wake of Poseidon" (the track) had replaced "Moonchild" on ITCOTCK, that album would in all probability be the number one prog album even today. Make no mistake, this is a mighty, and sadly under-credited song.

In fairness to King Crimson, the allegations that they simply made a facsimile of their first album with "In the wake of Poseidon" are largely valid only for side one of the LP. The second side, whose brief opening acoustic interlude "Peace - A theme" is completely omitted from the sleeve and the LP label, is more indicative of the route the band will head off in on future releases. Greg Lake's vocals on "Cat food" may be relatively conventional, but the rambling jazz piano on which the song is based is much looser than we have come to expect from the band up until this point. Unfortunately, from my point of view, this is where I get off. With three sides of essential music to their name, for me, King Crimson took a massive wrong turn at this point and in the process killed the golden goose. The following pieces, which merge to form an 11½ minute suite, are rather dull noodlings by Fripp, saved only by the always pleasant sound of the mellotron. It almost seems like a kick in the teeth when the main theme from "ITCOTCK" drifts in and out.

In all, "In the wake of Poseidon" is a classic case of a game of two halves. Side one is a decent if all too obvious follow on from the band's glorious debut. Side two, sees them starting to struggle for ideas, and reverting to a certain amount of improvisational padding in order to complete the album. Nice sleeve though.

Report this review (#126130)
Posted Sunday, June 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars King Crimson's second album is often criticized as a copy of their first one, and many reviewers have written about the similitude between them. The line up of the band was changing but there was a short time between the two releases, so inevitably we find them similar, but it's a very good album with some great songs.

"Pictures of a City" is a fierce rocky piece full of changing rhythms, with great work of guitar, drums and sax. It's among King Crimson's best songs. "Cadence And Cascade" is a sweet ballad in which the music is provided by acoustic guitar, flute and keyboards. It has a memorable melody and is the only song in the album in which Lake is not the leading voice. The title track is my favorite, great lyrics and wonderful mellotron tunes. "Cat Food" is a crazy jazzy song in which the piano is played in a magnificent way. Is a sample of the sound the band will explore in the following albums. The three "Peace" tracks are short songs, that provide a bit of calm. "The Devil's Triangle" is a dark song, and I find very difficult to get into it. In my opinion is the weakest part of the album.

In summary, another brilliant work from one of the biggest bands of the seventies.

Report this review (#128099)
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars A beginning Ok, a short, sung 49 seconds intro. No rating here. Pictures of a city 3.5 Based on 21st century schizoid man, but inferior in melody and invention (no great riffs, no furious saxes). The playing is fine, especially Fripp´s, but that´s all about it. Cadence and cascade 3 A lightweight, poppy ballad with flute and acoustic guitar. The melody is "just" okay. In the wake of Poseidon 3.5 Even more of a rip off, this time of in Court of the Crimson king. Good, but obviously derivated Peace (a theme) another short segment, this timeinstrumental, with somen dreamy acoustic guitar playing- The cat food 5 A marvelous jazzy number, with great bassplaying and piano playing similar to Keith Emerson. Nice vocals as well, again courtesy by Greg Lake. Fine solo by Robert Fripp, too. Also, the usual, "weird" coda is present. The devil´s triangle. 1 A boring, instrumental mess driven by mellotron and keybards. Some nice passages here and there, but overall nothing to write home about. Peace- an end This time, the excerpt features acoustic guitar as well as delicate vocals from Greg Lake.

Rating (The "Peace" segments are merged into the first rating): 2.5+3.5+3+3.5+5+1=18.5:6= 3 stars


Report this review (#130434)
Posted Friday, July 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars How would you do a follow-up to an awesome debut? It must be hard. But they surely did so, and in a very nice way. And I would tell more, this album is quite similar to ITCOTCK... only 'Cat Food' is out of focus, but in the other hand, this good song anticipates a bit the vein of their next album Lizard. Anyway, on the rest of the album you can find many links with its predeccessor:

- The album starts with the beautiful Peace - A Beggining, which's sung a capella. Then, Pictures of a City begins, very loudly in contrast to the previous track. This song is perhaps the most well-known of the album and is exactly in the vein of 21th Century Schizoid Man from ITCOTCK: rocker, distorted and with crazy interludes full of rhythmic breaks; amazing.

- The nex track, Cadence & Cascade, is an extremely beautiful acoustic tune. Great interplay between piano, guitar and flute. Quite similar to I Talk to the Wind. Peaceful and slow-paced. A highlight, for sure.

- The self-titled track is a clone of Epitaph, or at least it could be seen as I do. Same atmosphere, dramatic, same rhythm. Although it differs in the prescence of the mellotron; it's much more driven by mellotron than Epitaph. But practically a clone track.

An acoustic instrumental interlude featuring the excellent Robert Fripp on guitar, dividing both sides of the album: Peace - A Theme. It's the same opening track but instrumental; no vocals. The next track is Cat Food, an already mentioned track which isn't similar at all to any earlier stuff. This is a very jazzy tune, with excellent piano good vocal work.

The Devil's Triangle is maybe my personal favourite, although not extremely suitable for the average listener, I mean, I couldn't have lunch while listening to this song.... It's a permanent crescendo, a continuous climax; it also isn't similar to an ITCOTCK song in particular, but has the instrumental parts alright. This track could fit very well into a movie as a scary soundtrack, hehehe..... Impressive, trust me.

Finally the album ends with a sort of blend between the two previous `Peace's: it has vocals (very good lyrics) and instrumental parts, again acoustic guitar. The perfect closer, although the previous track would probably fit perfectly as a closer track too. But who cares?!

What else could a proghead expect for? Stop reading reviews of this (mine included), get it and fall in love with this awesome album!


Report this review (#130867)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Often said to be just a carbon copy of their first classic album. While there are some indisputable similarities between these two albums, I see it more as a elaboration of the first, or second draft if you will. "Pictures of the City" certainly reminds of "21st Century Schizoid Man", but it is more ambitious, more varied, it even goes through a soft and moody part built on a bass riff in the middle, with some tasteful improvisation over it, sort of like "Moonchild" but more successful and integrated. "Cadence and Cascade" was the debut of Gordon Haskell in the band, and this one resembles "I Talk to the Wind", but the band is more dynamic on this one, more confident. The title track, the counterpart of "Epitaph", truly is just a carbon copy, although it does feature the flamenco stylings of Robert Fripp, that would only appear on one other track by King Crimson. "Cat Food" breaks the trend with its Beatles-like bass riff, enriched by the frantic free jazz piano lines of Keith Tippett. Great preview of what would happen on the next album. "The Devil's Triangle" is an instrumental borrowing of Gustav Holst's "Mars". Its alluring collage of mellotron sounds makes it irresistible for fans of that instrument, but in the end it sounds dated, much like many of ELP's arrangements of classics.

There is something else very interesting about the album, how there are three other tracks, one intro, one interlude, and an outro featuring a cappella voice, then solo acoustic guitar, and then the marriage of the two for the outro. Their modern album "Power to Believe" has a similar structure, and this is one of the fascinating things about King Crimson - the structure of each song, within the structure of each album, within the structure of their very conceptual career.

Report this review (#133026)
Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars A fine album. Yes it's a rip off of the first album and I'd also say that the lyrics aren't as good, but I could care less (at least theres nothing as pointless as Moonchild). I absolutely love In the Wake of Poseidon, The Devil's Triangle, and Cat Food and the rest isn't so bad either so that's good enough for me. 4 1/2 stars.
Report this review (#133973)
Posted Monday, August 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Anyone in the mood for In The Court Of The Crimson King again!?

King Crimson's second album would have been very disapointing to me if I was listening to prog (or alive) when it was released. I would have simply thrown it away and pronounced the band dead. It's a good thing it was one of the later albums I bought by the King or I would ahve never been able to appreciate it. While the album certainly is good, and evil, especially the 11-minute DEVIL'S TRIANGLE, one thing that isn't my cup of tea is sounding too much like their prior release. PICTURES OF A CITY, the opening track (after the intro PEACE) has a very similar jazz-metal intro to 21st century Schizoid Man, and though it soon sounds very diferent the next track CADENCE AND CASCADE is very reminicent of I Talk To The Wind. IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON is a standout on the album, but only after you get over the fact that it sounds a lot like In The Court of the Crimson King, basically, a lot of tracks on this album sound like In The Court... Mk. II.

This is a good album, I like it a lot and it's very enjoyable, I'm just a bit thrown off by the similarities it shares with it's predicessor. However, if that was to point (to make a In The Court Mk. II), then the Kind Crimson could have done very well and recieved a 5 star rating from me. Judging from the standpoint of someone in 1970 eagerly awaiting the fresh new material from the young band, I give this album 3 stars. Great album, if a bit familiar sounding.

Report this review (#134126)
Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Often hidden in the shadow of the preceded record, “…Poseidon” is a very good album in its own right. Throw away all seeming similarities (simply imagine, that there were no ITCOTCK!) and you’ll get a wonderful Prog album that only 70s could have. Mellotron waves, acoustic and searing electric guitar passages, dreamy voice, a kind of concept around it all, some pretentious and noticeable influences from Avant and Classical music, wonderful artwork without both album and band names on it…Pure vintage Prog!!! Miserable are attempts of modern bands to reach the 10th dole of Classics greatness, and the better way I see for contemporary bands is to try to create something new (not to say “unique”!) instead of re-arranging and re-working old stuff. It was great in 70s, we like it because it’s Classic, but we don’t need pale copies now. But if you know a good one (I do know few examples!), let me know – I’ll definitely enjoy it ;)
Report this review (#135378)
Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
4 stars Yes this is "In the Court of the Crimson King" part 2, but with enough variety to make sound to make it slightly better than its predecessor. The biggest change is the inclusion of more up-tempo songs juxtaposed to the band's early signature symphonic pieces, giving the listener to feel some sort of adrenaline after the savage onslaught of the excellent "Pictures of a City". The playing and vocals are good throughout and I would say better than in "In the Court..."; fans of early KC will find only enjoyment throughout this solid sophomore release from one of the genre's most celebrated group.
Report this review (#138684)
Posted Sunday, September 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In the Wake of Poseidon is King Crimson's second album, and the last album to feature Greg Lake on Vocals. As it has been mentioned in many a review, In the Wake of Poseidon is sort of In the Court of the Crimson Kings' ugly stepsister. It has a similar sound and feel as ITCOTCK but it is not nearly as good as the original.

Tracks 1, 5, and 8 all have Peace in the title. The first track, Peace-A Beginning and the last track Peace-An End are kind of Greg Lake singing/reading poetry with a very quiet guitar in the background. The 5th track Peace-A Theme is a very quiet instrumental track that has the sound of the background music of the other Peace songs. I really am not sure what the point of these tracks are. It would seem that it is meant to make this album a concept album, but if it is a concept album, I don't know what the concept is.

Track 2 Pictures of a City is a nice rocking song with good vocals from Greg Lake, and some great instrumental work by the Giles and Mr. Fripp. This is definitely the highlight of this album.

Track 3 Cadence and Cascade is a mellow track with Gordon Haskell making his debut on vocals. My thinking is that the song is about a menage a trois with two women Cadence and Cascade and a man who they meet in the first part of the song, and then they expect to meet for future trysts but he doesn't show. That is at least my impression of the lyrics.

Track 4 In the Wake of Poseidon, is the title track, and is the second best song on this album. Very good mellotron, drums, and guitar work on this song. There is a similar feel to this song and In the Court of the Crimson King from the debut album.

Track 6 Cat Food-from my reading this was the single from this album. It is a rocking track with throwaway lyrics. I think that this song would be used by Greg Lake as a blueprint for the many throwaway lyric songs that would show up on Emerson Lake and Palmer releases such as Jeremy Bender and Benny the Bouncer.

Track 7 The Devil's Triangle-it is my understanding that this song uses Mars, Bringer of War by Gustav Holst as its "inspiration". I think that this song represents a lot of what would become the future improvisational sound of the 90's and 00's, which I am not to fond of. To my untrained ear, there is some decent drum work at times on this song, but for the most part to me this sounds like what would result from putting a group of monkeys in a room with some instruments and letting them have at. It is not so much a song as it is various instruments being hit at random to make noise.

Although my review is somewhat harsh on some of these songs I think that this is a good album, but just non an essential album. If you are looking to start collecting King Crimson albums but not chronologically, then I would save this album until the end.

Report this review (#140362)
Posted Monday, September 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars My intro to King Crimson

This really holds a special place in my heart. I know people criticize this for being just like "In the Court". They are right, though. You can't really argue that they didn't follow the same formula. But, it is excellent music. I wouldn't want it any other way.

When you think about it, it is amazing that they could even come up with a great album like this with the band splitting in half. Ian McDonald is gone, Greg Lake would soon be gone and so would both Giles brothers. It is sad that the original lineup couldn't stay intact for longer but I suppose it had to be in order for future ELP and KC albums to occur the way they did.

Again, musically, it is very similar to "In the Court of the Crimson King". "Pictures of a City" is often thought to be a weaker "21st Century Schizoid Man". I disagree. It is as good, if not better than, "Schizoid Man". The title track is usually matched up against "Epitaph" No matter what people say, it is a phenomenal track. It's one of my favorites. "Cadence and Cascade" is very beautiful. The flute is reminiscent of "I Talk With the Wind". "Cat Food" is very different from "In the Court" and actually is more related to the material on "Lizard", like James Lee mentioned above ("Indoor Games"). It brings a lot to the album as it mixes it up. Lastly, "The Devil's Triangle" (Mars) is awesome and loaded with tons of mellotron. It angers me that Holst's heirs/people that own the rights wouldn't allow them to call it "Mars" though. Anyway, that's irrelevant, just a sidenote. I love that they did it and the album wouln't be complete without it. In closing, this is underappreciated as it has a lot of great material on it. It isn't as good as "In the Court", but people are too harsh on it. One of my favorites and nearly a masterpiece. 4.5 Stars.

Report this review (#140404)
Posted Monday, September 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not sure what Fripp's thought process was during the ITWOP era, but it had to be along the lines of: hmm, the band's falling apart, might as well remake the first album!

I exaggerate perhaps a bit, but this is essentially a remake of ITCOTKC, albeit with somewhat lesser quality songs, though only lesser in comparison to one of the great albums of all time. Pictures of a City just begs to be likened to 21st Century Schizoid Man. Cadence and Cascade is I Talk to the Wind in a different set of clothes. The title track mirrors ITCOTKC's title track in mood. Given that the band was in a state of flux, this was not a bad approach and resulted in another very good KC album. Of course the odd song out here is the incomparable Cat Food, which gives a hint of what would come with Lizard, and the nursery song simplicity of the recurring Peace theme is sublime.

Bottom line: if you enjoyed the first album, you'll like this one. There's not necessarily any forward movement from KC on this one -- they're treading water -- but it's a not disappointing follow-up to the first. And considering that the band at this point basically consisted of one musician and one lyricist, it's a remarkable outing.

Report this review (#141880)
Posted Wednesday, October 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars After the immense success of the first album, things got rocky for band members, with mastermind Ian McDonald leaving (soon to be followed by the brothers Gilles and Greg Lake). It fell on Fripp´s hands to handle the burden. He had not such a driving importance in the first album (at least songwriting wise) so it might be very hard to him. Greg lake was reported annoyd to leave the bass to Peter Gilles and be only the singer. During the sessions he just left the band for greater things on ELP and Gordon Haskell had to be recruited to finish the album vocals. Some great jazz musicians were asked to join. Little wonder this album is so confusing and unbalanced!

Nevertheless, the musicians talent and drive (specially Fripp´s) saved the project somehow. Ok, some songs do sound a little too much like the first LP, but still it is a good work. Pictures of A City has always struck me as a poor man´s copy of 21st Century Schizoid Man, but aside from that, In The Wake Of Poseidon is quite different. The title track has some of Greg Lake´s most moving vocals, an enigmatic lyric and some beautiful mellotron. It is my favorite track on the whole disc. Cadance And Cascade is also nice, with some great flute done by Mel Collins. Cat Food is a interesting jazz rock piece that shows the path King Crimson would follow soon. The peace themes are just small vignettes, not really songs. And the instrumental trilogy The Devil´s Triangle was maybe a novelty at the time, but I found it nowadays to be just boring exercise of the mellotron, just pointless filler.

With all this in mind I can´t really call this album essential. It is very good in parts and clearly shows a turbulent period King Crimson was facing at the time. It was their first major crise and they survived. So this is a transitional work. Good, but hardly the first one you should pick up. Try In The Court Of the Crimson King, then get this one. 3 stars.

Report this review (#147894)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album evokes mixed feelings in this reviewer and Crimhead. There are many similarities to In the Court of the Crimson King. Even the title is similar (In the of ). Then again, the albums were released one year apart. I more liken this to elaborating on a theme than to a brazen attempt to cash in on a formula or rip onself off. Pictures of a City does have a likeness to 21st Century Schizoid Man in places. But, it is still musically tight with enough differences from "Schizoid Man" to keep it interesting and Greg Lake's vocals are awesome here. Other than the fact that Cadence and Cascade (sung by Gordon Haskell) is another mellow tune with a breezy flute, it frankly bears nothing other than superficial resemblance to I Talk to the Wind, and, if you bother to listen carefully, there is really some very tasteful (sometimes almost ambient) piano work by Tippett on this song that help set the relaxed mood of this piece. Mel Collins' flute play is more than credible here. The fact that his woodwind and reed playing made it into the recording sessions of many progressive bands in the 1970s wasn't happenstance. Peace-a Theme is a delightful and all too brief little acoustic guitar piece that is both folky and jazzy but is long enough to demonstrate Mr. Fripp's versatility in stylistic range. Cat Food is a remarkable piece of music unlike anything done on In the Court of the Crimson King, with outrageous lyrics about some lady who brings cat food home to feed her family, with frenzied singing by Lake and even more frenzied jazz piano by Tippett, heralding what was to come muscially with the next album release, Lizard. Devil's Triangle is a great piece of period exploration. The lyrical theme of the title track (In the Wake of Poseidon) does bear a bleak message reminiscent of Epitaph, but Lake's voice never sounded better. In terms of new musical ideas, my opinion is that the title track is the weakest link. I really wonder what people would think of this album if there wasn't an In the Court of the Crimson King. I suspect that it would be heralded as a masterpiece. Inevitably though, In the Wake of Poseidon will forever suffer from the stigma of "sophomore jinx" even though it is an outstanding record in its own right. Considering the dynamics in the band at the time, with Lake jumping ship but agreeing to stay long enough to sing on most of the album, and, with Ian McDonald's departure prior to the recording of this project, it is amazing that this record was ever made. The fact that it is as solid as it is musically servess as testimony to the overall skills of all the musicians involved in this project. It rates 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Report this review (#150608)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars King Crimson certainly shattered stuff when they released their debut album. People's views on the boundaries of music, assumptions that band's should play tightly and more were all but gone when they heard In the Court of the Crimson King. So what could possibly be next? Actually, it's a rather relaxed album comparitively. Not only that, it's surprisingly less adventurous and we have to wonder if the band is already on their way out or Robert Fripp is starting to realize that when he has a wacky idea he should develop it a little more before the band records it. Since I'm writing this from the future, I can tell you that neither is true. OK, so King Crimson matures and gets tighter over the years, but I'll be darned if I don't hear a few spots each album where I hear something desultory or sloppy. Such things apparently didn't matter to the band. What mattered was what the band was playing, not how it was being played. Robert Fripp continuously wanted to find ways to make non-conventional ideas work, and he did. Of course, the original inventors don't make the perfect form of the invention, so it's only natural that over time bands took these kinds of ideas and expanded upon/perfected them.

The album starts strong and quickly descends into an utter bore for the majority of the disc. That's about all I have to say about it. The writing and innovation would spike with the following release, Lizard. While I still don't feel the band hit all the marks on that one, it is definitely one of their most interesting and important works. And so, in the wake of that album especially, In the Wake of Poseidon can be forgotten.

Report this review (#150886)
Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Not a fan of this album, in which fripp makes the mistake of trying to recreate the glories of the court. Too many songs here sound too similar, even with the same order of the types of songs. the only good tracks here are The title track and Cat Food. Pictures of a city attempts to be another schizo, but fails by being far too distorted and not working well at all. Cadence and Cascade is the copy of I Talk to the Wind, and its just a little too soft and repetitive for my tastes. The title track sounds alot like epitaph, but it works well, the melody sounding nice and there are some new ideas put into it. Cat Food is a nice jazzy piece with great piano from Keith Tippet, but its too short. it could have been made much better. Devil's Triangle is what happened when they tried to take a live piece, Mars, and record it with all the majesties of the live performance. It is far too jumbled to clearly see the musical ideas and it is far too unwieldy. The little interludes are nice, showing Fripps talent on acoustics.

Overall, a mainly bad album with a few good tracks that save it from being 1 star or 0.

Report this review (#154657)
Posted Friday, December 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I was torn between whether to give this album a three or a four. I mean, this album certainly deserves a four, but then again, this is king crimson we are talking about here, and when we compare all of the works, this one certainly doesn't hold up as well. I decided that this album deserves a 4 after remembering some of the better moments of this CD.

First, let the purchaser be warned. This album is an utter derivative of the original. I consider it to be a sort of remake/remix, although harsher critics will accuse them of ripping off their first album.

Now that the expectations are set, this album is an interesting one to look at. King Crimson has a habit of reimagining their past material, and refining their music over and over again. Here is the first example of that. It isn't the best example. They have some amazing remakes under their belt, like fraktured on the construction of light. This remake lacks the creativity that drives some of their other work. Pictures of a city is a darker and bluesier version of 21st century schizoid man. Cadance and Cascade is I talk to the wind, with some nice piano. In the wake of posiedon is epitaph, completly to formula, yet somehow convincing in its differences. The Peace mantra is very relaxing, and I especially liked Peace- a theme. Cat Food is a somewhat unique song, with a piano playing as if a cat were stepping on it. It is a very fun song. The Devil's Triangle is the clear highlight of this album. King Crimson played Mars by Gustav Holst live, but were not allowed to record it for various resons (copyright I believe). Instead, King Crimson mashed it up, spun it through a blender, and came out with a monster of sorts. It is a great indicator of things to come, although it is so out there that is is negatively recieved to this day (is this the moonchild of ITWOP?). At one point, in the third segment of the monstrosity, the theme of the song In the court of the crimson king can be heard. Somehow it fits in with the track.

The lyrics on this album are also reminiscent of the original, but they are at the same time utterly brilliant and unique. Peter Sinfield was one of the greatest lyricists ever. On this album, he isn't at his best, but the lyrics are still 5 star.

This album is overall a very innovative album, despite it's unoriginality in regards to the first album. It is fantastic if ITCOTCK never existed, and as it is, is merely a step towards future masterpieces, but one that must be listened to if one is to gain a full appreciation of King Crimson's later masterpieces.

Report this review (#157219)
Posted Sunday, December 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Oh my, my review will probably get lost among the other reviewer's experiences. I will try though. In the beginning I have to say I discovered much of the prog music myself, however, being 25 now I realise it took me some time. Probably it's because not much of this music gets it's airtime on the radio and even in television there are not many programs about the glorious past of rock music. It saddens me that I was not born in 1960s ( and in Western Europe, not Eastern!) or even earlier. Music of late 60s and 70s make much bigger impression on me than the music of today. While I was aware of bands like Pink Floyd or Tangerine Dream, or even King Crimson and knew it was something big, it is only when you finally get down to buying some stuff - and listening in a dark room with headphones on - that you start to realise what it really is.

I'm listening to In the Wake of Poseidon now. Cat Food. I don't know how to start the proper part of the review. Maybe with the feeling that I got after I've listened to the whole album. I felt great - like after a nice journey or after experiencing something great. I have known some excerpts from this album already, but I started to really appreciate it in its whole - The tranquil reprised theme of Peace with chaotic interruptions like the aforementioned Cat Food or Pictures of a City. The beautiful ballad Cadence and Cascade, the marvellous title track with it's lovely mellotron orchestrations (one of my favourite instruments), which then becomes a leading instrument in The Devil's Triangle, which is the band's rendition of Hoslt's Mars - the Bringer of War. And then again the Peace theme winding up the album in the most appropriate way.

It's all there - peace and noise, which for me is the best thing in prog music. Others prefer either melodic and easy music, or havey metal's outbursts of anger and violence. We proggers prefer it both - As you wouldn't be able to say what peace is not knowing what chaos and noise is like.

That's the best in prog music - a sense of spanning a wide range of emotions in music, not being superficial at the same time. This is the music of dramatic changes and sounds that playt most likely deep within every human being.

I really loved In the Wake of Poseidon although I was aware some prefer the debut, which for me still is something yet to be discovered.

Report this review (#157865)
Posted Sunday, January 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The follow up to KC epic debute so how does it hold up agains the debute is it on the same level, my anwser is yes! Sure as many say it sound similar to the debute.. so what? all genesis and yes albums sound the same too and no one complains, this album is almost as good as the debute but good enough to get 5 stars from me if you liked the debute i dont see how this culd dissapoint some even seem to like this more then ITCOTCK. Thers no bad songs here and the idea with small interluds in the beginigg midle and end is briliant, The devil's triangle might be the most avantgarde and strange thing KC ever done and i love every second of it ecpecialy the realy wierd and dissonance parts simply amazing Cat food is a nice and wierd litle tune and In the wake of Poseidon, Pictures of a city is epic stuff. Cadence and cascade a sweet ballad and the bonus tracks ecpecialy groon is a realy cool instrumental with amazing drumwork by the great Michael Giles, his druimng is amzing on the whoel album btw and one of the reason i love it so much probobly one of my favorite drumer normaly i dont realy notis or think so much about the drums when i lisen to music except when Keith Moon (the who) play but Michael Giles is so mazing creative and orginal his druming always gets my atention, to bad he dident stay with em for more thne 2 album and he never joined another band. Anyway one of KC's best albums for sure and an essential masterpice of prog.
Report this review (#160401)
Posted Friday, February 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of Crimson´s most underrated efforts , the main argument they use to prove this is: Hey! , this is almost a carbon-copy of ITCTKC, the way I look at it this album is even better than their debut becouse it goes beyond an explores more , this album is a Prelude to Lizard in a way.Who cares if Pictures of a city is not as breathtaking as 21ST century schizoid man? Is an amazing opener anyway, Cadence and Cascade has some of the best lyrics on the album; and that is a huge compliment for a song that is in an album that shows Peter Sinfield at his best. Now if I knew the way to start a new paragraph , the title track would deserve a huge one In the wake... is one of the best songs Crimson has to offer and I thought that Epithaph couldn`t be matched ... well I had an amazing surprise. The devils triangle is the summum of the album I can`t and will not find words to describe this number The poems called Peace... give the album a sort of concept that ITCOCK didnt have , THIS IS A MUST HAVE ALBUM (note that I`ll use this phrase in almost every Crimson album)
Report this review (#161397)
Posted Saturday, February 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Too inspired by the first album (In The Court Of The Crimson King) to be totally good, even it has some good moments. I really love The Devil's Triangle, 11 minutes-and-so of pure terrific, frightening music. But Pictures Of A City seems to be the new 21t Century Schizoid Man, Cadence And Cascade, the new I Talk to the wind, In the wake of Poseidon the new Epitaph...And the three parts of Peace (the first one is almost unlistenable because it's so calm and silentful) are nice but fillers. Cat food is a mess. If King Crimson didn't released In The Court Of The crimson King, if this album was their first one, it would be a masterpiece. But it's just a nice-but-useless follow-up. Too bad. Really too bad. Nice sleeve.
Report this review (#162844)
Posted Thursday, February 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act King Crimson. The album was released through Island Records (UK) and Atlantic Records (US) in May 1970. It´s the successor to "In the Court of the Crimson King" from October 1969. There have been quite a few lineup changes since the predecessor as Ian McDonald (keyboards, reeds and woodwinds) and Michael Giles (drums, percussion, backing vocals) both left King Crimson following the band´s first US tour in late 1969 and Greg Lake (vocals, bass) was also on his way out the door to form his own band Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Lake agreed to record vocals for the album though, and he performs vocals on all tracks but "Cadence And Cascade" (where the vocals are performed by Gordon Haskell, who would subsequently replace Lake as the band´s lead singer/bassist). Michael Giles was recruited as a session drummer, and brother Peter Giles, who was part of the earliest King Crimson lineup recorded the bass parts. Also as a session musician. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" also features guest/session appearences by Mel Collins (saxophones, flute) and Keith Tippett (piano).

McDonald leaving was the main catalyst for Giles and Lake also jumping ship, as McDonald was the main composer of the material featured on "In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)" and there were doubts in which direction guitarist Robert Fripp and lyricist Peter Sinfield would take the music. As it turned out the material on "In The Wake Of Poseidon" are in many ways very similar in style to the material on "In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)". The heavy and saxophone driven "Pictures Of A City" sounds like a sibling composition to "21st Century Schizoid Man" and the title track has a similar melancholic and epic atmosphere and a similar structure to "Epitaph" from the debut album. "Cadence And Cascade" is this album´s "I Talk to the Wind". So there is no arguing Fripp and Sinfield played it safe as far as sound and style goes. Fortunately they also challenged themselves and produced two tracks which are quite different from the material found on the debut album in the jazz rock influenced "Cat Food" and the slow building multi-layered 11:38 minutes long ambient/atmospheric instrumental "The Devil's Triangle", which is like listening to a gloomy, simplistic, and ominous sounding "Bolero". It´s a bit too long for its own good, and slightly uneventful and tedious too, but at least the band tried something new and different here.

"In The Wake Of Poseidon" is a well produced affair and the production provides the music with the right conditions to shine. Considering the relatively short time between the debut and this album, and the fact that the band´s main composer left (although he is credited as co-writer on "Cat Food" and "The Devil's Triangle") along with half the lineup who recorded the debut album, "In The Wake Of Poseidon" actually came out pretty great. It´s a ultimately a strong release, featuring high quality material, and stellar musical performances, and if you can look past the fact that many of the tracks on the album sound like they are made from blueprints of tracks from the debut album, there is a lot to enjoy here for a fan of progressive rock. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Report this review (#163253)
Posted Wednesday, March 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
4 stars Review 18, In The Wake Of Poseidon, King Crimson, 1970


This album had the unfortunate disadvantage of following In The Court Of The Crimson King. After such a stunning debut, it seemed unlikely that a somewhat changed and unstable line-up (with Peter Giles replacing Greg Lake's bass, Keith Tippett's jazz piano contributions and Mel Collins replacing Ian McDonald's saxes and flutes. Fripp takes over the mellotron, and Gordon Haskell provides one vocal) could possibly follow up on the band's promise. The resulting album, In The Wake Of Poseidon is an absolutely superb effort, and in no way the 'sticking to the formula' that some have accused it of being. Superficially, you have a fairly fast jazz rock song featuring sax, an 'epic' with mellotron, and a softer song on both, but really that's about the extent of the similarity. This is, even if not quite as mindblowing as Court, an absolutely essential album, because of The Devil's Triangle, the acoustics on the title track, and Mike Giles' second dose of absolutely amazing drumming.

The album begins with a distant vocal from Lake, the first of the three enjoyable peace segments, with a couple of taps on acoustics at the end. Peace - A Theme, is a pure acoustic guitar solo, which is enjoyable, but not really a standout track. The final Peace - An End section begins with Greg Lake's vocal as quite unsteady, presumably to show Sinfield's ideas of moving towards a conclusion, but really, I think it just seems weak here. It is a lovely ending though, with a little more minimalist acoustic playing from Fripp, and lyrically beautiful.

Pictures Of A City is the faster jazz rock piece mentioned earlier. Opened mostly by Peter Giles' twanging bass and a smoky sax from Collins, with a tremendous drum roll thing, Lake enters the song, with his gripping vocal. After a couple of verses, Fripp kicks in with his insane fast jazz guitar, and then moves to a softer bass-and-drums-dominated break, to a faster pace lead back into the final verse (lyrically it merges parts of the previous two). The music and lyrics are joined perfectly, a series of images, flashing past. Lyrically, I think this is also the song that best lives up to what Pete Sinfield achieved on Court. Gripping, working well independently and in the context of its album. It ends by ascending into chaos, and sharply contrasts with the soft follower, which is really the biggest (in my opinion, the only) justification of the Court doppelganger comments of many reviewers.

Cadence And Cascade is the album's problem for me. Gordon Haskell really seems quite weak as a vocalist compared to the superb Greg Lake and, despite the truly superb work from all the musicians involved, the song fails to really grip me. Tippet and Mike Giles really stand out on this one, though, and the flute part from Collins is enjoyable.

The mellotron-and-drums powerhouse of In The Wake Of Poseidon's opening is one of Crimson's finest moments, and the continuation is very strong, if a little too reliant on the mellotron. Lake provides absolutely stunning vocals, and Sinfield's lyrics have really grown on me from a poor start. The real highlight of this song, though, is Fripp's finest work on acoustic guitars, providing twinges that subtly alter the feel of any individual word. Mel Collins adds a bit of flute in here. It bears basically no relationship to Epitaph, as far as I can see, except in the possession of a chorus. Mike Giles on drums, again, stands out. A truly superb drummer.

The jazzy Cat Food was hate at first listen, but I've really grown to enjoy it. A bass-driven song, to which Tippet's chaotic piano provides the real substance, while the drums tap away in a suitably unpredictable fashion. Following the end of the vocals, Fripp comes in with a few good acoustic chords, and adds something else to the song. Lyrically, a fairly clever hammering of commercial advertising.

The Devil's Triangle is perhaps the most visceral reinterpretation of a classical piece, ever. Based on Holst's 'Mars, The Bringer Of War', it takes the basic outline and ideas of the original and provides savage biting ideas, dark atmosphere, and a general utter amelodic chaos to the mix. On Merday Morn, Fripp shows off the whining guitar sound that he'll master on Prince Rupert's Lament and ample mellotron handling, while Tippet and Collins are the other two standouts. Collins for just playing notes that don't seem to fit, but add to the feel very perfectly, and Tippet for his ability to use a piano to create angry textures even if it's unconventional. The Garden Of Scion, I think, begins with a chaotic windy section that'd be seen later on Pink Floyd's Meddle album, and continues in a much more jazzy style, with Tippet, Pete Giles and Collins carrying all before them. This moves to an almost comical drawn out violin-like wail and an echo of Court's vocal harmonies, and slowly and chaotically just generally does what the hell it likes before Collins' flute and Fripp's acoustics bring it back to the final peace section. I've got to give Sinfield credit for his choice of names, and I'm quite glad that the band was actually refused permission to use the classical piece's name: this creation is far too unique for that. An experimental, daring piece. Not to be missed.

Perhaps the most unfortunate feature of the remaster (see Tales From Topographic Oceans or Brain Salad Surgery for comparison. Same problem.) is the inclusion of bonus material. While having Groon and the single version of Cat Food in some form wouldn't otherwise be a bad thing, they completely ruin the effect of the album's three Peace sections and damage the lyrical ideas built up throughout the song.

This album failed to live up to the previous album in a couple of ways: lyrically, Court is more immediate and resonant, while this is clever in a way that usually succeeds, but doesn't have the same impact. Second, there are two small flaws in this album: Gordon Haskell's vocal on Cadence And Cascade, and the over-extension of In The Wake Of Poseidon. However, it's nonetheless, as I have suggested, a vital and very individual album.

Favourite Track: Pictures Of A City (with a nod to The Devil's Triangle) Rating: Four Stars

Report this review (#165077)
Posted Wednesday, March 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars


Now, where could King Crimson go after releasing their stellar debut? By this point, Ian McDonald had departed, to be replaced by Mel Collins of Camel fame (amongst many other bands). Greg Lake stayed on for this album, but he would leave in order to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer in the same year. Peter Giles was introduced as a bassist, which would leave Lake to take care of the vocals. And indeed, he was the vocalist for every track apart from Cadence and Cascade, where Haskell took over, foreshadowing Lizard for which Haskell would both sing and play bass. The jazz pianist, Keith Tippett came aboard too. In the Wake of Poseidon is often criticised for following the same basic blueprint of their debut, which it does in some ways. But I prefer to think of it as a fine companion album to In the Court of the Crimson King, which it is. It is quite a strong album.


01 - Peace - A Beginning: This is a nice little 50 second acapella introduction to the album. The theme of peace is conveyed through Greg Lake's ethereal echoing vocals.

02 - Pictures Of A City: This song is opened by a brass buildup and funky saxophone riff which wouldn't be out of place in a marching band. This is the ITWOP version of 21st Century Schizoid Man, as it even has the same structure. We have two verses featuring Lake's 'not as caustic as last time' vocals backed by fuzzy and bombastic distorted instrumentation and Giles' bass is quite high in the mix. And like its predecessor, the vocal part ends, there is a build up and the song is thrown into a jam section where Fripp plays some frenetic and edgy guitar riffs which start to become more genial until a galloping part overlayed by what sounds like some dissonant saxophone. Then there's a bit of a spacey 'breakdown' with a simple yet haunting bassline. Gradually it builds up with Giles' precise drumming and Fripp's anti-solo, and the jam is concluded as Lake finishes with the third verse and we have that familiar cacophony of instruments.

03 - Cadence and Cascade: This song serves the purpose of being the calm after the storm, much like I Talk to the Wind from their debut. Worth noting is that this is the only track featuring Gordon Haskell on vocals. Cadence and Cascade presents us with delicate acoustic work from Fripp, two beautiful flute sections from Mel Collins (again like I Talk to the Wind) and equally harmonious piano work from Tippett.

04 - In the Wake of Poseidon: This track opens with an unsettled and almost distressed mellotron melody embellished by percussive acoustic strumming which calls to mind Epitaph. From the point that Lake breaks into his deeply introspective sounding verses, Fripp's acoustic backing becomes much more interesting and he has some fascinating fills going on there. Each verse becomes more dramatic towards the end and after the third verse, the song moves further into mellotron territory. In fact the mellotron buildup from about 3:55 to 4:50 is my favourite part of the song - it gives the song an anguished, yet strangely triumphant feel. After the final verse, we have a strong outro mostly based around one chord progression. Giles' drumming throughout the song is quite dynamic - it holds interest without stealing the show.

05 - Peace - A Theme: The first half of this short interlude played by Fripp on acoustic guitar is mostly an instrumental version of Peace - A Beginning but it spreads its wings out and flourishes with grace.

06 - Cat Food: This is the song which truly defies any comparison of ITWOP to ITCOTCK. And I cannot for the life of me understand why it receives negative criticism from some reviewers. Frankly, it's a cool and fun song. Cat Food opens with a driving bassline - I suppose it is comparatively regular sounding in order to preserve some kind of sanity in the song as it progresses. And what follows is a mad flurry of piano notes all over the place from Tippett - almost as if someone were beating up a piano. It sounds random, yet at the same time sounds musical - it's a testament to what jazz musicians are capable of. Lake delivers some pretty catchy verses, and with lines like Never need to worry with a tin of Hurri Curri. Poisoned especially for you!, the song has quite a dark and satirical vibe to it. I believe that the lyrics are protesting about processed foods, and likening them to cat food. The rest of the song consists of Tippett's maniacal bursts of piano playing, Fripp's 'solos' and a larger input from the Giles brothers - it has a bit of a start-stop feel to it.

07 - The Devil's Triangle: The Devil's Triangle is an interpretation of Gustav Holst's Mars: The Bringer Of War, which is a masterpiece, although it may prove itself to be a more challenging listen than the rest of ITWOP. The Devil's Triangle starts with a bass/drum rhythm overlayed by mellotron, which invokes images of armies marching to battle. It builds up in tension until the song suddenly stops with the sounding of a battle horn. After this, the song resumes its marching rhythm and adds layers upon layers ensuing in utter chaos and pandemonium. The sounds of winds blowing breaks it all up, but again the song resumes its rhythm at an even more frantic intensity. Synths enter and Giles' bassplaying deviates from the marching rhythm as they both intertwine to form some kind of manic circus music (Arcturus anyone?). And the song concludes with a wall of sound. A fine interpretation.

08 - Peace - An End: This album outro features Fripp on acoustic guitar and Greg Lake describing peace in even greater detail. A pleasant way to finish the album.


I believe that there was much tension with lineup issues around the ITWOP period and this led to the band playing it safe by releasing an album which echoed their successful debut. It could possibly have been intended as a companion album given their names (In the Court of the Crimson King and In the Wake of Poseidon) - regardless, I consider it one. I do however feel that the criticism surrounding this album for having a few similarities to their debut is rather undeserved.

Pictures of a City is a good effort to recreate the magic of 21st Century Schizoid Man, and Cadence and Cascade resembles I Talk to the Wind. While the self-titled track starts out in a similar vein to Epitaph, I feel that it finds its own way after the introduction. And ITCOTCK certainly contained no songs like Cat Food or the Devil's Triangle.

While I don't consider ITWOP as good or as influential as ITCOTCK, I believe that it is a more consistent album as King Crimson's particularly experimental songs worked better the second time around. Sinfield again proves his lyrical brilliance as he paints poetry - perhaps more cryptically and less poignantly than he did for their debut, but nonetheless quite eloquently. Mel Collins filled the void of Ian McDonald rather well and Keith Tippett's piano contributions to the album are pivotal. Despite the criticism, there is easily enough originality and songwriting skill in this album to warrant it a listen.

Report this review (#165652)
Posted Friday, April 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars The King is dead...long live the king

Quite possibly the worst Crimson album ever released (so Earthbound and Islands sucked too, but at least they had some energy and balls) representing a particularly barren and fractious period in the band's history.

Lake and MacDonald appeared to jump ship in the middle of this and given the horrors on offer, probably chose wisely. Michael Giles was to follow soon thereafter and it seems clear from published records of this exodus that the Crims were not a happy bunch of campers.


'Pictures of a City' strays perilously close to 21st Century Schizoid Man in its developmental structure but is still a belter in the Crims catalogue and easily the best track here by a country mile or two. The music before the singing starts appears to be a conventional minor blues but they manage somehow to coax an angular jarring effect out of these traditional changes. I have always loved Michael Giles drumming and his unique style on their 1st two albums lends a rhythmic subtlety and anchor to the music.

'Cadence and Cascade' debuts the toffee coated larynx of Mr Gordon Haskell to beautiful effect as the song fits his soporific style perfectly. Interestingly, another version of this melody appears on the MacDonald and Giles album under a different name. The writs must have been flying....

'Catfood' is rather silly but utilises the infectious bass riff in the Beatles Come Together to great effect and, even though commercially orientated enough to be released as a single, manages to contain some truly freaky and avant garde piano from Tippett (the 'Top of the Pops' audience look bemused on the footage)

'In the Wake of Poseidon' ain't too shabby a song but its form and structure relegates it to being a pale imitation of Epitaph from the debut album. Wonderful guitar line from Fripp on the intro however.


'Peace' in its three guises is just plain drippy and wetter than a dolphin's wedding tackle. The melody is neither memorable in its unadorned or arranged settings and just seems like a waste of time all round. Lake's vocal is quite plaintive yes, but as for unforgettable hooks, you don't hang your coat on a spear do you?


'The Devil's Triangle' or more appropriately, 'Satan's Chocolate Fireplace' is an incoherent welter of half-baked and unfinished ideas ladled over a sludgey bolero beat lifted straight from Holst's 'Planets Suite' Lovers of the Mellotron (of which I am more than partial) would even turn their noses up at this concoction. It just never goes anywhere or has a transitional development to speak of and seems to last for days. Intense yes, but so is a jackhammer.

King Crimson regrouped after this debacle and went on to record some of the most innovative music in the 70's bar none, and for their fortitude alone, we should be thankful.

Unfortunately this record suffers from the inevitable comparisons with its ground breaking predecessor, and Robert and his ever changing stalwarts of the Red Guard are guilty of applying In the Court's template onto much weaker material which simply disintegrates under the strain.

Report this review (#169012)
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Almost the same band from the previous effort, almost the same magnificent work of the previous effort. In the Wake... works as a mirror of In the Court, but fails in its attempt to progress into a new decade & recording format. Fortunately, all elements of early symphonic Crimson are here, from the GIANT & fat mellotron to the deeply sad vocals & lyrics by the intelectualized double-double Lake/Sinfield. The content of this record is extremely powerfull, altough lacking some news, isn´t it?

From the hard-freaky Pictures of a City to the collossal title track, Fripp and colleagues develop a strong piece of art fullfiled with decent and extremely contemporary recording skills and techiniques.

The news? Cat Food & Devil´s Triangle. Beautiful in they´re excellence, ranging rom the odd to the evil, these tracks shaped the Crimson that was just in order to born after this line-up disbanded.


Report this review (#169398)
Posted Thursday, May 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This poor album is often dismissed as a repeat of their groundbreaking debut, and overlooked as a copycat version of their original; nevermind that it is actually better. I find more interesting things going on in this album than in their debut, but either one of them is likely to put me to sleep. If, for no other reason, this album deserves five stars (compared to In the Courts 4) because of their highly successful and very creative rendention of Gustav Holst's Mars, and the beautiful title track In the Wake of Poseidon. I find both of these tracks to be more interesting than anything on the previous album. The moments where they release the tension and go into little jazzy experiments are what I find most intriguing, and this approach would continue to executed in fuller force in later albums.
Report this review (#170830)
Posted Monday, May 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars o boy, is this an underrated jem. basically, it consists of several songs which are 'copies' of songs from the previous album ('Pictures...' 'Cadence...' and the title track), and several songs which are completely original.

the album usually gets bashed for ripping off 'court', but damn it, these rip-offs are GOOD. Of course, the improved production is a major plus, but it's the actual songwriting that pushes these so called 'rip- offs'. 'Pictures Of A City' is just as good as '21st Century Schizoid Man' (and that's a HUGE compliment), 'Cadence And Cascade' isn't as good as 'I Talk To The Wind', but it isn't far behind it, and the title track is almost equal to 'Epitaph'.

And the original tracks? well, there's 'Cat Food', a fun jazz-pop number with absolutely psychotic piano playing. excellent. there's also 'The Devil's Triangle', a bizzare suite based around Gustav Holst's 'Mars, Bringer Of War'. it's definetly too long, but the sheer awe that it creates is enough to please me. unfortunately, there's also three stupid 'Peace' tracks that do absolutely nothing for the album. thankfully, none of them lasts for more then 2 minutes, and I just skip them.

Overall, this is a spectacular album, inferior to 'Court' in a few aspects, but superior in others (No Moonchild!). 4.5/5

Report this review (#176424)
Posted Wednesday, July 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Is impossible to do better than a first opera called IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING, I believe. But IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON is a masterpice, too. It is similar to the previous album; the songs are beatiful, fully inspired and the band is magnific. the second song, Picture of a City (the fisrt Peace a beginning is a prologue), is an immaginary second time of SCHIZOID MAN. Sentimental and delicate Cadence and Cascade (Gordon haskell voice) and In The Wake Of Poseidon. Dark and Wild THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE, a strumental piece wich is an electric version of 1916 Gustav Holst's masterpiece (op. 32 The Planets-Mars, the bringer of war), with a terrific sound of drums and mellotron (unforgettable!); at 10:52 is possible to listen a coda of the song IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING. An album to listen quietly, with a soft light and full concentration. Wonderful; if the first Crimso album was ten stars for me, this is eight, minimum.
Report this review (#180374)
Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Many find this album to be something of a second attempt at In the Court of the Crimson King, but I find it has enough identity of its own to stand as a very strong album.

While it is true that, when the whole of King Crimson's discography is examined, this album is much closer in sound and idea to the band's debut, assuming that it features the same kinds of music is a sorry mistake. Rather, on the whole, this album is lighter, less dark and melancholic. More instruments are toyed with, more sounds created. Beautiful interludes tie tracks together. The vastness of the sound is reduced to a more band-oriented feel on most of the album, and while that does make it suffer on the whole compared to its predecessor, it still gives this album a sense of individual strength. The first side hearkens back towards In the Court more, but the second side features some highly progressive leaps forward (and a good bit backwards, if you will, but I'll get to that).

The three bracketing tracks, Peace, gently provide a sweet melody to properly place each song where it needs to feel. The album proper starts with Pictures of a City, a song stylistically similar to 21st Century Schizoid Man but quite different. There is a good bit of aggression, but the brass is largely toned down and the guitar turned up quite a bit. Here is probably the first example of Robert Fripp's guitar skills, from highly distorted power chords to something very akin to early shredding. The vocal lines are quite fun and fairly dark. On the tails of this piece is the soft and mildly weak track Cadence and Cascade. It's a traditional ballad built on acoustic guitar and piano, sounding nice but being mostly unmemorable. The title track comes next, and it is here, I fear, that the music hides behind their previous success. It sounds mostly like the title track to In the Court of the Crimson King. Especially coming off the tails of Cadence and Cascade, which is a nice Lake piece, this is about as close as possible to being a standard King Crimson tune. This song alone keeps the album from five stars, though personally it's one of my favorites.

The second side begins again with the Peace motif, segueing to the rather suddenly different Cat Food. Instead of melancholic or haunting strains of aggression like we have gotten used to with the band, instead we end up with a slightly goofy piano-driven rock tune. While sometimes the piano sounds like someone laying down on the keyboard, it still gives this Beatlesy a fair bit of experimental fun without sacrificing melody or enjoyment. A personal favorite of mine, though I understand a lot of prog enthusiasts find it obnoxious. Either way, it moves on to the remarkably different Devil's Triangle. This piece builds off Holst's Mars suite, creating probably the darkest and most horrifying soundscape ever to be found on a Crimson record. Absolutely stunning. This song is a must, in my opinion, being one of the most fascinating pieces the band put on a studio album. The menace gently is assuaged by the concluding Peace bracket, this time featuring Lake's vocals instead of a guitar or a keyboard, letting you settle down just enough to breathe again after the album has ended.

While the first side is unfortunately a good bit weak, this is still classic (and possibly essential) King Crimson. While I absolutely recommend listening to the band's debut before this one, I find this to be a wonderful record and one that fans of almost any musical style can find something enjoyable in.

Report this review (#185125)
Posted Thursday, October 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Wake of Poseidon is the logically follow-up of In the Court of the Crimson King. The album's structures have a lot in common. The Wake of Poseidon is caught in a theme about peace. "Peace a beginning" opens the record and there is an instrumental "Peace" before "Catfood" opening the second side of the record. The album closes with "Peace - an end". The line-up of The Wake is the same as in The Court; this may be King Crimson's most succesfull line-up with the vocal qualities of Greg Lake and Mel Collins on Saxes and Flute. The lyrics are as poetic as one can imagine by master poet Peter Sinfield.

"Pictures of a City" sounds a lot like the "20th Century Schizoid Man" with comparable jazz-riffs and songstructure, but I must admit that I'm somewhat more impressed by "Pictures of a City". Maybe this song is less original, but it is more complex and has a nice progression with a highly speed ending. "Cadence and Cascade" is a masterfull progressive ballad with a level of atmosphere almost only reached by King Crimson and then especially in this early period of it's existence. The titletrack is a nice ending track of the first side; it's another ballad with great mellotron accompany and some subtle guitarplaying.

The second side offers more new territory by King Crimson. "Catfood" is a superb song with avant-garde piano sessions and some nice lyrics about food of low quality out of supermarkets. The mellotron compositions "The Devils Triangle", "Merday Morn", "Hand of Sceiron" and "Garden of Worm" are related to the progressive electronic scene. These instrumentals have some dark, horrifying passages with marsrhythms which are of high intensity. These sessions belong to the best mellotron compositions ever and makes this Wake of Poseidon very essential to each progressive collection.

This album of King Crimson is my favourite Crimson record. It is slightly better then it's debut in steadyness, having no average passages. It has some great atmospheres and a lot of magic. As is the case with In the Court this is a must-have for all progressive rock fans. Because of the subtle "Peace" theme this record sounds even more professional then KC's debut.

Report this review (#186379)
Posted Sunday, October 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars What's all this about follow-up album and carbon copy of ItcotCK? As far as I was concerned Lizard was their second album. I bought my first two KC album's in 1979 and they were ItcotCK and Lizard, the first album from 1969 and the latter from 1970, two consecutive years. So I assumed Lizard was the follow- up and I must say it has always been a personal favourite of mine with all its jazzy influences, even after I had collected all of KC's albums. I found out about ItwoP much later and it made me realize how prolific these guys were in those days. Three albums within only two years, despite of line-up problems! Looking back now at ItwoP I see it as a transitional album, reminiscent of both ItcotCK and Lizard. But not bad at all! A straightforward four star album.

Report this review (#188802)
Posted Tuesday, November 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars King Crimson - 'In the Wake of Poseidon' 4 stars

Similar in structure to the debut, but a different animal.

I really like this album a lot. When I first heard it, I really didn't think about it sounding like the debut at all, it is quite different here. There are a lot of interesting works here that the debut lacked.

The 'Peace.' trilogy in this album is one of my favorites. Beginning and end are very relaxing vocally done pieces the start and close the album to give it a complete feel..something once again, the debut lacked. The 'Peace - A Theme' track is one of my favorite acoustic tracks ever, I just love some of the melodies that Fripp pulls.

'Pictures of a City' starts out chaotically like Schizoid Man. The verse is radically different as Greg Lake vocals mostly drive the piece. This one is no doubt a Crimson classic.

'Cadence and Cascade' is a short breather after the last brutal track. A good acoustic song to chill out to.

'Cat Food' was a little too avant-garde for me. The keyboard was just way to dissonant to be pleasant at a loud volume. Chorus was good though!

The title track was an interesting one. The mellotron was present just about from beginning to end with some insightful lyrics. The instruments backing it all explored various themes within the piece, this is one very progressive.

'The Devil's Triangle' is a great track. A re-working of Holst's Mars piece. The track had a very symphonic feel to it and there was the chorus from 'In the Court of the Crimson King' thrown in towards the end.

There really isn't a bad track on this album in my opinion. The debut was superior, but it didn't detract this album at all. This is wonderful on its own. I recommend this highly to anyone, after the classic Crimson albums.

Report this review (#190285)
Posted Sunday, November 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING is one of the greatest progressive rock albums of all time as their merger of classical, jazz and rock went further into the experimental territory than any other band before. Riding the crest of that wave of success, the follow-up IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON leaves a lot to be desired.

I never saw POSEIDON as nothing more than CRIMSON KING II. We could look at ''Pictures of a City'', ''Cadence and Cascade'' and the title track as weaker versions of the first three tracks from their debut. I never really understood what the ''Peace'' tracks meant to do other than serve as nice interludes. The RIO attempt in ''The Devil's Triangle'' is nice, but it unfortunately ''borrows'' the main theme to Gustav Holst's ''Mars-Bringer of War''. The only great track here is the jazzier ''Cat Food''. One of those ''get-at-your-own-risk'' albums.

Report this review (#191018)
Posted Saturday, November 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars If King Crimson only had five tracks on the album, we would almost have In the Court of the Crimson King part two. I think of In the Wake of Poseidon as a younger brother to their debut album, as several of the songs are very similar to songs recorded before, even if they are not quite as a strong. Every time I hear most any King Crimson album (their first two in particular), I'm always impressed by how Robert Fripp, though the leader of the band, is very restrained and doesn't attempt to hijack any of the songs with pompous guitar playing. Overall, this is a very good album, a worthy acquisition, but just slightly weaker than their first album. As a side note (I usually do not comment on visuals), the cover artwork is a 1967 painting by Tammo De Jongh entitled "The 12 Achetypes," and is very interesting to read about.

"Peace- A Beginning" The album opens with Greg Lake's quiet singing laden with effects that gradually go away, eventually leaving his bare voice.

"Pictures of a City" With wailing saxes and distorted guitar, this song is fairly similar to "21st Century Schizoid Man." Something often not associated with progressive rock music (and certainly not with King Crimson) is heard here- a standard blues chord progression. There's some clever guitar work and drumming that goes on midway through. Everyone gets a piece of the action- there's even a reserved bass solo five minutes in. And as with the first song from their first album, the song ends with unrestrained improvisation.

"Cadence and Cascade" Beautiful acoustic guitar and singing, with piano, flute, and light drums throughout, make up this pretty song. While not progressive rock, per se, it is a welcome constituent to this album.

"In the Wake of Poseidon" Waves of Mellotron envelop this song, paving the way for Lake to sing over sad acoustic guitar, bass, and drums. If "Pictures of a City" was the "21st Century Schizoid Man" of the album, and "Cadence and Cascade" the "I Talk to the Wind," then "In the Wake of Poseidon" is definitely the "Epitaph."

"Peace- A Theme" Fripp treats us to a lovely but fleeting acoustic guitar interlude.

"Cat Food" My least favorite track on the album, it's a fairly straightforward song with a good bass groove. The constant dissonant piano runs get annoying, but the flourishes in the end are gorgeous, in stark contrast to the raunchier feel of the rest of the song.

"The Devil's Triangle" The album's longest track is an instrumental based on Gustav Holst's "Mars: Bringer of War" from his suite, The Planets. The first third of this piece consists of a Mellotron fading in with a marching drum that eventually pitch shifts up to welcome the next, more demoralizing part of the piece. This section would have fit in well in the soundtrack of a movie like The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. One cannot help but imagine wave after wave of goblins and orcs marching their way from Isengard. The third section is less imposing then the second, employing jazzier elements and a bit of strange improvisation. The last moments are feathery, unlike anything that came before, perhaps welcoming peace.

"Peace- An End" Very similar to the first track, what remains on the album is something of an extended reprise of "Peace- A Beginning." Except this time, there is acoustic guitar accompaniment and Lake doubling-up on vocals, singing an octave below himself in some parts.

Report this review (#191551)
Posted Tuesday, December 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars 01. Peace - The Beginning Not because they do not have like a song being the singer Greg Lake, only his voice and a guitar in the end, just to start the game.

02. Pictures Of A City including 42nd At Treadmill A hit here that the blows make a strange weight to everything, some parts fast and slow at the same time. At the riff is a powerful voice with the voice of Lake, but the coolest are the same sax. Madness ... a lot of guitar and madness below, Greg is in the low key but serious Peter Giles saw here is a hit, he plays too. After a lot of madness, a party with a low front takes care of things. Much improvisation as is typical of King Crimson, this is the nature of them.

03. Cadence And Cascade Gordon Haskell premiere of the voice in the next disc it would be more present since Greg joined Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer mount for the E, L & P. A very beautiful ballad with guitar and piano in the foreground together. Very nice by the way. The chorus is even more beautiful, so with a single keyboard, nice and smooth.

04. In The Wake Of Poseidon including Libra's Theme Returning to the sound of the same faces, a body means accident, bold battery, and then returns to the theme calmer scene, with the voice of Lake always perfect. This song is easy, but it has many different parts and I quite like the arrangement of it. The vocal line is also a charm, is pretty cool stuff means coral. I love it!

05. Peace - The Theme A theme of calm and beautiful guitar. Just to enjoy the calm of things.

06. Cat Food Greg Lake this well here. Rock even more. I think that's a bit E, L & P, without wanting to compare. It has a footprint and the jazz piano and sometimes very strange. In the very final piano.

07. The Devil's Triangle a) Mesday Morn b) Hand Of Sceiron c) Garden Of Worm This is the epic of the disc. Begins (like many other sounds) very low and grows until you reach the apex of music. Many keyboards and everything a martial tone. Some sounds of 'wind' and everything. Much psicodelia with touches of jazz, rock and reminded me very Abbadon's Bolero disk Trilogy of E, L & P. More at the end is the bottom of each well and relied on 'sounds' from several keyboards and also some short stretches of the vocalization of In The Wake Of Poseidon. I could not identify very well what are the 3 shares so ...

08. Peace - An End To finish any better than the voice of Lake exactly as in track 1, a melody of the guitar tracks in part two of the band, would best way to end a disc.

Many say the disc is weaker because of King Crimson were in transition, changing the training, staff falling out. But still I think they did a very good job.


Report this review (#196898)
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the second and last great album by the original band formed in 1969 called King Crimson. After this last great album King crimson became somewhat of a catch all band for some brilliant avant British musicians at the whims and why-nots of the third founding member of Giles Giles and Fripp, the British band that preceeded and then became King Crimson.

As we all know, The Bands name was coined by a brilliant poet/songwriter named Peter Sinfield. Peter Sinfield wrote some of the most beautiful and hallucinogenic progressive lyrics and melodies that the music world has ever known and they have more than survived the test of time. The power of Sinfields contributions to the original band cannot be swept away by simply pretending he did not exist, and the first two KC albums prove this handily.

Greg Lake made his vocal debut with King Crimson and went on to a brilliant career both with ELP and solo recordings. His vocal stylings on In the wake of Poseidon are pure genius as they were on King Crimsons debut album In the court of the Crimson King. I have heard ITWOP a million times and every time I hear it I hear a different album... It is important to me to listen to this album only on it's original vinyl. Every digitized CD version leaves me cold and feels like there is something missing or else it sounds rushed and cramped... Especially the 30th anniversary remaster of this album. Belew era King Crimson sounds fine on CD... Not these first two King Crimson albums. ITWOP is a mood altering trip from track to track. It's lyrically beautiful like no other album. It is a pure classic prog album in every sense.

The cover art itself conveys the eerie mysticism of another worldly journey... it beckons you, warns you, and pretty much gives you a hint as to where you will be going when you decide to sit and listen. From Peace a BEGINNING... to Peace an END... The only track that sort of upsets the psychedelic flow of the album is Cat food, which on it's own is one of the greatest songs ever commited to vinyl thanks to Keith Tippetts contributions. but somehow detracts from the mood brought forth by the original King Crimson band and the feel of In the wake of Poseidon. This album and the one before it remain in their rightful place... light years beyond the Discipline bands good but more sterile albums, to be reviewed one day as well unfortunately under the name of the iconic and once mythical King Crimson.

Report this review (#197592)
Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
4 stars In the Wake of the Court of the Poseidon King

King Crimson had one of the most difficult tasks any band had dealt with, making a more innovative album than In the Court of the Crimson King!! Well KC obviously didn't make it and not even close, I would like to call this album In the Court of the Crimson King Part 2, definitely because of a very similar climax in the songs, as well as similar riffs and instrumental passage. Besides the negative points, I'm able to save this album from it's doom, saying whole-heartedly that this album is much well crafted and elaborated than Court, with a cleaner sound to the songs with a jazzy feel to it, which in the following album, Lizard, it would be highly acomplished this ''jazzy feel''.

Now to the songs review, which I will divide as the following:

Mellotron Attacks: The title track is of them, with a lot of depressing and beautiful, at the same time, mellotron, creating the whole climax in which can be described by the 2 adjectives I used to describe the mellotron. The song's composition is one of the finest in the album, with a very good vocal delivery by Greg Lake, soon to join ELP, in which his style suits perfectly, with a lot of emotion in each word, as well as giving the complete view of the song's climax and route in which will follow, which is clearly the depression and beauty.

The other song with excessive mellotron is The Devil's Triangle, with it's haunting mellotron and marching based drumming. The Devil's Triangle is definitely the Devil's song, the first 7 minutes scares you like hell, with a very evilish transcendence lead by this terrifying and depressing mellotron. While the final minutes of the song, shows somber dissonance and madness, which is expected from bands like King Crimson or Van Der Graaf Generator. Too dissonant and scary for my like, though it's a very well welcomed song by the normal KC fan.

You want peace and tranquility?, you got it: Peace gives you, well..., peace. Soft pieces written by Robert and Peter; A Beginning(part 1) consists of a quite, though a bit somber, intro with Greg's semi-depressing voice; A Theme(part 2) consists of Robert's solo spot on the acoustic guitar, just think of Horizons by Genesism, quite gorgeous; An End(part 3) consists of part 1 and part 2, connected, somber and gorgeous, a reliable ending, though it could have been much better.

Then there's also Cadence and Cascade, similar to the acoustic spot of Peace: A Theme, though more sophisticated and beautiful, with Mel's sweet flute just taken out from mother-earth, plus some nicely done piano melodies and chords and Gordon's low gentle voice giving the final ingredient to this wonderful song, definitely one of the best song from the album, IMO.

Got bored? well you have 2 tunes that will cheer you up: primarly Cat Food, a very well achieved dissonant semi-pop song. It's catchy even with it's dissonant piano, which creates a kind-of ''complex'' climax, though it really is quite simple(compared to other stuff KC has made), with chorus, 10 second guitar solo and all. Though, for those who think it'll be pop-crap, then I'll have to say it's not, maybe not KC standard shear- genius, but it stands as proof that Robert can write some very enjoyable and with a complex feel kind of pop song.

The only song left is Pictures of a City(aka 21st Century Schizoid Man Part 2).A Heavy Avant-Prog song, as 21st Century Schizoid Man. This one clicks my attention a bit further than the one mentoned before, maybe because the more jazzy saxophone intro, rather than the classic heavy intro of the other. This one moves to complex rock spaces, rather than a complex symphonic one, as well as going through almost spacey territories with Robert's guitar echoing, as well as a reliable bass rythm, in which will speed-up and power- up with Robert's guitar and Michael's drums till the reprise of the blasting intro.

To conclude I'll have to say is that In the Wake of Poseidon stands at par with In the Court of the Crimson King on the composition/song-writing aspects, while in the innovative side, ITWOP fails. Yet, the tag ''innovative'' is actually a ''bonus'' on music, reffering myself to nothing really essential to the music, though I admit if the album carries this ''bonus'' then good for it, yet I have to conclude in which if ITCOTCK is rated high just for it's groundbreakingness, isn't inovativeness useless without good songs? Well if you do consider the songs good and rate the album high for it being good as well as adding 1 extra star for it's innovation, then why not consider the music in this album at the par? Does the tag ''Groundbreaking'' adds 2 or even 3 more stars to your rating? I wouldn't think so, still that stands in eachs own.

To make it brief: If you like Court for it's music, you should definitely like this, a bit less or a bit more, but at least like it. If you're expecting some new ideas from king Crimson, then I suggest you to skip this and go with Lizard and then to Lark's Tongue in Aspic, in which both you'll find some very innovative ideas, though completely different to their debut in style.

A well equilibrated album, with soft spots and heavy complex ones, which makes this album classic KC. Very good addition to your Prog Collection.

Report this review (#200511)
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is what could be considered King Crimson's _Nursery Cryme_(as per Genesis). Not the greatest sounding album for production values. It also sounds a little disjointed in places or phoned in(notice all the guests which appear). Definitely not a band effort but more or less a project. _The Devil's Triangle_ has to be the most sinister sounding track in prog history where the mellotron is used in a most gloomy fashion. Best heard before a massive thunderstorm. It's the lesser to _In The Court Of The Crimson King_, but it's still a 4 star effort. In the prog.rock world, I can't think of a King Crimson album that could muster up anything less than 4 stars out of 5...and _In The Wake Of Poseiden_ is no different. King Crimson always has something important to say artistically. A great companion album to IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING.
Report this review (#202159)
Posted Monday, February 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars There is a lot of complaining that indicates this is a carbon copy of crimsons first album. I don't know why people consider that as a problem when the first album was so perfect? And, it isn't a complete carbon copy, it just contains a similar mood with similar songs, but there is also some new material here.

Pictures of a city is this albums 21st century schizoid man, however I consider it as a little bit better. It's more variating than it's close relative, and I really like the balance-walking saxophone part. As the previous album, the rage of the first track is followed up by a very mellow track. This time it is Candence and Cascade. It is a very nice track, but it lacks the mystic, surreal feeling of I talk to the wind. However, they are different songs and the only reminder is the mellow feeling and the flute. In the wake of poseidon is probably the best track here. It's very similar to Epitaph from the first album with the melancholy, mellotron and accoustic guitars. However it not succeeds to reach the same heights, but it's close.

Then we only have the really new tracks left. Sadly they aren't as good as the first half of the album. First out we have Cat Food. It's like a crazy mix of Crimson, with a sampled bass-line from Beatles and piano similar to aladin sane. It's an OK track, but I find the Vocals amatourish and cheesy. As always, Crimson have put a very experimental track in this album. Devils triangle is a mellotron driven version of the composer Holt's Mars - Bringer of War.It may be one of the scarriest and most effectfull tracks by King Crimson, ever. Sadly, the song just goes too far in the ending, which consists of lots of different sounds and melodies creating a non-music sounding mess.

The album also contain three small interludes called peace, one in the beginning, one in the middle and one in the end. Althrough they arent essential material, I think they add a nice atmosphere to this album. Besides the end of Devils Triangle, this album doesn't contain any Moonchild Illusion music, but most of the tracks aren't as memorable as they were on their first album, and the new material falls a little bit behind of Crimson standards. But if you like the first album, you definitely would like this too, and all of the tracks are more or less good.

Report this review (#207990)
Posted Sunday, March 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars The King was getting too comfortable

KING CRIMSON suffered one of the hardest situations a young band can face, releasing THE ALBUM on their debut, the one that defined not only Progressive Rock for the first time, but which also created the parameters that would be used to define Symphonic Prog.

After the incredible and unexpected start, KING CRIMSON had no alternative but to make something even more radical, this is not the case of "In the Wake of Poseidon", after the magnificent "In the Court of the Crimson King", all the fans were expecting a release that proved the band was capable of anything, but didn't came. Their second record is just a failed attempt of repeating the formula that consolidate them at the head of the recently born Progressive Rock movement.

Some people could suspect that the loss of Ian McDonald, one of the developers of the fantastic atmosphere in the debut, but I don't believe it's a determinant fact, Mel Collins is at least as strong in his performance but the formula is the same, clean, polished, beautiful........................tame.

What really doesn't help is that Lake is limited to the excellent vocals, because Peter Giles is not able to complement his brother in the rhythm section as Greg did, something strange being so used to play together, but evident from the first listen.

Fripp and company try to repeat the formula of their debut track by track but they fail in each attempt, sounding more as a second rate copy than as an original album.

The album starts with "Peace - A Beginning" a short intro in which Greg Lake shows again the ductility of his voice and leads directly to "Pictures in the City", which from the first note tries to recreate in some way the fantastic "21st Century Schizoid Man", but they fail miserably, yes it's loud and strong, but lacks of that radical and revolutionary sound, this is an exhausted formula that they had to leave very soon before becoming a cliche.

"Cadence and Cascade" starts with a beautiful acoustic guitar intro where Gordon Haskel takes the lead vocals, his voice is very nice and soft, but there's something missing, reminds me a bit of "I Talk to the Wind" but much more predictable, this time Mel Collins¡ flute is delightful and the soft piano by Keith Tippett is a good complement, but again, this has been tried before, it's time to move to something different.

"In the Wake of Poseidon" is a contradictory track, even though I can listen advances from the "Starless" era, still they can't leave "Epitaph" behind, even Greg sounds tired and bored of the same sound. Yes, it's a good track, very dramatic and well elaborate, but all those innovations KING CRIMSON was able to create in order to define a new genre with their debut, are left in the past.

From this point until the end, we start to see the seeds of change, in the music, "Peace a Theme" is a good change, nothing too explorative and daring, but at the end it's only a short interlude where Robert Fripp proves how capable he is with the guitar.

Immediately we pass to the jazzy and vibrant "Cat Food", not spectacular (nothing is in that level on this album), but at least a step forward, they dare to be different, take risks, do something that they know won't be in the level of their previous release, but still leave the comfort zone. Now Greg Lake sounds interested, not tired of the same as in the first songs, it was about time.

Still not free of the In the Court influences, "Devil's Triangle" presents us a new perspective, extremely pompous and absolutely epic, if the long tracks from the debut had been mostly atmospheric and dramatic, in this case they add a touch of adventure, this may sound dated in the 21st Century, but in 1970 was really adventurous, another good change, mainly because the song gets more complex and elaborate as they advance, yes it's hard to understand and even too risky for some, but that's the name of the game, Progressive Rock means to expect the unexpected, not just beautiful tunes, we need some challenge and KING CRIMSON provides that attitude, still not the best we can expect from Fripp and his guys, but it's a solid advance.

The album ends as it started, with another Lake vocals based short track that seems created to give some conceptual background.

What else can I say? The album is not bad, by the contrary, well recorded, excellent sound, correct, clean and pristine, this would be OK for some bands who base their albums in a well known formula that they use over and over, but the name KING CRIMSON; makes you always expect something special that I can't find in this album.

I wish there was a 2.5 stars rating, because "In the Wake of Poseidon" is nothing more than an average album, but sadly we don't have that chance and I don't believe such a predictable release deserves 3 stars, so with not little sadness will rate a correct but anodyne album with 2 stars.

Report this review (#215700)
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Many people say this is a disappointment in comparison to KC's debut. Well, given that I don't think nearly as highly of their debut as probably 90% of most progressive rock fans, I beg to differ. I think this album is actually an improvement on ItCotCK, but while it does take a few steps forward, it also takes a few steps backwards in my opinion.

I'll keep this review short since there is already a plethora of them on this album and most other KC albums. This album retains too much of the symphonic noodling that annoyed me on Court, especially in Epitaph and Moonchild. It also feels quite generic compared to some of the other material that was around in the early 70s as well At the same time, this album also is moving away from that symphonic sound and more towards the experimental, jazzy, eclectic sound that would become the classic 70s KC sound. Pictures of a City and Devil's Triangle are probably my two favorite songs on here. I especially like the buildup on the beginning of the second one. But really, there's only so much for me to enjoy here. A bit better for me than KC's debut, but I still can't give it more than 3 stars. The best is still yet to come.

Report this review (#221640)
Posted Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
3 stars King Crimson's second album is very much alike the first album, a thing people often seem to call a bad thing of this album. But, the debut album was a great album, so I don't think it's bad this album is in the same style. Some songs on the album clearly are meant to do what other songs did on ITCOTCK. For example, "Pictures Of A City" is the new "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "Cadence And Cascade" is the new "I Talk To The Wind". Though the songs are very similar, they are different on some points, which makes it another listen than the songs of ITCOTCK.

"Peace - A Begining" opens the album very softly, this song is a short introduction to what's coming. After a bit less than a minute the heaviest song of the album shows its power. "Pictures Of A City" is definitely my favorite from this album. It's an incredibly powerful jazzy song, in the same style as "21st Century Schizoid Man", but in my opinion even better. The song knows, just as "21st Century Schizoid Man", a jam part and powerful verses, a great song.

The third track is "Cadence And Cascade", a very calm and beautiful track. The song is not the big highlight of the album and not a memorable song, but that is not what it is supposed to be. The song is very much like "I Talk To The Wind" from ITCOTCK but is not as good, though it still is a nice track.

Next is the title track, "In The Wake Of Poseidon". This song is the new "Epitaph", but it's much worse. Where "Epitaph" was one of King Crimson's most epic songs, this one is kind of a faillure, it just doesn't do it for me. Just like "Epitaph", the song is very mellotron and acoustic guitar driven. The acoustic guitar on this song doesn't do it much good and the band decided to add some pretty annoying drums to it. The title track is kind of a dissapointment.

"Peace - A Theme" is a nice acoustic guitar peace, very calm but very good. "Peace - A Theme" is some sort of interlude between "In The Wake Of Poseidon" and the sixth track, "Cat Food". "Cat Food" is a very jazzy track, though not the most proggy track on the album. The instruments in the song are nice, though not special, but Greg's vocals are very annoying here. The vocals are supposed to sound agressive, maybe a bit like "21st Century Schizoid Man", but instead of doing that they sound forced.

The seventh track is better, it's the epic "The Devil's Triangle". This song is King Crimson's version of "Mars: Bringer Of War", by early 20th century composer Gustav Holst. The song features a lot of very aggresive and haunting mellotron and war drums. The song is by far the most epic and original song on In The Wake Of Poseidon and could really "Frighten" you at some moments by it's power. The last several minutes of the song are more experimental than the rest of the song, but also much less epic and kind of an anti-climax. "The Devil's Triangle" is a very good song, one of the highlights of the album. The album closes with "Peace - An End", a reprise of the albums opener, "Peace - A Begining".

In The Wake Of Poseidon has several highlights but is by no means as good as ITCOTCK. I really don't think the album deserves four or five stars, but the album is not really bad either, so I rate it three stars.

Report this review (#223204)
Posted Friday, June 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Much on the vein of it's magical predecessor,In The Wake Of Poseidon is a highly atmospheric album,made by musicians who have perfect notion of what's fittable for this specific work.Although the final result doesn't stand quite on pair with In The Court of The Crimson King(then again it would be almost impossible to acomplish so),it is still some of the best music made in that year of 1970.The band's personell suffered changes between the two efforts,most notably the departure of Ian Mcdonald.Robert Fripp,the other head of the group,remained still though,and so did Greg Lake for the most part of the record.

In therms of structure,this album is quite similar to their 1969 masterpiece,but the music tends to a more jazzy direction here,for the most part slightly lighter and not as obsucre sounding as the album made in the previous year.The occult,misterious character of In The Court of the Crimson King is kept though,and that is felt since the very beggining,where Greg Lake has it's voice echoed through a brief and dark poem in the introduction Peace-A Beggining.From there,follows the heaviest track of the record,the jazz influenced Pictures of A City.In a way,this one does bring in mind the apocalyptical wilderness and bizarre presentation of 21st Century Schizoid Man,but all in all this song does not have the touch of magic from the latter.It is still an excellent piece by all means.

If something negative may be pointed out,it is the fact that,even though it's complex compositions flow perfectly well within context,they tend to sound somehow misplaced as singular pieces.Then again,this is brought up exclusevely because the previous effort managed to turn out incredibly well in this aspect.So being that In The Wake of Poseidon is a record faded to be forever overshadowed by the classic masterpiece that preceded it,it is perhaps unfair to judge the album by this irrelevant imperfection.

There's not a weak song here,but credit must be given to the genious touch of the three 'Peace' tracks.Opening and closing the album,they set the absolut mood,while placed as an instrumental interlude halfway through,Peace comes as a perfect moment of joyfull relief.This songs do contribuite to the album's remarkable subtleness,and reforce the excellent impression left by the main pieces.

Although it may be a more conventional effort,Poseidon is yet another example of the excellence of King Crimson on studio,in a very strong and consistent prog album.Highly recommended,despite the critcisms it has been receiving for the last four decades.

Report this review (#224165)
Posted Wednesday, July 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Remake, next...

In the Wake of Poseidon feels, at least to me, like Crimson had such great success with their first album, In the Court of the Crimson King, that they had decided on trying to make a copy of the original, and maybe that's the reason for the minor success of this album both in real life and in progarchives.

The album starts with Peace - A Beginning, which is a replica of the first half a minute of 21st Century Schizoid Man on the previous album. It is very quiet and odd, and like Schizoid, a prelude to the song Pictures of a City. Pictures of a City sounds like Crimson re-recorded 21st Century Schizoid Man but changed it's chords. It has the same feel, same instrumentation, same sound, and even the same vocalist, who is the mighty Greg Lake (I say the last fact because Crimson had a thing for switching bassists/vocalists in their hayday). Like Mirrors is to Schizoid, 42nd at Treadmill is to this song, a faster off-shoot of the track using saxophones, and fuzzed out guitars, and not to mention Treadmill sounds very much like Mirrors.

Cadence and Cascade is an acoustic, mellow song, not what you'd expect of a band like King Crimson. This is not an example of a song that was "stolen" from their first album, In the Court, but it is certainly influenced by it. The band's playing hasn't really changed, so a lot of the things on this album seem identical to Court, except for Gordon Haskell's surprising lead vocal duties on this song. Haskell's voice is very distinct from Lake's voice, so you can hear when it's not Lake and it gives the album small amounts of diversity.Saxophone and flute player Mel Collins plays a wonderful flute solo near the end of this track, which probably influenced many artists to follow.

In the Wake of Poseidon starts with a mellotron and once you hear it, the song In the Court of the Crimson King pops into your head. The verse resembles Court, and it is not a good thing. As I said and will say many times throughout the review, this sounds like a complete copy of In the Court. Michael Giles' drum work on this track is innovative, and like Collins' solo on Cadence and Cascade, it has influenced many drummers to come. There is heavy mellotron use on this specific track, and Fripp's acoustic guitar also bears an important part. The song ends with the part Libra's Theme, which is actually the begininng of the song, and like the beginning, it showcases Michael Giles' drumming skills.

Now comes the next "theme" song,and the second part of the Peace trilogy, Peace - A Theme. I don't know what made Crimson think of this idea, but it is certainly not an idea I enjoy. This track is an acoustic guitar piece which has no special section, just chords, and chords, and chords.

Cat Food is a jazz song with an insane piano solo played by Keith Tippett, which consists of nothing reasonable, or even melodic, except for the correct chord here and there. This song is a fun song, sounds like a jam song, but jam songs aren't always good. "Cat Food, cat food, cat food" is a line that will get stuck in your head for a long while, because it's funny, and ironic, but sadly, that is not what we expect from a band led by Robert Fripp. The song then becomes more and more jazz non-sense as you progress further into the song, with Fripp's odd use of guitar octaves and Tippet's unconventional piano solo which keeps going all 5 minutes of the track. The song ends with the previously mentioned things, and Michael crashing his cymbals again, again and again.

Now starts The Devil's Triangle. which is supposedly the "epic" of the album. The song starts with what sounds like a minute of silence, with a few instruments playing in the background, barely audible, and then a mellotron part slowly fades in, and at around 2:30 minutes into the song, the song actually begins. A military march-like timpani part is played in the background while the mellotron plays what seem to be random chords.It then starts a riff-like chord sequence, with a 2nd mellotron playing harmonies on top of it. The mellotrons then get louder and speed up until we hear something which sounds like a boat honking, and then it goes back to the mellotron riff, now with a snare drum military march and a bass part, played by Peter Giles on top. After a few seconds of this, we start hearing a piano in the background, which is playing non-sense. This song goes absolutely nowhere, it just adds more and more instruments playing things which are totally unrelated. It may seem like a good song to Fusion fans, people who are heavy for King Crimson, and experimental music fans, but to me it has no appeal. We are half-way into this annoying song and there is nothing but more instruments, and guess what, more non- sense. This song is, sorry to say this, rubbish. People who only like KC, but do not absolutely adore them, and have no heavy Fusion or Experimental tendencies, will probably not like this song, and are less likely to like the album. The song breaks for a second, and then goes back to the mellotron riff, but now with the background instruments stronger than ever. This is the "epic" part of this so-called "epic", and it is not epic at all. Each player plays what he likes, and the only thing related to the mellotron riff is the tempo. Even though the song features prog instruments we all probably like, be it mellotrons, flutes, clavinets, or pianos, it still doesn't do it for me. This song, as I said earlier, might appeal to the heavy fusionists and experimental fans, but not people who like KC as one of "those bands". As the song ends there is a glimpse of the In the Court of the Crimson King riff, and oh, what irony it is.

Peace - An End is the only "peace" song that has vocals in it. It is an a capella of Greg Lake's mellow vocals, and is a great ending to a not so great album. It takes you back to the feel of Lake's vocals in the previous King Crimson album. An acoustic guitar joins in in the middle of the song, but it is barely audible, and is only used as a means to an end, to end the album with a good track.

3/5, as you could have done way better Crimson, could have done way better.

Report this review (#236101)
Posted Monday, August 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars In The Wake of Poseidon originally released in 1970 was indented to be King Crimson's follow-up to their debut album ITCOTCK. Though oft-criticized for following a formula too close to comfort in comparison to that of their initial groundbreaking release, I've actually found it quite appealing as for giving another perspective of the successful concept that was revealed on the first release. In retrospect, I find Poseidon an important release for a couple of reasons. First two of the albums track "Pictures of a City" and "Mars" (retiled as "The Devils Triangle" on the album) were often performed live by the original 1969 line-up of the group typically closing with "Mars" as a climatic conclusion to their set. The positive reaction giving for both numbers at concerts more than likely inspired Crimso (namely Fripp at this point) to record and release proper studio versions as part of a forth-coming album release. Included on the follow-up was the previously released single "Cat Food" but in it's entirety (the single was released in a shorter edited form) along with several other tracks rounding out Poseidon. Secondly, despite the fact that members where leaving the group left and right at this point Fripp must have felt that Poseidon was a necessity to distinguish the myth that Crimso was coming to an early demise by sustaining interest with fans until a proper reorganization of the group could be established and touring commencing once again. The "Original Master Edition" CD release does a good job at reissuing the original 1970 follow- up LP, which includes the rare single release of "Cat Food" along with it's flip side instrumental "Groon". But one problem I do have with this re-issue is that the title track is cut short fading out to 7:56 while on the original U.S. Atlantic release it originally fades out at 8:26. While half a minute may not seem like a reason to scream bloody murder, it is when you're a big fan of the symphonic sounds of the Mellotron (and you want as much of it as you can get). What you also won't hear on the slightly shorter CD version is Michael Giles' superb double bass drum work as he starts going off right before the complete fade out of the song. Other than that this is a highly recommend CD to any true KC fan who still lacks possession of Poseidon. (4 stars).

Report this review (#241482)
Posted Saturday, September 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars King Crimson is one of my beloved band. Their debut album is all time prog classic. But this, second one, isn't. In fact, they continued with ideas and music from their debut there, but all this work just looks as "ITCKC -II". And as in movie market, every "Rambo -II" is not so good, as original.

Music isn't bad at all, it's more just lack of fresh ideas. Using the same sounds and same constructions, it wasn't easy to produce original album. Another difference - this,second KC album, isn't far as energetic as their debut. Much more mellow, even romantic, it missed part of KC magic.

In my KC list this albums is placed somewhere in the middle. I prefer more heavy and experimental side of KC.

Let say 3,45...

Report this review (#246454)
Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars King Crimson set the tone for seventies progressive rock with their dazzling debut album which proved to be hard to topple. The line-up changed significantly, but Greg Lake still sings on most of the songs and of course Robert Fripp handles the guitars and mellotrons. Peter and Michel Giles are still present on this record, but would leave the band to record their own album in this King Crimson style with Ian McDonald (who also played on the King Crimson debut). Jazz pianist extraordinaire Keith Tippet was introduced to the band (most notably on the song 'Cat Food'), whose performances would hold center stage on follow-up 'Lizard'.

On 'In The Wake of Poseidon' the band would try to consolidate its style in stead of further it, which would be the record's main criticism. 'Pictures of a City' is an acid jazz rock track with distorted vocals (just like '21th Century Schizoid Man'), 'Cadence And Cascade' is a majestic ballad (like 'I Talk to the Wind') and the title song is an epic symphonic prog aria (much like 'Epitaph'). Though these tracks are in and of themselves still top tier majestic symphonic prog songs with beautiful classical and jazz music influences - but the obvious parallel styles are a bit of a letdown. On side two the loose jazz-rock song 'Cat Food' is a great break, but the twelve minutes of the 'The Devil's Triangle' is only partly interesting with its heavy mellotrons and soundscapes. The final track 'Piece - An End' is to short to leave much of a mark and so the record ends a bit unrewarding. Now most would say this album is one of King Crimson's less important records of the seventies, but I would say its still essential because the first four tracks are just way too good to skip.

Report this review (#251481)
Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I had always wanted to listen to King Crimson. Reviewers said they were one of the first progressive rock bands, and one of the most innovative. I found a box set with the first three studio albums in it for only $17, so I bought it. After listening to In The Court of the Crimson King, I was surprised. King Crimson didn't sound like progressive rock to me. They sounded like a light rock band with some (not very many) progressive elements. Despite this, I still decided to put in this CD and see how it sounded.

This CD starts the same way as Court in the way that there is a great track at the beginning of the disc. Pictures of a City is one of my favorite progressive rock songs. I wasn't sure where the album was going to go after this awesome rock song. I was half expecting it to turn into a bunch of slow songs like the first CD. Well, I was wrong. To my surprise, there were actually some pretty awesome songs after the opening.

The title track, Cat Food and The Devil's Triangle are all excellent pieces of music. There are elements of jazz mixed in with this, making the music more progressive than their previous album. I actually enjoyed listening to it.

If you are thinking about listening to King Crimson, this is a good place to start. It shows their jazz fusion style, and doesn't have slow song after slow song like their first album.

Report this review (#253563)
Posted Sunday, November 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Second albums are notoriously difficult, and I would say that ITWOP exemplifies that reputation. King Crimson's sophomore release is a poor imitation of the landmark first album. It was a major disappointment when I first heard it and it hasn't improved with the intervening decades.

The nucleus of the band by this stage consisted of Fripp and Sinfield. McDonald and Giles had been the first to jump ship, although the latter plays drums on the album. While Fripp may have been the band's driving force, it seems clear from the evidence of ITWOP that McDonald had been the main creative/songwriting influence before his departure. ITWOP lacks musical direction and Fripp seems to be struggling with the responsibility of handling the compositional duties. Side One of the vinyl album replicates the previous record, while Fripp's reworking of Holst's Mars is disturbing and tedious; why would you want to listen to this?

While Lake had also officially left, he does sing on all but one of the vocal pieces here. Replacement vocalist Gordon Haskell sings on Cadence And Cascade; pleasant enough, but in my opinion Haskell and his eventual replacement Boz Burrell were the weak links in these incarnations of King Crimson. Pete Sinfield did a reasonable job of singing on his solo album Still, so I don't know why he didn't just handle the vocals in KC; his voice isn't any worse than Haskell's.

So what is there to commend here? The title track is a glorious piece of music and is one of my favourites in the King Crimson canon. In isolation this would probably be a perfectly reasonable album. However when it is inevitably compared with its predecessor it pales into insignificance as an ersatz copy. Fripp could not have hoped to emulate In The Court Of The Crimson King, which begs the question why he tried.

Report this review (#256384)
Posted Wednesday, December 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Right down to the title, this one screams copycat sequel, and for half an album, that's pretty much the formula. For the other half, KING CRIMSON provides strong hints as to their direction for the next couple of years. The group was imploding, members were abandoning the project and shifting roles, and critical underpinnings of the prior masterpiece were crumbling. The readily accessible yet dark foreboding of "In the Court" would run its course here, and KC would never be the same,

Apart from the 30 second introduction of the "Peace" theme, Side 1 is a track by track analog to Side 1 on the debut. "Pictures of the City" is this album's "Schizoid Man", but not nearly as groundbreaking or hard hitting. Michael Giles remains on drums but the trebly quality of his kit is gone, replaced by a more guttural timbre. He nonetheless remains as prominent. In "Cadence and Cascade" we have a more terse statement of the "I Talk to the Wind" theme, with Gordon Haskell having stepped in as short lived vocalist. While it could not match the original for sheer psychedelic bliss, to me it's an equal. The title cut is this recording's "Epitaph", and in some respects exceeds that cut, thanks to an even more majestic middle mellotron theme. The ending is somewhat drawn out, but suggests the sea as an infinite source of life, inspiration, and death.

Side 2 begins and ends with instrumental and more vocal recapitulation of the acoustic "Peace" themes respectively, but in between we are offered the new, less democratic direction for KC under Robert Fripp. "Cat Food" is a quaint mixture of rock and roll tickled by Keith Tippet's piano work, but ultimately lightweight compared to what we are used to. "The Devil's Triangle" is mellotron gone awry, ostensibly in the service of Holst's "Planets", and seems to be at least in part a parting shot by Ian McDonald. Both of these tracks point to what would be somewhat better developed on "Lizard".

Apart from "Cadence" and the title song, this isn't an album to come back to a whole lot. Even if it had been first out of the gate, it lacks the cohesion of "In the Court.." , while its second side sacrifices craftsmanship for virtuosity and gimmickry, which makes an ocean of difference.

Report this review (#256629)
Posted Thursday, December 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In The Wake of Poseidon is often criticized for being too similar to the debut. Regardless of the truth in that, it seems a cruel judgment to pass on a band like King Crimson that has so continuously evolved and developed their music. When Crimson released Discipline they were bashed for changing their sound too much and with this album they are condemned for cloning themselves. Really...

Listening to the music I find it very hard to see the issue. Pictures of a City and In the Wake of Poseidon indeed continue the style of the debut, but both are simply spectacular and every bit as good as the material on ITCOTCK. As you may know, I have a huge resistance against bands repeating themselves or applying formulaic song writing, but honestly, I can't see that here and I can only be thankful for having 5 songs in this style instead of just the 3 from the debut.

The rest of the album isn't like the debut at all. The Peace theme makes it into a nicely flowing album, almost like a concept piece. It is probably the first time that such a unifying theme was used on a rock album and it is sure endlessly copied on countless progressive albums ever since. Cadence and Cascades is a beautiful pastoral moment and Cat Food is a groovy bit of fun. (I admit the kitty on my avatar might have had a bit too much of it though)

The Devil's Triangle is another highlight, an insane take on Ravel's Bolero, a crescendo that got out of hand, starting with sweeping melodies, ending in total chaos. By the way, am I the only one who hears the intro of A Forest at minute 3.52? The Peace - An End a cappella wraps up the original album on a high note. The 30th anniversary release adds the excellent 3.30 minute improvisation Groon. It's avant-garde jazz rock that wouldn't be out of place on a Can album.

Given the personal changes that plagued King Crimson in those years, this is a remarkably coherent and top quality album that deserves its place in the history of progressive rock and will nicely flesh out your collection.

Report this review (#257143)
Posted Monday, December 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars And once again the eternal subject regarding this album comes back: it's the SAME THING as "In The Court Of The Crimson King", for sure. Let's talk about it: Before listening to it, I had already read a lot of reviews claiming this fact and I tried really hard to keep a sort of indipendence of thought and not to get too influenced by them, but in the end the similarity is simply...just....undeniable. From a certain point of view it is quite simple to understand why: the pressure on the band to release another album that would have had the same pushing force as their first one had, but this prerogative prevent them to bring new fresh elements to their work, a characteristic which makes "In The Wake Of Poseidon" not a bad album, sure, but a poor man's copy of "In The Court Of The Crimson King". I could only describe as embarrassing the similarity of the "In the wake of Poseidon" track to "Epitaph". and how "Pictures Of A City" sounds like "21st Century Schizoid Man".

Anyway there is good music in it: "The Devil's Triangle" suite is really interesting number, which recalls pretty closely contemporary music and that kind of musical direction already suggested by The Beatles tune "Revolution 9" on their White Album; the track is absolutely visionary, scary and features very good mellotron flushes, sounding awesome and nightmarish.

A track which is really ambiguous and seems a bit out of context, not sounding as very Crimson is "Cat Food", not a bad track, in the end.

The 3 stars definition is perfect in this case: a good, but non essential album.

Report this review (#260363)
Posted Monday, January 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars In the Wake of Poseidon - King Crimson (3.14 stars) Original Release: 5/15/1970


Peace - A Beginning (2 stars) Short a capella song with lyrics either steeped in profound mysticism or bad poetry (the lyrics irritate me actually). The song sets a tone of mystery, in any case, and is extremely quiet which is a set up for the loudness of the openning of the next song.

Pictures of a City/42nd at Treadmill (4 stars) Lyrics paint terse collages of city experiences. The musical phrases sound like themes for a detective-crime story which, then, aptly reflects the lyrics. The images the lyrics paint are direct and unapologetic like our supposed big city crime detective would seem them. There is horror, vice, violence and all those things that a criminal investigator might contemplate. Even the title of the instrumental section, 42nd at Treadmill, sounds like the address given to an officer from the station over a police radio. The instrumental section is introduced via an escalating siren. Next to its brother song "21st Century Schizoid Man" this song is less extreme, more a look at things without interpretation, less angry. The instrumental section dips into the quiet and as it regains volume sounds more like later progressive instrumental passages of King Crimson.

Cadence and Cascade (3 stars) As gently sweet as this song is, the lyrics are absolutely lurid. Apparently this song is about two individuals of unknown sex (I'm guessing a man and a woman) who hire a male prostitute and the various erotic experiences they have as a result. This brings a whole new dimension to this song and also sets it apart from its "sister" song "I Talk to the Wind".

In the Wake of Poseidon/Libra's Theme (4 stars) This song harkens back in musical tone to "In the Court of the Crimson King" with its strong mellotron. Also in the lyrics there is a sense of some strange court where things have gone extremely wrong and order is doomed to decay. The song is similar to both "Epitaph" and "In the Court of the Crimson King" and looks back where as the other songs of length look forward. I am not able to make much sense of the lyrics. But I do enjoy the ITCOTCK- like intense passion that the mellotron helps to bring. The chorus as instrumental and choral combo comes at the end and provides that great catharsis that only symphonic prog can provide. This chorus gradually progresses until it fades away; passionate, sad and powerful.

Peace - A Theme (3 stars) A pleasant acoustic guitar passage as interlude that drains out some of the drama from the passionate tsunami of "In the Wake of Poseidon" and was probably meant to tie together the companion songs at the beginning and ending of the album.

Cat Food (4 stars) Interesting piano, played in a frantic style but with great skill. This complex piano work is the highlight of this dense but light-hearted song. The lyrics seem to describe crazy women and the unfortunate food that they prepare. This song, perhaps, introduces the next original sound for King Crimson since the previous album.

The Devil's Triangle: Merday Morn/Hand of Sceiron/Garden of Worm (3 stars) The song takes almost a full minute before it becomes audible. There is a mellotron progression with march theme on bass. Very reminiscent of Gustav Holst's "Mars, the Bringer of War" as I'm sure many have noticed. The mellotron is effective at invoking a mood of fear and despair. Listening to this long progression is a bit like hearing a monster movie theme that was made a bit too scary. The progression ends with a satanic horn blast. There follows a spooky ticking clock, then a return to a manic form of the earlier progression where various sounds arise and fall like the daydream of a madman. The musical circus begins to loose form until a sound effect like a ripple of sunlight reflecting off of water or that sound that you hear when someone awakens suddenly from a terrible nightmare and brings you back safe in familiar surroundings. I imagine that the song as a whole is divided into its three named sections around the clock ticking section which I suspect corresponds to "Hand of Sceiron". Like "Moonchild" on ITCOTCK this song is probably best appreciated with the volume turned up and one's imagination turned on. This song is an intense, laborious journey and not suited for casual listening.

Peace - An End (3 stars) As part of the release from "The Devil's Triangle", this song brings vocals and acoustic guitar together to conclude the album proper. The lyrics are cheesy but annoy me less than those for "Peace - A Beginning". It is also the longest part of this three part ornamental song. If this set of songs was meant help tie together the album as a whole, to help make of it a concept album, then I feel that this effor was unsuccessful.

Cat Food [Single Version][Edit] (2 stars) Merely a shorter version of the album song that sounds unnaturally clipped off at the end.

Groon [Single B Side] (2 stars) Manic guitar and bass and drums; relaxes a bit into a bizarre stroll. Parts of this song reminds me of 80s King Crimson and it is interesting to contemplate how they have more successfully approached this kind of dense composition later. The song seems to loose itself in the middle with some more filled out "Moonshine" like antics. The song is technically interesting instrumentally, but I don't buy into it emotionally at all.

Album: Given some of the struggles that the band was apparently going through around the time of this album, it is not surprising that it seems less coherent, less satisfying. Besides side A being a seeming mirror reflection of side A on ITCOTCK, the album seemed to struggle with three themes, failing to tie them together at all:

1. "In the Wake of Poseidon" theme which harkens back to the fantasy-like mood of ITCOTCK. "The Devil's Triangle" probably also fits best here.

2. The "Peace" cycle, which comes off as random mystical, flower-power fluff.

3. "Hard, crazy life" which features naked, unapologetic views on the real world showing it up to be twisted and violent and bizarre. This is the theme that King Crimson would seem to focus on going forward and was captured well in songs like "Pictures of a City", "Cadence and Cascade" and "Cat Food".

MP3 recommendation:

Four Stars (4 stars) 1. Pictures of a City (4 stars) 1. In the Wake of Poseidon (4 stars) 2. Cat Food (4 stars)

Report this review (#261925)
Posted Friday, January 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars King Crimson's second effort shows a band in transition from their original lineup to a new establishment without most of their founding members. Nonetheless Fripp and Sinfield count with the help of Greg Lake (vocals), Michael Giles (drums) and Peter Giles (bass) with the addition of new member (for only one album) Gordon Haskell singing on one track (Cadence and Cascade) and the collaboration of Mel Collins (wind instruments) and jazz pianist Keith Tippett on piano.

Most of the songs presented here were developed by the In the Court Of the Crimson King lineup (both live and in studio) or derived from some of the experimentations of the original crew. Some examples of this are Pictures of A City (originally named A Man, A City) and The Devil's Triangle (derived from the live adaptation of Holst's Mars). This explains the similarities between this and the previous album.

In The Wake Of Poseidon has sort of a concept album format. It flows very cohesively, the album starts with a vocal coda that is quoted instrumentally in the middle and vocally at the end and the cover art is full of symbolism.

The album starts quietly with Peace/A Beginning, a very beautiful short vocal poem singed by Lake as an introduction.

Then Pictures of a City emerges loudly in contrast with the previous track, a very wild jazzy track, full of improvisations and a clear successor of 21rst Century Schizoid Man with a heavy reliance on fast guitar riffs, sax, dynamic jazz drumming and extended soloing, featuring Greg Lake on vocals. 5

Cadence and Cascade is a ballad written by Gordon Haskell and sung by him (his only participation on the album). It is beautifully performed with a nice and very skilled accompaniment consisting on acoustic guitar, piano, bass and drums with the addition of flute sections. 4.75

In the Wake of Poseidon is Epitaph's successor with Lake on vocals, extensive use of the mellotron and some beautiful and subtle flutes, dominated by acoustic guitars and the drum work couldn't be better. 5

Peace - A Theme quotes the melody of the opener instrumentally with an acoustic guitar as a middle section.

Cat Food is a mad song led by Keith Tippett's jazz percussive piano playing, featuring Lake on vocals singing Sinfield's lyrics which are really similar to 21rst Century Schidzoid Man's (a criticism to human society). Giles brothers' rhythm section is just superb. 4.5

The Devil's Triangle features Fripp experimenting around Gustave Holst's Mars. As a result we have a very dark and haunting tune with many interesting and some dull sections starring excellent guitar work, extensive mellotron use and military march drumming style. 4

Peace / An End closes the album with a vocal reprise of the first track with another poem. 4 (to the sum of all the Peaces)

This album is very similar in style to King Crimson's debut, with:

*a jazzy "schizophrenic" track,

*pieces formed by ballad sections and extended instrumental parts with a heavy reliance on mellotron sounds and flutes

*and long experimental tracks.

Despite of all the similarities the final result isn't as well accomplished as its predecessor....Well it is difficult to surpass or even match such a masterpiece.

Total: 4.54

It is an amazing and very entertaining album (and one of my most played albums) but not a masterpiece, although some songs could've been part of one (Pictures of a City and In the Wake of Poseidon).

4 stars to an album that could've been a masterpiece with a more organized band and a bit more innovation. Don't worry, King Crimson will release plenty of masterpieces throughout the next 33 years.

Report this review (#269203)
Posted Monday, March 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars King Crimson went trough some changes before realeasing the 2nd album, notably fripp took over the Melotron, Mel Collins now dooing the sax and flutes, piano was added with the very gifted Keith Tippet. All changes that would make this album come out quite diffrent from the 1st. Even though the idears and compositions was pretty much the same "style". And the album was build up in almost the same way, as the debut.

Allready on the 8 minute "Pictures Of A City" the changes are evident. The aggression from the "21st Century Schizoid Man" is missing, Collins is way more smooth than McDonald, the bassline also seems more "Avantgarde" and less "Heavy metal", personaly i like this track a lot, and i think of it more as a Jazz/Rock presedor, than another version of "21" as critics have so often done.

On the next track Cadence And Cascade, Tippet comes in to play, making this one of my favorite Crimson ballads, the work between Guitar and Piano is just stunning, and then the Collins flute solo kicks in, if you can listen to this and not get moved, you are a cold person.

In The Wake Of Poseidon is the only Symphonic Prog. track on the album, in my opinion not as compleet as those on the debut, but fripp's acustic guitar work on this piece is great. Shows a bit of what is to come on the next album "Lizard".

"Cat food" a wonderfull satire of a song, build perfectly on top af a riff style bass line, with tippet going crazy on the piano, Jazzy, Avantgarde, and still with alluring melodic qualities, the track ends out in a free form jam. This lightens up the consept of KC, they do have humor !

That was needed, because now we move to the very dark "The Devil's Triangle", this is the most demanding piece of fripp music, its more of a contempory classical piece than a rock track. Its very loaded with sound, its odd meters, everyone banging on their instruments, disturbing is the word that comes to mind. In the end elements from "Court of the Crimson King" is mixed in.

The 3 versions of "Peace" is the clues that hold the album together, an small melody or theme.

Another 5 star Crimson album. I know you should go easy on the 5 stars, but i cant find any way to not note those early Crimson's Essiential

Report this review (#276819)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the release of Court, KC faced the problem of how to follow up their mammoth debut. In addition, the band was starting to come apart under the stress imposed by the disciplinarian Fripp. Their second album, In the Wake of Posidion, was created by a band in a state of flux. The jack-of-all-trades Ian MacDonald had left after Court while Greg Lake and the irreplacable drummer Michael Giles would hit the road shortly after Posidion was released. The void was filled by several session musicians some of whom would stay on (Haskell on vocals, Collins on reeds and Tippett on piano). This coming and going would be a constant feature of KC during it's lifetime and how it managed to survive is another story in itself.

Posidion is often disparagingly criticized as being 'too much like Court' which is just, given that KC's reputation is built on pushing the boundaries of rock. Indeed, musically, we're still listening to the same potent blend of jazz, rock and classical pretentions. Even the album names sound very similar. But, as others have pointed out, is that really a bad thing? The album may suffer in comparision to it's predecessor but objectively most of the music on Posidion holds up quite well. Pictures of a City has the same kind of frantic stop and go, light and heavy mentality as Schiziod Man; the lovely acoustic/flute combo on Cadance and Cascade makes it the ballad of choice on this album; while the mellotron drenched title track has the same kind of weighty ethos as Epitaph. As well, the delightfully strange Cat Food leans in a more jazzy direction with its lightening piano runs and 'cool' vocals.

There are flaws though. Posidion is interspersed with brief snippits of 'Peace' which are more annoying than charming and could have been left out as they ruin the album's structure. Also, the menacing instrumental Devil's Triangle, while interesting at times, is a little more sprawl than I care for.

Overall, Posidion holds up well with more good songs than bad. Really not a bad sophomore album compared with others out there. Unfortunately, it lacks the flow and overall punch of it's towering older sister. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, this mirrors the state of the band that created it at the time.

Report this review (#280309)
Posted Sunday, May 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Poor Robert Fripp. Frankly, I wouldn't wish the circumstances surrounding this album upon my worst enemy. When a band has a debut that's such a critical and commercial smash as was Court, it's only natural that expectations be sky high for the sequel. Unfortunately, the band hit a little snag along the way to this album - Ian McDonald, the man who was THE creative force of the debut, left. Fripp took over the mellotron duties, and he brought in one Mel Collins to contribute woodwind parts, but that couldn't cover up the loss of the man who both guided the direction and penned most of the melodies. To make matters worse, Greg Lake then announced that HE was leaving the band to join ELP, and while he agreed to contribute vocals (the bass parts were done by Peter Giles), he also made no contribution to the songwriting (a pity, since he soon showed in ELP that he had a strong talent for creating interesting chord sequences).

So Fripp took over the songwriting duties, almost by default. Unfortunately, he had another major problem to face - I get the strong feeling that Fripp feared that, along with the loss of the main songwriter, a change in direction could prove fatal for both the band's ability to keep fans and to maintain critical respect. As a result, he panicked more than a bit - the first side of this album, by and large, is a direct remake of the first side of Court, and that fact alone seemingly drives some fans away to this day. As an aside, I also get the feeling that Fripp's near maniacal refusal to live in the past that has characterized most King Crimson through the 70's, 80's and 90's is a direct factor of adamently refusing to make a "copying mistake" that even remotely resembles what happened between this and Court. But I digress.

You see, remake or no, this is still a high quality effort. Comparisons with the debut are only natural, and in the end this album is worse in some ways than Court, but better in others. The drawbacks, other than the remake factor, are basically the following: first, strewn throughout the album are three "Peace" songs, with mostly a capella Lake vocals singing some really stupid and really pretentious lyrics. Second, Sinfield's lyrics have taken a major dip in quality from Court (with the exception of one track) - they're as bombastic as ever, but now there are no cleverly ear-catching lines that make them stand out in any good way. Lake does his best to make them work, and he sometimes succeeds, but overall it's hard not to fidget at times.

On the good side: No "Moonchild!" The album also boasts better production than its predecessor - the mellotrons are grander and more awe-inspiring than ever, and everything else just seems to have more punch and vigor. The second side also has a couple of great tracks the likes of which were DEFINITELY not found on Court. First, there's "Cat Food" (which I guess is a leftover from the first album sessions - McDonald has a writing credit), a dissonant-piano-driven proto-New-Wave piece that was picked as the advance single for some reason or another. The lyrics are actually funny for once, the melody is catchy in its own way, and Lake's screams do a great job of making it work. Following that is something completely different - the three-part "The Devil's Triangle," an adapation of Gustav Holst's "Mars The Bringer of War," which had been part of their stage set for quite some time (McDonald has a writing credit here, in the first part). True to the form of the original, the first couple of minutes are a very slow, very intense crescendo with some bits of mellotron here and there, but later it turns into a creepy noisefest with all sorts of eerie keyboard parts moving up and down and side to side, and even a brief quote from the last album's title track. It be neat, yes it be.

Ah, but there's still the issue of the first side, the Court-ripoff. Well, let's be frank - ripoff or no, it's GOOD. The songs may be very stylistically similar to their corresponding tracks on Court, but they're hardly direct ripoffs, and they're definitely performed well. "Pictures of a City" is a great, great sequel to "Schizoid Man" (oddly enough, though, it was performed in the same shows as "Schizoid Man" as early as 1969) - it features the same kind of structure as that track, but there are plenty of differences. The general feel is much jazzier, as the main riff of the track has enough to amply satisfy both rock and jazz lovers fully. It has the same "Lake screams over a booming rhythm track" motif in the verses, yes, but never mind that - the jam in the middle of the track is both better produced and more complex (with another bunch of great Fripp solos) than the "Schizoid" jam, and overall I have trouble seeing how somebody who loved "Schizoid" could hate this (well, except for the fact that the lyrics on this one can't hold a candle to those of "Schizoid").

Next up is the "I Talk to the Wind" match, the lovely poppy "Cadence and Cascade." For this one, the band actually brought in one Gordon Haskell to sing the vocals, and first time I heard it, I didn't even know it wasn't necessarily Lake himself. I'd say the melody is even prettier than the one to "Wind," and the piano/acoustic arrangement could easily be appreciated by somebody who hated "Wind" on general principle. Of course, once again, the lyrics blow chunks, but that's been covered.

Then there's the title track, the "Epitaph" clone. The lyrics are a good deal worse, yet Lake delivers another amazing vocal performance, one that allows me to focus on the sound of his voice and ignore the lyrics. As for the melody, it's much the same as before, but there are a couple of moments of catharsis in the chord sequences that even "Epitaph" struggled to match. Add in that the mellotrons are (as mentioned earlier) much louder, and that the lengthy fadeout gives a genuine epic symphonic feel not really found elsewhere in the world of rock music, and you have a track that, while not exceeding "Epitaph," at least makes a good run at matching it.

And that's your followup. It has its problems, but it's definitely not a huge stepdown from Court (it's pretty close to a *****, if you ask me), and Fripp should be given plenty of credit for that. And if you have more doubts about the quality of the album, know this - my brother, whose favorite band is KC, now feels that Court is the worst Crimson album barring Lizard, yet he digs this album. Go figure.

Report this review (#284844)
Posted Friday, June 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars We've all heard the story. After releasing In The Court Of The Crimson King, the band imploded (Robert Fripp must have been a joy to work with even back then). And Fripp gathered the remnants of the band and put together something of a clone of the first album.

Pictures Of A City is structurally and tonally nearly identical to 20st Century Schizoid Man. Cadence And Cascade sounds like an imitation of I Talk To The Wind. And In The Wake Of Poseidon is embarassingly similar to Epitaph.

That leaves Cat Food a great little song, with superbly frenetic piano work by Keith Tippett, and The Devil's Triangle, Crimson's nice reworking of Gustav Holst's Mars, Bringer Of War from The Planets. The latter was also helped immensely by Tippett's piano work.

Oh, and there are those little, forgettable Peace interludes strewn throughout the album. Is that supposed to be ironic? On an album named for the crimson king?

Anyway, had this album come first, I would have rated it much higher. But since half the material just doesn't sound original, I give it three stars.

Report this review (#285445)
Posted Monday, June 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars It's difficult to review this album, when the last album I was listening was album prior to this.

Pictures Of A City doesn't have good lyrics (or at least I don't consider "Dance-Chance" as good) and I simply hear 21st century Schizoid Man here. It's basically 21CSM base (little bit modified) with more exploration that on "original" track (which may sound to some as desperate attempt to sound interesting, but not for me, not for Marty). Except this track, this album sound original enough to be interesting.

People, don't be so paranoid, this isn't rip-off. When you'll look very closely on a white wall, you can see purple circles. Yes, it's very easy, when you think about them. Same with comparison to ItCoCK. It just seems unfair that this great album is getting so much flak for sounding like it sounds. Honestly, without knowing predescor, this would be almost masterpiece album. But Court was the first KC album I've heard, one of the albums that get me to the Prog.

Cat Food is my favourite song of this album. This time it's short rather than long piece, but shows weird combination of more common Rock characteristic (pace of first part of the song) with improvization in the second part, together done in harsh KC style. The Devil's Triangle is very weird theme, mellotron hell (or heaven?) and for me, very loveable composition. This is very close to image about Bermuda's (Devil's) Triangle I have in my mind.

Yes, dark Crimson, very dark King, but this is the best thing about it. If I want to have positive music, I go for Genesis, Yes or Kansas (or Queen - except last album). However, this album is sadly full of some empty, void places. Similarly to Moonchild, I don't like it that much. And it's even worse than Moonchild in this issue.

4(-), unbalanced album full of good and some bad stuff.

Beautiful is also cover art.

Report this review (#286273)
Posted Sunday, June 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars UPDATE: I'll knock one star off this one, mainly because the album it seems to have copied is also declining in quality over the years. But Lizard and Islands don't deserve the same rating as this; 'The Devil's Triangle' is really quite annoying on reflection. A few spins later and I will probably change my mind...... such is the miserable tautology of being a King Crimson listener!

REVIEW: I'm with those who would rather sympathise with Robert Fripp than criticise his very obvious decision to retain the format from 'Court' on this more-than-difficult second album.

Lets think about it logically; would a guitarist as original and innovative as Fripp really create such a carbon-copy though choice? No. It was a necessary evil, the result of most of the original Crimso line-up discarding their initial success and abandoning Bob at the time he needed them most. That is my view on the politics that surround this album; I'll move on to the reviewing without this unfortunate situation having any influence on my rating.

Firstly, the three 'Peace' sections. These are unnecessary of course, and could be described as filler (the last part is basically a merging of the first two) but they sound pleasant and are ultimately inoffensive. 'Pictures Of a City' is great, similar in structure to 'Schizoid Man' but a different composition nonetheless. And when one eventually grows bored of the former jazz workout (which is by no means immediately, by the way) they can enjoy this "equal sequel" just as much. The Haskell-sung 'Cadence and Cascade' is an appropriately calmer tune, although there is little here of much interest and I prefer Lake's voice. 'In the Wake of Poseidon' is the biggest culprit for replicating ITCOTCK, in this case borrowing most of it's chords and instrumentation from 'Epitaph', but I actually prefer this song. In my opinion, the melody and imagery has more to offer this time around; it links to the album artwork too.

'Cat Food' is my favourite. This is the one offering on 'Poseidon' that is totally original, showing a (then) new side of the band that would feature more prominently on side one of 'Lizard'. The heavy syncopation, tight rhythm section, maniac Tippet piano and amusingly cynical lyrics all work together to create a groovy and thoughtful song. And it's actually pretty short, so it never grows dull. The final track is the obligatory experimental 'The Devil's Triangle', an exercise in dissonant improvisation over a 5/4 ostinato, based on Holst's renowned 'Mars' piece. This is interesting, especially towards the end when the band discover various studio samples and whack them in. However, this piece of music is perhaps too long to effectively deliver it's intended atmosphere; possibly the "we've run out of ideas now" syndrome had an influence.

Most of the material here is as interesting and powerful as the adjacent Crimson outputs, suffering only from a general lack of personnel and song ideas. Lake's considerate vocal contributions and the impressive new sax player Mel Collins however, are highlights, lifting this record from the mere carbon-copy bin and into the King Crimson shelf of listenable albums. 'In the Wake of Poseidon' is safe but cool.

Report this review (#290843)
Posted Sunday, July 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars It's difficult to even imagine a worthy followup of any sort to King Crimson's magnificent debut album but the band did give it a fair shot with satisfactory results. Although In The Wake Of Poseidon might not be as spectacular, it did show that King Crimson were far from a one time occurrence and the lightning almost struck twice here!

By the time of the recording session for the band's second album, most of the members have already departed from the lineup. This even included Greg Lake, who only returned in exchange for King Crimson's PA equipment that was later used by ELP. So it can be noted that In The Wake Of Poseidon was far from a team effort, showing us some of Robert Fripp's early moments of complete dominance over the band's material. Luckily his dominance never made itself known in the instrumental arrangements which is one of the main reasons why I consider him to be the best instrumentalist of all time. Not only is he a great guitar player, but he also manages to show self-restrain in a business where this quality is rare.

I was really surprised the first time I heard the criticism of structural resemblance between In The Court Of The Crimson King and its followup since it didn't occur to me up until that point. Honestly though, I find this comparison to be unjust outside of the fact that The Devil's Triangle pointlessly samples the title track from the debut album. The music here is much more thematic and the Peace-themes make much more sense than what the band would later do on The Power To Believe! As for the song material itself, it's not as good as the debut album but seeing that the band was really trying to push things forwards is enough for me to give this release my seal of approval. The title track is easily one of my top five King Crimson compositions featuring a hauntingly beautiful Mellotron arrangement and excellent lyrics by Peter Sinfield. The Devil's Triangle is probably on the polar opposite side of the scale, marking the least interesting moment of the album that could have been cut right around the ending of Hand Of Sceiron.

I can't deny that I'm a huge fan of King Crimson and my reviews will sometimes be unintentionally biased upwards, but this is not such an occurrence. I honestly enjoy this record and hope that more people might see beyond the tiresome criticism since the music is definitely worth it!

***** star songs: Pictures Of A City (8:03) In The Wake of Poseidon (7:56)

**** star songs: Peace - A Beginning (0:49) Cadence And Cascade (4:27) Peace - A Theme (1:15) Cat Food (4:54) Peace - An End (1:53)

*** star songs: The Devil's Triangle (11:35)

Report this review (#298749)
Posted Saturday, September 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars A jazzy masterpiece by one of our founding fathers King Crimson. Not nearly as jazzy as his later works. But some little jazz niblets running around here and there, as Michaels Giles scares them away this drums. Perfect example of Powerful creative drumming. Extremely rare execution on the different concepts and musical ideas fed to us during the album. Compliments to the chef. Critics think that this is due to some type of "copycat" of the best album of all time, made by them not too long before this release. No copycats in good music, just everlasting ideas. This is no war to be waged on any band. You have all heard this bafore, so why read this? Go listen.
Report this review (#306801)
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars What a strange album. In the Wake of Poseidon often gets accused of being a clone of the groups first outing. I think that, other than the title, that that is very untrue. In fact I don't think it's like anything I've ever heard. Very unique, but full of imperfections. The best songs are "Pictures of a City" "Cadance and Cascade" and the title track. The others are the three titled "Peace" which are mostly just segues, and intro/outro material. Cat Food and The Devils Triangle are strange and uneven songs. Cat Food is a groovy little jam that really makes no sense and is just quite silly, but enjoyable all the same. The Devils Triangle is one of those instrumentals where NOTHING at all happens and it brings the album down a bit. Giles Fripp and crew all play there instruments in top form here as usual, but I'd still call this album the weakest of early Crimson. So, good but not essential.
Report this review (#306809)
Posted Wednesday, October 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars The underrating of this album has always puzzled me. The complaints tend to be along the lines of, "It's a shameless carbon-copy of the far superior original." First of all, if this album were a carbon copy of the original (and I'd be the last to deny the many similarities), what is wrong with that? Why give the former five-star "Essential" status and dog so viciously on the latter?

To me, this album is actually SUPERIOR to the debut. All the songs which have direct comparisons are just as good. Only "Pictures of a City" is inferior to its equivalent on "In the Court", "21st Century Schizoid Man". But "Cadence and Cascade" is at least equal in quality to "I Talk to the Wind" and the same goes for "In the Wake of Posiedon" as compared to "Epitaph". "Moonchild" has no equivalent here, and so much the better - all that means is that this album doesn't waste seven minutes of vinyl as the end of that song did.

In addition to the songs which are similar, there is also the "Peace" reprisals which are short enough that they shouldn't bother anybody and lend the album a coherence. Plus, the guitar on these is very pretty. "Cat Food" has no equivalent before or since, by any artist, and it's a great song - probably the closest song in spirit would be "The Great Deceiver" but the two really don't sound anything alike. And "The Devil's Triangle" is also here, which for my money might just as well have been cut in half but it still isn't the waste of space that "Moonchild" was.

These are all strong songs, and as a whole this album is actually better than the debut. I sometimes grow bored with that one, feeling that a couple of the tracks drag for too long - this one has more songs, and they are more compact, and if it had been their debut rather than "In the Court" I'm sure it would receive more of the recognition it rightfully deserves.

Report this review (#320223)
Posted Monday, November 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars Probably the most underwhelming album by KC, and that's saying a lot when I'm probably one of the bigger KC fanboys you could find. None of the songs are bad, though the "Peace" segments can be a bit annoying. Lyrically this isn't Sinfield's greatest achievement, though usually the lyrics are OK. The artwork is certainly worth a mention though, as the second best KC artwork (after Lizard of course).

Peace (A Beginning)- Not so great opening, the lyrics are a bit too hippy trippy. Lake gives good vocals though.

Pictures Of A City- While not a bad song, it feels like a huge rehash of the structures used in 21st Schizoid Man. The saxophone in the beginning, the distorted vocals, the fast instrumental section. I'm surprised they were OK with themselves after doing something so similar to the Schizoid man.

Cadence and Cascade- An acoustic song, which at least isn't a rehash of "I Talk To The Wind", but isn't stellar either. Haskell's vocals aren't bad, though a bit weak. Overall an average song which there isn't much to say about.

In The Wake Of Poseidon- Many say it sounds like the title track from the debut, but I say it sounds like "Epitaph". The mellotron, the acoustic guitar. All are again in almost the same structure as "Epitaph". At least they manage to get a pretty good melody out of it. Lake's vocals are great. This is also probably Sinfield's best show on the album.

Peace (A Theme)- Cute acoustic interlude by Fripp. No lyrics so, but the guitar is rather nice, though the piece does feel a bit like a filler.

Catfood- A pretty cool catchy song. The piano provided by Keith TIppett is incredible. Also the rhythm section is pretty tight. Definitely a bright spot in the album when it comes to new material.

Devil's Triangle- A long instrumental, which is actually very good once you get into it. Reminds me of "Mars" (I think it actually might be "Mars" with a different name). Some great production (you can hear "In the Court Of The Crimson King" at times). Reminds me of "Moonchild", as the one piece you really need to get into. Overall a good instrumental.

Peace (An End)- Probably the best of the "Peace" trilogy, though still not amazing, but gives a nice closure to the album. The vocals are done very well.

If this was any other band I'd give this 4 or maybe even 5 stars (mayyybbeee). But considering this is one of the most influential and creative bands in progressive rock, I don't think such a rehash of the first album is allowed. I'd still check it out, there's still a good amount of worthwhile moment here.

Bassist Review: While Greg Lake was never considered an incredible bass player, I expected a bit more variety from the man. That I have to say the bass line to Catfood is simple, it is pretty powerful. But for the most part it's the same playing octaves from the first album.

Report this review (#329188)
Posted Monday, November 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Even the first time I listened to this album--in my brother's dorm room--I was repelled by the familiarity, the feeling that it was nothing more than a little-inspired recapitulation of the sound and formulae of the previous album, the masterpiece and first big "storm" in the new "progressive rock" domain, "In The Court of The Crimson King." It is no wonder that previous collaborators like the Giles brothers and Greg Lake were to soon flee--I would not want to be stuck in such a rut--as good as ITCoTCK was, it did not need to be so closely imitated, it did not need to be rehashed--especially not less than a year after ITCoTCK's initial release! Luckily, RF was forced to rethink his musical direction by the mass exodus of his band mates and the inputs of new collaborators.
Report this review (#330926)
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is King Crimson's follow up to the debut, and while it isn't bad at all, it is lacking inspiration. It is well known that a lot of the people involved in the project weren't particularly keen on being there, such as vocalist Greg Lake and Drummer Michael Giles.

I did once see a movie called 'The Poseidon Adventure' about a sinking ship, and that kind of is a good metaphor for this album and what happened here.

With Fripp at the helm and trying to recreate the success of the previous 'In the Court of the Crimson King', the songs 'Pictures of a city' and 'In the wake of Poseidon' are *highly reminiscent* of the songs '21st Century Schizoid Man' and 'Epitaph' from the first album, respectively. The difference this time is a marked decline in enthusiasm and passion.

Also, 'Cadence and Cascade' feels similar to the 'I talk to the wind' from the debut disc, but different enough to avoid too many comparisons, mainly because it is being sung by Gordon Haskell rather than Greg Lake. So the first side is pretty much a re-run of the previous albums' first side, with the addition of the brief 'Peace - A beginning'.

The second side of 'In the wake of Poseidon' is new, but it isn't that good. Actually, it kind of 'points the way' to the material the band would make a few years later; dissonant, dark, noisy, eccentric. But despite that, it's not good. Well, 'Cat Food' is a fine pop-rock song, quirky though, and catchy, but the lengthy 'Devil's Triangle' is just not good. This is also bookended with 'Peace - a theme' and 'Peace - an end'. The 'Peace' song might have been better if it wasn't broken into three pieces.

Overall, not an amazing album, but a decent listen if you like this style of progressive rock. King Crimson are a highly innovative band, but this wasn't one of their most inspiring releases. Two Stars.

Report this review (#343770)
Posted Sunday, December 5, 2010 | Review Permalink

"In the Wake of Poseidon"is definitely a good album, but commits a grave error: it is a copy of its predecessor, the brilliant and fantastic "In the Court of King Crimson. " I would say that is because of lack of ideas but the truth is that most of the songs on this album already existed at the time of "In the court ...".

What can I say? Party throughout the album immediately takes us to the first, while some shows another King Crimson.

I'll start talking about the originals. "Cat food" is the first real foray into jazz in KC, which would be further explored in the next album "Lizards. " We still have the theme "Peace" in three parts and the fantastic and amazing (but too boring and tiresome) "The Devil's Triangle"(name tense), which I found to be an epic better than "Moonchild. "

And then, the "self-plagiarism":

- "Pictures of the city" reminds us of "21st century schizoid man" - "Cadence and cascade" refers to the "I talk to wind" -And the title track could be called "Epitaph Pt 2. "

3.5 stars

Report this review (#388562)
Posted Friday, January 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars One of the most disappointing follow-up albums in the history of music. Then again, it's not that it's a bad album as such, it's just such a let-down after the highs and promises of Crimson King. It becomes obvious that the promise is never going to be fulfilled, that the moment we had it in our fingers, it was already gone.

The loss of McDonald must be one crucial factor, through no fault of Mel Collins, a fine and much-valued musician in any circle. It's just that chemistry isn't there, despite the excellence of Giles & Fripp - anything these musicians would do couldn't help but be interesting. Just as well, considering this was as good as it ever got.

Report this review (#428294)
Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars In The Wake of Poseidon is a great follow up album to King Crimson's genre defining debut, but I honestly have always thought this album sounded a bit dry. The tracks here are solid, but some of the tracks are kind of redundant. "Pictures of a City" simply sounds like a slowed down version of "21st Century Schizoid Man", "Devil's Triangle" is a purposeless march, "In The Wake of Poseidon" sounds like a slightly altered version of "Epitaph", but overall the songs are great sounding. "Cadence and Cascade" is a beautiful acoustic ballad and "Cat Food" is a classic King Crimson jazz jam.

This is a fine album, but doesn't quite live up the the fantastic debut.

Report this review (#429379)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars In the wake of ... in the court.

The high expectations after the debut album aren't fully maintained by King Crimson's second album, "In The Wake Of Poseidon" The tracks are already played in concert before the recording of the album, and almost all are from the same period of "In The Court Of The Crimson King"; for this reason, "In The Wake Of Poseidon" has the same atmospheres and more or less the same sound of its predecessor. While this is not necessarily a fault, for the extraordinary quality of "In The Court Of The Crimson King, it is obvious that the copy can hardly be as good as the original. However, the main problem is not that, but it is a clear inhomogeneity that you feel hearing this record: the first side of the album, basically, refers to the style of the previous album while the second side sees the presence of more experimental tracks including the first raid by Fripp in the free-jazz territory (Cat's Food). It therefore seems obvious some indecisiveness on the stylistic direction to be taken, and this is the clear fault concerning "In The Wake Of Poseidon".

Something about the songs? A lot of mellotron here, but Fripp uses this instrument in a much more innovative way than McDonald, especially in the experimental The Devil's Triangle a long and ominous instrumental track that, heard today, is a bit boring. By contrary In The Wake Of Poseidon (or, if you want, ... "Epitaph Part Two ... " ) is a masterful composition with a convincing Greg Lake at vocals and a middle section (Libra's Theme) with an amazing sequence of mellotron chords. Also good is Pictures Of A City (or "21st Century Schizoid Man Part Two ..." ) with a memorable opening attack, the sound of distorted guitar, and the outstanding sax riff. Peace and Cadence and Cascade are the most melodic tracks: not bad, but "I Talk To The Wind" was better.

Concluding an album with ups and downs. Not essential but, however, recommended to all.

Final rating: 6/10.

Best song: In The Wake Of Poseidon

Review milestone #30 by DN

Report this review (#436171)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Trying to followup the brilliant IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING may have been the hardest job in the history of Progressive Music. While IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON does not live up to it's elder brother, it is not a failure either. WIth the title, the mood, the lyrics, and the mellotron, this bears a striking resemblence to it's predecessor, however, I get bored really fast listening to this album. It does not really have any strong, memorable tracks . Nothing stands out for me here, and some tracks are just not good- the title track is in my mind, here. I also much prefer Lake over Haskell vocally. Overall, not a King Crimson release that I listen to much anymore. But still a solid 3 star album.
Report this review (#436183)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars In the Wake of Poseidon ? 1970 (3.6/5) 12 ? Best Song: Cadence and Cascade Quick to do more damage to the outside world by bringing together the same style of raving jazz blistering such material and fresh on the heels of their first success, the band decided it was time to go in a completely different direction by?doing pretty much the same thing as before. It isn't fair to say that then call the review a day, I mean it doesn't exactly tell you what's going on, does it? Well, let's just go through with it then. In the Wake of Poseidon is a solid, solid album. It also happens to be one of the least important King Crimson albums. What's that mean? Well, 'Pictures of a City' is definitely a lesser rewriting of 21st Century Schizoid Man. They cut out the heavy hammering, and the song's got less substance, but they utilize te exact same style of vocal delivery (sort of ominous and monotonous). What would you expect them to follow that with? A banal hard rocker with little actual direction? No, it's a reiteration of Talk to winds! It's really good, though, almost as good as Winds, which is strange because Pictures was nowhere near as good as Schizoid. 'Cadence and Cascade' is the link that connects both of them. I've started off on the wrong foot. Let me return to the beginning. Poseidon is an excellent album in its own right. Any normal jam/prog band would kill for this type of offhand quality. There's an even larger weight put on the symphonic element. The title track does so very fluidly. Greg Lake is one of my all time favorite prog vocalists by the way. He's only beaten out by maybe Peter Gabriel, really. Hey, it even has a big, directionless waste of time, too! 'Devil's Triangle' should be shot.
Report this review (#441680)
Posted Monday, May 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Let me put this straight. I think Robert Fripp and his colleagues are incapable of bad music as such. Anything Fripp is involved in, is likely to be elaborate, intriguing, interesting. But nothing that followed In the Court of The Crimson King is anything at all to do with King Crimson. That band lived and died on that album. The label was kept to help future sales of Fripp and his projects, but it was sod all to do with Crimson, it was King in name only.

It was such a shame that having established something as wonderful as that album, the band chose to disintegrate and leave us a legacy of promise that can never be fulfilled. This album here is interesting, esoteric, but vague, indecisive, and with a total lack of former majesty. There but for a nail, a Kingdom was lost.

Report this review (#447437)
Posted Friday, May 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars In The Wake Of Poseidon is the second attempt at showing the world what music should strive to accomplish. The album takes all the elements of the first album and tries to push them further. It's not verbatim. Just very similar. The progression can be felt if listened to closely. The biggest improvement being the drums. Michael Giles just kills it on this album which can be felt on the first "real" track.

Peace - A beginning doesn't fell like a real track and could have been omitted.

Pictures of a City is an extension of 21st Century Schizoid Man. It is in the sonic sense. The swing and intensity is there. The vocals are in your face but not as on fire as Schizoid. The riffage is more in depth and the song as a whole is more structured. It doesn't however leave as much room for the avant-craziness that Schizoid accounts for.

Cascade and Cadence doesn't really do it for me. The song is well structured. It's catchy and the acoustic guitar work is on point. The piano is a great accompaniment. The drums again are great. Something about the vocals doesn't work for me. They aren't bad but they just aren't KC to me.

In The Wake Of Poseidon starts with a Mellotron Storm and cuts away. This song is an extension of Epitaph to me. It has the same kind of drum beat during the 1st "verse" though they improve the second "verse" on. The song isn't as monumental as Epitaph. However that shouldn't detract the listener from appreciating the passages. This has the elements to provide "epicness".

Peace - A Theme is a very beautiful acoustic guitar track. Fripp is a master of guitar chords. The song provides a very beautiful landscape for the listener to journey.

Cat Food is an awesome rock and roll song. Very catchy and very crazy in the vein of The Beatles. Short and sweet.

The Devil's Triangle takes forever to start and the beginning reminds me of Mars. Not sure what came from what but it is definitely the same. A very complicated track to listen too though not particularly complex in the rhythm. It eventually builds up but I don't get a sense of accomplishment from it. Maybe they should have done a few more takes.

Peace - An End is better then the beginning but still isn't anything to get crazy about.

Overall this album takes the formula from their first and tries to achieve the same glory of the first. It doesn't really accomplish that in a sense but the music is still good. Everything is a three to me in terms of not accomplishing more with the exception of Cat Food which I consider a Five. Pictures although very mimicking of 21st Century Schizoid Man is a good improvement in terms of involvement. 3.5 stars rounded up because I believe this to still be essential to all prog fans. 4 stars

Report this review (#454037)
Posted Monday, May 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars In the Wake of Poseidon sees Robert Fripp trying his best to put out a King Crimson album at a point in time when the band had for all intents and purposes completely disintegrated, with only Fripp and Sinfield 100% committed to keeping the project going. Calling in favours from former bandmates and the likes of Keith Tippett, Fripp manages to throw together an album which is extraordinarily good considering the circumstances - but in terms of objective quality it's clearly not a top tier Crimson album. The Devil's Triangle, a Crimson take on Holst's Mars, Bringer of War, is a highlight of the album, as is Pictures of a City (which brings in a heavy jazz influence).

But most of the other songs seem knocked off in a hurry (like Cat Food) - probably because they were - or seem to be mere unfinished sketches, like the Peace fragments scattered throughout the album. And the lack of solid development following on from In the Court... is undeniable.

No doubt this is the best album Fripp could throw together at the time... but the dire circumstances meant that the best he could do is simply "acceptable" rather than "revolutionary".

Report this review (#460834)
Posted Monday, June 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm honestly thunderstruck by such a low overall rating posed on this one. "In the Wake of Poseidon" stands on its own as one of the greatest achievements in progressive rock history, without any exaggeration. Standard critics that undermine this piece of work by way of comparing it with ITCOTKC should really take a minute or two to listen with attention this amazing album.

Right from the start, with Peace: A Beginning, you already know the journey is heading towards unexpected horizons. Pictures Of A City, In The Wake Of Poseidon, Cat Food and The Devil's Triangle are heavily jazz-influenced songs that sparkle with their strongly written lyrics and an extremely demanding sound, finally consolidating KING CRIMSON's hierarchy.

Nonetheless, we should take this one step by step. The three different songs called Peace (A Beginning, A Theme and An End) are a kind of mirror variation of the general theme which is often repeated in the entire album. This might sound as musically repetitive, but actually it's quite the contrary. You have to pay enough attention in order to find out the when it is played again, because of the great creativity with which it is reprised. This includes, of course, subtle drumming indications, quick guitar riff hints, passacaglia-style bass lines and sax modal approximations.

On the other hand, Pictures Of A City is a song filled with contrast and dynamic that enables a proportion of true rhythm rarely experienced in rock music. The guitar parts are amazingly well driven, with motives unbinding and establishing intimate dialogue with the other instruments, especially saxophone and bass. The quicker parts, that include a kind of rock-jazz-blues progression with intricated guitar riffs is simply marvelous.

Cadence and Cascade, and In The Wake Of Poseidon are naturally more in the guise of the last album. They propose a series of widespread instrumental atmospheres strengthened by beautiful and poetic lyrics that establish with attitude the whole concept of the album.

Cat Food can be considered one of the most important songs in rock history. It achieves what many progressive rock bands from the 60's to the 2010's never could: combine with success 20th century modernist (or atonal, or contemporary) concert music, jazz, country/blues and rock in one single piece. And this by means of separating explicitly the functions of every single instrument: piano on atonality and "indeterminacy", guitar on jazzy solos and country/blues harmonies, bass and drums on the remaining of the creative bonding that can make the whole picture posible.

We could go way further on the specific details of this masterpiece anytime, but for now I would be very pleased if this review encouraged you to listen carefully to "In The Wake Of Poseidon" and wait for the best to happen. You will not be disappointed at all, that's a total guarantee.

Report this review (#460972)
Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Vastly underrated album. Coming off of their amazing debut, King Crimson was barely surviving as a band so it seemed obvious to do similar style of music again.

Peace-A Beginning: Nice opening with Greg's amazing vocals.

Pictures of a City: Very jazzy rocker similar to Schizoid Man but holds up in its own right. They have been performing since the original line-up. It still works as it's own song.

Cadence and Cascade: Probably the most beautiful song KC ever did. Gordon Haskell's vocals really make this song.

In they Wake of Poseidon: You can't really compare this to Epitaph or Court of Crimson King(I've seen people do it) This is it's own song and is just ok in it's own right. I could never really get into this song and doesn't strike a chord with me

Peace-A Theme: Acoustic Guitar interlude from Robert Fripp. Not Bad

Cat Food: You could call this a guilty pleasure if you want but I just love this song with Keith Tippet's weird jazzy piano and lyric about junk food(even back then) Great song that I guess was the only single from this

The Devil's Triangle: Yes we know It's Mars but hey if a rock band can do something ambitious, they earn my respect. Is it any good? Yes. They really made this a memorable track with a slight reference to Court of Crimson King which was very interesting. I enjoy the chaotic nature of the ending.

Peace-An End: A reverse longer version of A Beginning. Not Bad way to end the album

Overall, A underrated gem that is worth listening. 4 stars. Highlights: Pictures of a City, Cat Food and The Devil's Triangle

Report this review (#520468)
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
Prog Sothoth
Prog Metal Team
4 stars It's all about cat food. Meow Mix. Friskies. Fancy Feast. It's the stuff dreams are made of. Without cat food, where would we be?

Without "Cat Food", In The Wake Of Poseidon would definitely be a less entertaining experience. I've heard King Crimson's debut hundreds of times before I finally listened to this followup, and man, for a while I was a bit bummed. The songs aren't bad by any means, but they weren't exactly turning my eyes into slinkies either.

Pictures Of A City is a pretty kickin' tune in its own right, although the middle section doesn't deliver, getting soft but not hitting back particularly hard before it ends. Yeah, it gets loud again, but it feels, for some reason, "standard", like part of a routine. Band has dinner. Band plays "Pictures Of A City". Band poops and does a crossword puzzle. Band goes to bed. I didn't feel any sense of adventure, which the album title seemed to promise. "Cadence And Cascade" apes "I talk To The Wind", but with vocals by Haskell. It's alright, but not really in the same class as the original...I mean the second song from ITCOTCK. The title track follows, and is basically an amorphous meshing of "Epitaph" and ITCOTCK's title track. It works pretty good though, and although it doesn't necessarily impress, it's kinda' cool.

The true coolness kicks in with "Cat Food". You can't honestly say it sounds remotely like "Moonchild" or is a clone of anything off their debut. As the second to last 'main' track on this album, it's got a slinky, grooovy vibe and lyrics, though 'out there', show the band losing some pretension and having some fun while still tossing in some cookin' musicianship. It's one of my favorite tunes by them, and yeah, best song on the album.

"The Devil's Triangle" works as a deranged instrumental that conjures the song title very well. It's essentially a musical whirlwind and listening to it does give the impression of being stuck in a particularly harrowing storm. The Peace tunes are little ditties to add some garnish to the whole thing, kind of like putting garnish on cat food. It's a nice thing to do, but it doesn't really spice up the food too much.

It's really a borderline situation for me whether I would consider it excellent or good, but since sitting on a fence hurts after a bit, I'll just give it the excellent treatment because of that one insanely groovy cool tune this album possesses, and the fact that nothing here is as utterly annoying as "Moonchild". It must be tough to be this album, always being compared to its elder sibling, but as a stand-alone, a lot of bands back then would have loved to have said they created these songs.

Report this review (#564207)
Posted Tuesday, November 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars The second album from King Crimson. An album pretty similar to their debut.

Eclectic is the first word that springs to mind. An eclectic development of what The Beatles did on Revolver and Sgt Pepper. Cat Food for example is not far away from the Beatles formula. The Devil's Triangle is though much more like the avant garde scene at that time. It also has what I regard as one of King Crimson's signature cards: Robert Fripp's mellotron. The same also goes for the title track with the rich mellotron sound. Greg Lake's vocals are excellent on this album and the rest of the band also does a very good job here. This album is a bit of a mixed bag with not so good stuff and some very good stuff. It is not in the same class as the debut and it is also threading water a bit too much for my liking. This album is not one of their best albums, I am afraid.

3 stars

Report this review (#575775)
Posted Saturday, November 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 7/10

Despite the resemblance of the debut, "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is another gem in King Crimson's discography.

King Crimson's follow up to ITCOTKC is s famous example in music of how some sophomore LP attempt to recreate the formula of the first album. Concerning this, not everyone agrees, but it seems undeniable as you listen to it. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is a quite enjoyable experience nevertheless, certainly it remains one of the gems of the band.

Music wise, the album feels a little more adventurous, I must say, than the debut. Or better, it has definitely a different structure, which of course is something to recognize for this album, even when comparing it to the debut. However strictly musically speaking some ideas are repeated noticeably, like the strong, powerful, distorted,jazzy song, or the melancholic mellotron driven song, or the precious flute ballad. These three type of songs can be found in both albums, unfortunately. The first half of "In The Wake Of Poseidon", thus, feels like nothing new. However, the second half is much more avant-garde, quirky, and even dark at times. The second half is definitely a new type of experiment for King Crimson, luckily.

The first half of the album consists of the "21st Century Schizoid Man" imitation "Pictures Of A City", which in itself isn't a bad track at all, it actually has a great melody and fantastic musicianship, however moments are just too similar to the above mentioned track. The same can be said with "Cadence And Cascade" and the title track, both reminiscent of "I Talk To The Wind" for the first and "Epitah" for the latter, however, for both of the new tracks I feel they are not at all as powerful and effective as the original ones. The album does have a reoccurring theme, "Peace", a brief track that appears as an intro, halftime, and outro of the album. It is pleasant to hear, but I like it only because it is one of the elements for King Crimson that is completely new. The second half features the original side: "Cat Food" is an almost noisy and cacophonous piece, wild and strange, with a great piano performance and great, harsh vocals by Greg Lake. But then comes the real twist: the eleven minute "The Devil's Triangle", a menacing sounding mellotron dominating half of it, while the other half is an honest, yet tense avant-garde composition where all the instruments seemed almost smashed into each other to make the resulting music.

A definite must for any Crimson fan despite the resemblance of ITCOTCK. A certainly important album for the band, that showed that they can also move towards new horizons, like they will do more and more widely on following efforts.

Report this review (#590140)
Posted Saturday, December 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars As a followup to the earth-shattering debut, King Crimson manage to still capture the innovative musicianship that gave them a cult reputation on their second album "In the Wake of Poseidon", though this is not as phenomenal as "In the Court of the Crimson King". After a few listens it really tends to grow on the listener and features some of the Crim's finest compositions.

After the 'Peace - a beginning' intro the album begins in earnest with a grinding chord structure and Fripp's angular guitar riff. Greg Lake is excellent on vocals as good as he was on the stunning debut's '21st Century Schizoid Man'. However, the wild jazzy sax is not as omnipresent. The track 'Pictures Of A City (including 42nd At Treadmill)' is a highlight though, with its dark textures and dissonant time sigs.

'Cadence and Cascade' is a beautiful ballad from Lake, a precursor to his ballads with Emerson Lake & Palmer.

'In The Wake Of Poseidon (incl. Libra's Theme)' is a glorious mellotron soaked song with Lake towering on vocals, sounding like his early Emerson Lake and Palmer days. The slow tempo and Michael Giles' measured percussion are wonderful. Fripp is masterful on mellotron creating a strong ambient atmosphere.

'Cat Food' is perhaps the most well known song on the album and is quite a quirky infectious song that has some sardonic vocals and a great Frippian riff.

A wave of serenity is generated with more mellotron on 'The Devil's Triangle', a mini epic at about 12 minutes in three sections. 'a. Merday Morn' begins with Giles' war-like marching percussion, and a melody that is Mars, Bringer of War by Gustav Holst. There is an avant- garde slow build up intensifying till it breaks into a howling wind; 'b. Hand Of Sceiron'. Finally the music segues to 'c. Garden Of Worm' with atonal jazz patterns and gaudy keyboards with discordant brass blasts. The final track, another variation of 'Peace' has the prayerful compressed vocals of Lake acapella style until a minimalist acoustic guitar chimes in.

Overall the album is an incredible array of music but is quite uneven when it comes to King Crimson. There is more improvisation than usual and it features some highlights but quite a degree of unpleasantness with out of tune sections and off beat rhythms. It is a difficult album to listen to but is nonetheless an important one for the Crims who were branching into very experimental territory. They attempted to capture the emotional resonance and virtuosity of the debut but it is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle, and it simply cannot be replicated, not even by the Crims. It would all come together on the next few albums that would reach classic status and become quintessential to the band's revolutionary reputation. 3 and a half stars - but rounded off to 4.

Report this review (#605458)
Posted Sunday, January 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars In The Wake of Poseidon gets a lot of comparisons to its predecessor, and quite fairly. The sound of both albums is very similar, probably more so than any other two KC albums (at least in the band's initial output). But Poseidon still holds a few surprises.

An unflattering homage to New York, "Pictures of a City" is Poseidon's "21st Century Schizoid Man". The raucous composition creates a feeling of chaos that really puts you down on the dirty, bustling side streets, evocative of NYC in the late 1960s. "Cadence and Cascade", this album's "I Talk to the Wind", slows things down, while introducing future KC lead singer Gordon Haskell to the mix. And the title track is reminiscent of, you guessed it, "The Court of the Crimson King". While these are all good songs, none of them (except maybe "Cadence and Cascade") hold up to their counterparts from the debut album. What sets In The Wake of Poseidon apart, and makes it a slight improvement, is the second half.

"Cat Food" is not just unique in the context of this album, but to KC's entire catalogue. In fact, it almost seems to belong on a more recent KC album. The lyrics in particular sound like something Adrian Below would churn out, compared to the usual mysticism of Peter Sinfield. The song itself has an offbeat jazz fusion vibe.

"The Devil's Triangle" is Crimson's take on Gustav Holst's "Mars, the Bringer of War". It's very interesting to hear KC take on a classical piece, but it proves they didn't quite have the affinity for it like some of their contemporaries (see The Nice). Although it presages some of KC's darker moments to come, the song drags on just a bit too long.

The whole album is bookended by the "Peace" trilogy. Not a particularly memorable collection of songs, but they do give the album a sense of wholeness.

On this sophomore album, Robert Fripp takes control. Having a hand in only three of the five songs on ITCOTCK, he writes nearly this entire album by himself. That could be what accounts for the improvement. Fortunately, Fripp wasn't done here.

Report this review (#611286)
Posted Monday, January 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars The most underrated King Crimson album together with Islands in my opinion.

This where it all really started. I love "In the Court...", but this is the first album where we can hear the Crimson sound which will evolve in the next 33 years. The best example of this new experimental sound is Devils Triangle - one of the most powerful and best Crimson tracks ever recorded. The whole record has much more dynamic sound and is more jazzy than debut. It grows bigger in my ears with every listen, and I listen to Crimson for about 6 years. (not so much time for this band, I have a feeling still i will be learning Fripps genious for many years)

Also I love the tight concept of the album, all those tracks connected together by Peace interludes. There are some similiarities with tracks from the debut, but its obvious that "In The Court..." wasnt so coherent, it was more about 5 quite different tracks than a concept album. And i will choose the title track from Poseidon over Epitaph anytime.

Don't listen to people talking about "copying the debut ideas with worse effect", give this album few attentive spins and you will hear the obvious differences and hidden genious. And it will grow on you from that moment.

Report this review (#614635)
Posted Saturday, January 21, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars In The Wake Of Poseidon is often too overlooked! I never had a problem with this album being in a similar mold to "In The Court Of The Crimson King". Well at least the first half of the album is. Luckily, King Crimson changed their musical direction slightly after this and constantly continued to do so. As for the music here, it's powerful and dark. "Pictures Of A City" is the first main track and the dynamic tempo changes are excellent . I have always loved Michael Giles' drumming style, but his playing is even more special and inspiring on this album. Gordan Haskell steps in on vocals for "Cadence and Cascade", which is a mezmerisingly delicate jazzy piece. His soft voice seems to suit the song perfectly. And the title track is just glorious with its atmospheric mellotrons reminiscent of "Epitaph" but it is a really great piece. "Cat Food" is quite an odd one, though quite amusing. It features some mad piano playing courtesy of Keith Tippett. This provides a taster for the kind of sounds that appear on the following album "Lizard". "The Devil's Triangle" is my least favourite piece on this album but I still like it. It's a very dark and complex instrumental. This is an immensely enjoyable album in all, gently brushing a four star rating.
Report this review (#655332)
Posted Monday, March 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Probably a bit too similar in terms of structure and style to 'In The Court Of The Crimson King', 'In The Wake Of The Poseidon' - King Crimson' second studio offering - has rightly been criticised in some quarters for basically using the same blueprint as it's wonderful predecessor. So, let's examine the facts. 'In The Wake Of Poseidon' starts off with a pacey, discordant slice of arty hard-rock('Pictures'). Check. Moves into a softer, subtler phase thereafter('Cadence & Cascade'). Check. Then finishes proceedings with a challenging, mellotron-drenched multi-part epic('The Devil's Triangle'). Check. But is it any good? The simple answer is yes, it is. Very good. Maybe the group's founder, leader and guitarist Robert Fripp should have branded this a sequel, yet in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter. An expertly-executed, complex, lyrical and highly-atmospheric album, this is classic Crimson and a worthy entry into the canon of great 1970s progressive rock. After the group's seminal debut and 1974's 'Red', this is undoubtedly the next best Crimson album. And 'Cadence & Cascade' is absolutely beautiful.


Report this review (#718057)
Posted Sunday, April 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Without Ian McDonald, it isn't the same, but it's still good,

With In The Wake of Poseidon, King Crimson copied themeselves for the only time. It resulted as a worthy follow-up, but it misses some of the key elements of King Crimson. When you listen to this album after you listen to ITCOTCK, you know that the symphonic elements of this band are missing. Ian McDonald is gone, Michael Giles is only a session drummer and Greg Lake does the same thing without the bass. Peter Giles, the brother of Michael took the bass duties. There is only Fripp and Sinfield that are in control of the band. It results as a good album with few highlights because of it's great consistance.

The Peace tracks are excellent. The problem about these tracks is that they are not long enough and that they miss instruments. Pictures of a City is a direct copy of Schizoid Man, only more bland and less spectacular. But it's still good. Cadence and Cascade is a good acoustic track with the best Gordon Haskell (the singer of Lizard) vocal performance ever. In The Wake of Poseidon is the best Court/Epitaph copy because it isn't missing anything that these tracks have. Emotional performance, excellent songwriting, it could've been an excellent song on the previous album. Cat Food is an original track that goes on for too long because of it's lenghty jam.

The Devil's Triangle is a copy of Gustav Holst's Mars which is the greatest dark classical composition ever. Only less organized and more chaotic, it tuns out as the Moonchild of this album.

Great album that misses something.

My grade: B

Report this review (#773251)
Posted Monday, June 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the success of In The Court Of The Crimson King, Crimson's first line-up imploded; Ian McDonald and Michael Giles left after the band's first U.S. tour, with Greg Lake immediately following to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer, leaving Robert Fripp to scramble together a band to assemble a second album. He managed to get Giles and Lake back, but only as session musicians with the latter only providing vocals, which left Giles, Giles & Fripp veteran Peter Giles to fill in for bass for this album. Rounding out the group are Mel Collins (sax/flutes), Keith Tippet (piano) and Gordon Haskell (vocals on "Cadence and Cascade"). Peter Sinfield remains as lyricist and Fripp continues to provide guitar and fill McDonald's Mellotron role. With the exception of the title track, most of the album was taken from works that were being developed when the Court line-up was still together.

In The Wake Of Poseidon has gained a bit of controversy among fans for its first side mirroring that of In The Court Of The Crimson King and many have dismissed this second installment as a cheap imitation, though others have frequently made cases in defense of the album. I find that sequels are not that unusual in rock, sometimes being just as good as its predecessor (Magical Mystery Tour to Sgt. Pepper's) or lacking (A Passion Play to Thick As A Brick). In my opinion, it probably leans a bit towards the former.

If I had to choose the best of the three Court clones, I'd probably pick "Pictures Of A City", a piece developed from the Court band's "A Man, A City" and even played in the same set as "21 Century Schizoid Man". It's not as nightmarish as its counterpart and compared to later numbers like "The Great Deceiver" and "Frame By Frame", it's not the best attempt at recapturing the glory of "Schizoid", plus, "Battle Of Glass Tears" and "Starless" would make better use of elements found in here. It could almost been seen as a self-parody, particularly in the speed section where it sounds like something from the live-action Batman show of the 1960s, but it's an entertaining self-parody and I can't help but crack a smile at the silliness of the whole thing.

I can't really say the same for the title track, the album's "Epitaph" counterpart. The lyrics are the definition of pretentious and while the same could be said about "Epitaph", at least they were well grounded. Here, they're a tad silly. I want to consider this one a low point, but it's not terrible, mainly due to the actual music being pretty good, especially the Mellotron and Lake's singing. Not as good as "Epitaph", but it's decent and I don't mind it being on when it appears.

That leaves the "I Talk To The Wind" sequel, "Cadence And Cascade", featuring future Crimson vocalist Gordon Haskell. The melody was based off of a Ian McDonald song "Flight Of The Ibis", but later reworked when McDonald left (McDonald would later record it on McDonald & Giles' self titled album). It's arguably the least copy-pasted of the three, though Collin's flute work in the second half of the song prevents it from escaping its clone status, but nonetheless, a pleasant listen. Fripp's acoustic guitar and Tippet's piano are nice touches and Haskell does well on vocals.

The other tracks go into new territory, though The "Peace" numbers, which open and close the album and split the original two sides, don't really do much for me, due to the short lengths in comparison to the rest of the album. The only section that tries to accomplish something is the "Theme" section with Fripp playing a nice acoustic instrumental, and even that doesn't do much, due to it lasting only a minute. It could have been a good song if they hadn't split it into three parts. As it is, it's wasted potential, but, like "In The Wake Of Poseidon", not bad enough for me to consider it a personal dislike.

"Cat Food" is more successful, a quirky little jazz-funk number with a dash of Beatles about the fast food industry. Tippet's piano playing is all over the place in the first half of the song, frantically skipping and bopping and the rest of the piece after the song proper has him and Fripp pulling off some decent solos. It's much lighter than anything off of Court and most of Poseidon (to an extent, it foreshadows what Crimson would do with their next album), though it's probably not all that surprising, given that primary writer Ian McDonald wanted to go in that direction. An abridged version was even released as a single just before the album's release, though it didn't do anything on the charts, sadly.

If you've managed to get the 30th Anniversary edition, you'll pick up the B-side of "Cat Food", "Groon", a frantic jazz instrumental that showcases Fripp's guitar work, with the Giles brothers in tow (in a sense, it's the last hoorah for Giles, Giles & Fripp). It reminds me of the instrumental section of "Moonchild" had it sounded much more energetic, though I think this one is more successful. "Groon" probably would have sounded out of place on the original LP, but it might have fit had Fripp grouped it together with "Pictures Of A City" and "Cat Food" on the same side, a move that could have helped alleviate the rip-off criticisms. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20, as they say.

The album was supposed to have a rendition of Holst's "Mars" from his Planets suite, but Crimson's request to use it was denied by Holst's estate. As a result, Fripp, with some help from McDonald, made "The Devil's Triangle", which was more or less a copy of "Mars" that had quotes from the original pop up from time to time. The piece is dominated by Fripp's Mellotron and starts out totally silent and growing louder and louder (love Giles' cannon sounding drums in the first section) until it explodes in a cacophony of noise. It's not totally perfect - I kind of wish the last part would have lasted a bit longer before going to the "Revolution 9"-esque montage - but it's neat nonetheless and foreshadows Crimson's other build-ups. At least it's better than the "Moonchild" jam.

In The Wake Of Poseidon is not as groundbreaking as Court, but it doesn't do much to make it totally inferior. Two of the three clones are keepers in my book and there's some interesting ideas that points the way for the future.

Final rating (30th Anniversary Edition): 4/5

Personal favorites (30th Anniversary Edition): "Pictures Of A City", "Cadence And Cascade", "Cat Food", "The Devil's Triangle", "Groon"

Personal dislikes: None

Report this review (#780587)
Posted Sunday, July 1, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars I actually wrote a review of In the Wake of Poseidon, but due to unforeseen circumstances I didn't publish it and lost the review, so this is going to be a short overview of this album. Overall, this is poor man's In the Court of the Crimson King, but only when just outline of the songs in taken into consideration. For example, I find Pictures of a City to be a lot less experimental than its In the Court brother (21st Century Schizoid Man), Cadance and Cascade seems to be more guitar oriented than I Talk to the Wind, while the title track is a mix of Epitaph and The Court of the Crimson King, with mellotron attacking the listener, in a good way. Now, Cat Food, The Devil's Triangle and Peace tracks are something new that In the Wake brought to the surface. Cat Food has some nice keyboard work (I love the beginning!) and overall sound reminds me of Indoor Games and Happy Family from Lizard, The Devil's Triangle is based on Gustav Holst's Mars: Bringer of War and is pretty interesting piece. First and third parts of Peace (A Beginning and An End) are a capella pieces which open and close the album, respectively, while the second part (A Theme) is acoustic track by Fripp a la Horizon's, Clap, Mood for a Day.

Overall, album is pretty good, but, in my opinion, lacks good lyrics and originality. Luckily, King Crimson will never be in need of originality again, for they have much, and I can say every their album except In the Wake is very original. 'Tis 3 stars.

Report this review (#796818)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars A common criticism thrown at this album is that it is simply an imitation of their debut album. I believe that the accusation has some truth to it, but I also believe that critics are simply throwing the word around too much. Similarities? Yes. Imitation? No. King Crimson was being pressured into creating another album and many of the members were itching to leave. They thought "Why mess with a good thing?" While this album does share strong similarities to its predecessor, it is also functions as a unique piece of King Crimson's history.

The album opens with Peace - A Beginning, featuring Greg Lake's ambient vocals at a low volume, tempting re to turn the volume up only to have your eardrums crushed by the loud sound of the next song, Pictures of a City. Often called this album's 21st Century Schizoid Man, I agree. The structures are very similar. However, this song does have its own unique feel and is not quite as chaotic as its predecessor. Following Pictures of a City is Cadence and Cascade, this album's I Talk to the Wind. When I first listened to this song, I was captured by its beautiful acoustic guitar and piano. I thought this would be this albums ITTTW, only in the sense that it was this album's soft song. However, the inclusion of a flute solo made me think of this song as ITTTW 2.0 rather than a new song. Beautiful, but a little dull overall.

The biggest (and most pleasant) surprise came to me in the title track. Hearing the mellotron opening as well as Fripp's acoustic guitar, I expected an inferior version of both Epitaph and the previous album's title track. However, as the song progressed, I realized that even thought it used elements from the previous album, it used those elements to form a unique song that remains one of my favorites in their catalogue. Fripp's acoustic guitar, Giles' drumming, the soaring vocals of Greg Lake and the mellotron gives the song a feeling that you are sailing on the ocean itself. In my opinion, this song is on equal footing with the title track of Crimson's previous album.

Side two is anything but an imitation. Peace - A Theme opens this side with a beautiful acoustic guitar piece. Cat Food is a humorous and jazzy piece thanks to the talented hands of Mr. Keith Tippett which foreshadows the direction Crimson will take on their next album. The Devil's Triangle, based on the lyrics for the classical piece Mars: Bringer of War from The Planet suite, is a powerful and suspenseful piece of music that Crimson has never before or never again would do. The album ends with Peace - An End, a gentle reprise of the opening track.

This album deserves a solid four stars. Though Pictures of a City and Cadence and Cascade are very similar to songs off of their previous album, they are not low quality songs in and of themselves. Though not up to the same level as In the Court of the Crimson King or Red, In the Wake of Poseidon is a fine and majestic album nevertheless.

Report this review (#875525)
Posted Thursday, December 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Hey everyone in Prog Land! Time for another review. Today, I will be reviewing "In the Wake of Poseidon," the 2nd album by proggers King Crimson. Oddly enough, I actually found this one a little more interesting than the debut (What? Really? Yes actually and I have my reasons). I like it more primarily for the Peace trilogies and the ballad 'Cadence and Cascade" (I know, I know blasphemy huh? But different strokes for different folks I guess). A little bit of its background. The record was released in 1970, a year after the highly acclaimed "In the Court of the Crimson King" and I believe it also featured the debut of Mel Collins (not 100% sure about that though as King Crimson has had about a 1,000 musicians in its timeline lol). He brought another element to the band as I will talk about more in subsequent reviews! Anyway, on to my actual review!

1) Peace - A Beginning - An interesting and odd but ultimately harmless little vocal track. It makes for a good listen. Not perfect but it does keep me on my listening ears. 8/10

2) Pictures of a City - This is possibly the second best piece on here behind the next track (that of which I will talk about next). Yes, I know it seems like a variation of 21st Century Schizoid Man but it's still very crazy and very good. It's not as annoying or as grating as Schizoid Man and I actually like it a little more. 8/10

3) Cadence and Cascade - Another stellar piece might remind one of I Talk To The Wind a little because it is a relaxing piece but I happen to like it a little more. Fripp's guitar actually shines here. 9/10

4) In the Wake of Poseidon -This song is good but again I feel it is a direct copy of Epitaph from In the Court. Also, by this point in the album I feel like the band is rehashing old and used up material (Ouch!). That's not a good thing. 6/10

5) Peace - A Theme - A sweet little guitar piece from Mr. Fripp himself but it's nothing too spectacular. 8/10

6) Cat Food - This one just doesn't do much for me. Kind of reminds me of Emerson, Lake and Palmer actually. That's not a compliment either. 6/10

7) The Devil's Triangle - This one is just terrible! Utterly terrible! (Mellotron on top of a bolero ayy) Another experimentation gone wrong. Also, like its predecessor, Moonchild, it's the longest track on the album and it's just as bad or perhaps even worse. 4/10

8) Peace - An End - I actually thought that this was an interesting idea. It has both elements of Peace - A Beginning and Peace - A Theme and it's tied together but it's just too damn short. A neat idea but not nearly as captivating as other works done by other prog bands of the time period. 8/10

Overall, I feel that In the Wake of Poseidon is a decent album. It's not a groundbreaking record at all. I actually believe it to be a retread of the debut (that's never really a good thing) but with some minor tweaks. However, it is also definitely not terrible as I could see why some people would like it (with exception to the Devil's Triangle, who really listens to that?) It's just not one that I go back to often. Another 3 stars for the Crimson King! Peace Out!

Report this review (#885287)
Posted Monday, December 31, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars

In The Wake of Poseidon was an immediate listen after I was blown away by ITCOTKC, but it took more than one listening session to win me over. Many believe this album to be an inferior rehash of the debut album, but I disagree. I see it as a sequel or follow up that doesn't match up to the "Court", but isn't an imitation either.

The atmospheric "filler" piece Peace - A Beginning opens the album and is obviously a theme (considering it is reprised twice in different variations in the middle and at the end of the record). This segues into Pictures of A City. This song took me the longest to appreciate, but my enjoyment of the track finally came to fruition. It is very similar to a jazzed, less hardcore version of Schizoid Man. I found the beginning to be a bit cheesy and that's probably why it took me so long to embrace it.

The track Cadence and Cascade is another ethereal little piece by the King that is a bit reminiscent of I Talk To The Wind, but a tad bit stranger. I really enjoy this track and it reminds me of a cool, misty night in the 1970s - almost a hippie ballad, in my opinion. It is a gem, for sure.

At mid-way through the album, another Peace theme comes in, but only after the most Crimsonesque song on the entire album, the title track. Greg Lake blows it away here and this is the "Epitaph" of this record. As a matter of fact, I am about to commit sacrilege here, but I like this song better. It is KC at their most powerful since In The Court Of The Crimson King at the end of the debut album.

Another irritation for most people is that I don't have much love for Cat Food (the song). This song is a bit too jazzy and everywhere. The repeating "cat food, cat food" is more annoying than anything. Thankfully nothing like Cat Food was on ITCOTCK.

Next up is Devil's Triangle, which is just a KC rendition of Holst's "Mars" (a classical piece). It is a very dark piece and fits well with this album before the coda of Peace - An End. How convenient that "Mars" (God of War) comes before Peace the end. What is that saying? How did it end? Peace meaning total annihilation? Ah ? I will end the philosophy here.

Overall, ITWOP is a grand album, but nowhere near the scale of In The Court. If anything, it is Halloween II to Halloween. A follow-up album that explores a little more unconventional variations of music, but still holds a tight King Crimson sound that was carried over from the first album. This is not a masterpiece, but it is a very enjoyable album. I would give it around a 3.8, but rounded off on the prog scale it would be a 4.

Report this review (#899097)
Posted Thursday, January 24, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars King Crimson is my all-time favorite "rock" band, even though "rock" is probably too limiting a term for what they've accomplished. Therefore, I wouldn't give anything they've done less than 3 or 3 1/2 stars. In the Wake of Poseidon isn't in the KC top 4 or 5, but it's real close! This album is repeatedly compared to In the Court of the Crimson King, usually to the detriment of Poseidon. I think that Poseidon is more than simply a continuation of Court. The title song and In the Wake of Poseidon probably sound the most like their debut album.

On the other hand, there are Pictures of a City and the 3 parts of Peace. Pictures of a City is the first KC track to show a strong jazz influence. Peace, on the other hand, almost sounds like liturgical music! There is nothing on Court that is as pretty and simple as Cadence and Cascade. Cat Food is probably my least favorite track. It's a bit goofy, but it's still King Crimson!

My favorite tracks are Pictures of a City and the title track. Of all of KC's singers, John Wetton is the weakest and Greg Lake may be the strongest. His performance on Poseidon is excellent. I also like the way this beautiful song is structured. In conclusion, Poseidon shows the restless progress that has always been one of King Crimson's most attractive traits. Pictures of a City, The Devil's Triangle, and the title track make this album another great release from King Crimson.

Report this review (#911698)
Posted Saturday, February 9, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars A monster of a follow up to their debut. This is a strange one. KC wasn't a band anymore. Robert Fripp was desperately doing everything he can to carry the Crimson banner. With new recruits, Keith Tippet and Mel Collins filling in as session players filling the huge void left by Ian McDonald. Greg Lake, Michael Giles and Peter Giles do big Bob a huge favor providing the vocals, drums and bass respectively. Fripp even asked a childhood friend (Gordon Haskell) to sing on one of the songs. Talk about desperation! So what do we get? Well as mentioned in previous reviews, it certainly sounds much like the first album. Even the sequence of a few of the songs. But, despite all of this, it's a great album. The Peace tunes give this album nice continuity bookending the album and placing one smack in the middle attempting to distance this record from the debut is a nice touch. Pictures of a City is a 21st Century Schizoid Man clone that would have been downright plagiarism if it was done by a different band. Dominated by guitar rather than the woodwinds, it is quite a workout. This actually was done by the original band on their first tour. Cadence and Cascade a gentle song about two groupies. Soft acoustic guitar underlies Gordon Haskell's vocals, Mel Collins provides a really nice flute solo. A great player for sure. A classic.

In The Wake of Poseidon sounds to me like Epitaph and In The Court Of The Crimson King. The song mentions all of the characters on the album cover.

Cat Food is a bit of comedy relief. A fun song seemingly about a man's lament about a wife who is unfaithful and cannot cook.

It's too bad Groon wasn't released on the original version of this album. A really cool jazzy instrumental that appears on the newer expanded versions of ITWOP. One of my favorite Crimson tunes.

The Devil's Triangle starts off as the original band's version of Mars-The Bringer of War then morphs into a maelstrom of mellotrons. Evokes the imagery of a sinking ship amid a storm.

So quite a nice job by Mr. Fripp keeping the ship afloat before having an even more difficult time sustaining the band for another couple years.

Report this review (#919974)
Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars King Crimson is probably my favorite rock band, even though "rock" could be a far too limiting term for what they do. I wouldn't give anything they produce anything less than 3 1/2 stars. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" gets 4 stars in my book. It's not their best album, but it's real close!

"In The Wake Of Poseidon" is often compared to "In The Court Of The Crimson King", to the detriment of "Poseidon" I strongly disagree. "Poseidon" shows strong infuences that "Court" does not. The title track probably comes closest in style to "Court". "PIctures of a City" shows a strong jazz influence that becomes stronger on later albums. The 3 sections of "Peace" almost sound liturgical. "Cadence & Cascade" is simple, beautiful, and unlike anything on "Court".

"Cat Food" is probably my least favorite track. It's a little goofy, but it's still King Crimson. My favorites are the title track and "Pictures of a City." Greg Lake is the best vocalist in KC history IMO. "PIctures of a City" shows Greg at his best. This album demonstrates the restless experimentation and development that is one of KIng Crimson's most attractive qualities. Rather than being just a continuation of "Couirt", "In the Wake of Poseidon" is an excellent album in its own right.

Report this review (#954357)
Posted Sunday, May 5, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Whilst King Crimson's 2nd release "In The Wake Of Poseidon" will always be surpassed by the phenomenal, ground-breaking "In The Court Of The Crimson King", it is still worthy of a 5 star rating for me. Previously, their debut was my favourite prog rock album (even above Trespass!) but recently I've gone off of it, and find myself enjoying albums like this one much more. Despite the format on this album being practically identical to ITCOTCK, making it less risky and therefore less prog, the music on here is undeniably fantastic. While it does lack the driving soul from the debut, it feels much more intricate, layered, and even complete. Furthermore, the cover artwork and remarkable Sinfield lyrics go hand in hand with the feel of the album. The consistency of the album is also outstanding, except for Moonchild 2.0, a.k.a "The Devil's Triangle". With the exclusion of this song, "In The Wake Of Poseidon" would be another definite King Crimson classic for me, but even with it, it just about skims the 5-star rating.

"Peace - A Beginning" introduces the album almost silently with Lake whispering words of wisdom, immediately making the record more personal and esoteric, as it can only really be listened to in a quiet, isolated room to achieve the full beauty of it. The concept of the "Peace" theme is a little irrelevant but also strangely intriguing, and seems to make you concentrate more. Even Fripp's singular notes keep you hooked by some mystical aura, until you get blasted away by the astronomical entrance of "Pictures Of A City"! Possibly, the heaviest bluesy song King Crimson ever did, and I'm loving the jazzy sax riffs. I owe this song for introducing me slowly but surely into the world of jazz rock - absolutely love it. Obviously, it comes from the same mould of "Schizoid Man" but something else is thrown into the mix, making it just as irresistible, but in a slightly newer, more mature light. The grinding vocals, slippery bass lines, rigid saxophone harmonies, Fripp's wailing guitars, and of course Mike Giles' bloated drum sounds all interlock beautifully on here. There is such a powerful wall of sound that penetrates right through your ears.

The song follows a fairly standard format, but transforms into a freer section at around 3 minutes with Fripp's screeching, echoing bends and sumptuous dissonant harmonies. It soon picks up the pace again, showing off the band's talents even more (possibly even better than "Schizoid Man"). There seems to be a real smorgasbord of post-psychedelic colours in there, all arranged in a uniquely weighted jazz-rock sound. Possibly, the highlight of the entire album enters at 4 minutes, with Fripp's guitars thrown around the place, with some unbelievable, unexpected chromatic descents teamed with various other devices and a constant sliding rhythm. Just when you think it couldn't get any better! Anyway, after a similarly impressive stop-start passage as heard on the debut, the song retreats to a gentler mood, with a bass line that later reappears on "Lizard", with some soothing cymbals and pulsing guitar notes, almost as delicate as harmonics. A wonderful short break to the organised chaos, but still somehow displaying Greg's, Mike's, and Robert's mastery of their instruments. The track builds back into the well-constructed verse from earlier, and ties the whole thing together brilliantly, ending in another delirium that only King Crimson can seem to pull off.

"Cadence And Cascade" subtly enters (I'll refrain myself from any more obvious comparisons) with a crisp and beautiful acoustic ballad. With the addition of Sinfield's excellently fitting lyrics and Haskell's husky vocals. All of the instruments complement each other so airily, leaving space for you to breath but definitely not get bored. The piano from Tippett also gives another rich, melting tone to the song. The drums don't get in the way at all, but keep the song floating somehow, despite the sounds emanating from the kit being similar to some of KC's more violent works. When the eccentric flute solo enters, the piece just becomes almost quixotic, romantic, and heavenly. Honestly, appears to be a perfect track with all of these factors in mind - a very flowing but clearly thought out structure, and not too overplayed. To me, "Cadence And Cascade" is the pinnacle of the gentle side of the band's repertoire, and presents their multiple styles confidently.

"In The Wake Of Poseidon" is much more symphonic and mellotron-central than anything else on the album, but I'm not completely astounded by the grandiose journey it takes you on. Perhaps a step too far, but I'm not sure in which direction. By all standards, I should love it because of those lavish chord progressions and melodies along with extravagant lyrics and insturmental outbursts. Perhaps it's a little too outstretched because I do still very much enjoy it but I'm not as gripped as other tracks anymore. Nevertheless, with my personal attachments aside, this track is more than listenable and essential to the album. A sort of combination of "Epitaph" and "The Court Of The Crimson King" with some fresh flecks of music tossed into the mix. Once again, Fripp's haunting acoustic guitar (beside Greg's oozing emotions in both vocal performance and strains to reach the summit of his touching melodies) adds something indescribable and almost otherworldly to the song, taking it up to a 5-star song.

"Peace - A Theme" is another simple but effective interlude on the album, reprises "Peace - A Beginning" with a superb solo guitar arrangement for Lake's initial wispy melody. Comparable to some of Anthony Phillips' solo works, and even a little Serge Fiori from Harmonium. Nothing astonishing or beautiful, just pleasurable to indulge into. "Cat Food" then interrupts the tranquil acoustics with a harsh Keith Tippett intro. Always makes me smile, especially on those strangely judicious clashes which I always picture as a cat running across the keys. One of Keith's best parts in my opinion, and a great taster of what's to come on "Lizard". I'm not too fond of Greg's vocals on this track on the whole. The melodies and even some of the lyrics, dare I say, are somewhat mediocre, but the distortion, sudden laugh, and lyrics add a lot of personality to the song. Without these, it would just feel like a "progressified" Come Together. On the first listen, I never really enjoyed it, but over time I've more than accepted the musicianship. A very watery eccentric feel, if that makes any sense? Some absolute ingenious sections and passages teamed with the familiar melodies weirdly slots together. Every musician is once again on the top of their game, so another 5-star track!

"The Devil's Triangle". Hmm. After about a minute of silence, the piece seems to introduce an early rendition of the outro to "Lizard" ("Big Top" I think it's called). There are some devious, overpowering melodies resonating from the strings, as the drums keep a beat that's too steady. Something needs to fill out the air a little more, because it's letting you breath too much. I can see that they would want you to explore your thoughts and interpret the sounds, if you get what I mean, but that's quite a task straight after "Cat Food" is essentially served up to you on a plate. Not really what I was expecting, but there are some special moments from mainly Tippett (not so much Fripp on here) as the piece builds more and more chaotic. The ticking sound is certainly thought-provoking, but still seems to lack meaning. The harmonies then are quite scattered and a little demented, but not in a good way, more frustrated and tasteless, plastered over with colourful melodies to give a good impression. The random reappearance of the debut's title track (and practically the last minute or 2) is pretty unnecessary. Still worth a place on the album. "Peace - An End" brings back those all too distant memories of the first song and ties it together to much, if that somehow makes sense. Extremely beautiful though, with Greg's double tracked lyrics and Robert's playing. It's all too easy to create an album with a simple melody to end and to start with, but as a human, I can't refuse being touched by it.

A: Often forgotten by passing rock admirers, and overshadowed by a notably inspirational debut, but such a treasured little musical artefact of mine.

Peace - A Beginning: **** Pictures Of A City: ***** Cadence And Cascade: ***** In The Wake Of Poseidon: ***** Peace - A Theme: **** Cat Food: ***** The Devil's Triangle: *** Peace - An End: ****

Report this review (#984550)
Posted Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, this album really gives something to talk about. In The Wake Of Poseidon is an album that follows straightly the line of In The Court Of The Crimson King. At the begining, I didn't get the album easily, I limited myself to think that it was a clearly lower effort than ITCOTCK, but as time passed and I listened to the album again, I clearly saw what this album had to offer. Cadence And Cascade, In The Wake Of Poseidon (Epitaph's twin sister clearly) and The Devil's Triangle are simply great, excellent-made pieces of music. I just would say that Pictures Of A City is a sort of copy of 21st Century Schizoid Man, and I think it isn't as powerful as the other songs. Nevertheless is another underated KC gem, just give an opportunity to this album and you'll see that this guys can make it for more and more masterpieces!
Report this review (#1011221)
Posted Sunday, August 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.2 Stars. In the wake of the Crimson KING!!! Aaahhhh......

Whenever I play this album it becomes quite clear that the band were still in shock with the commercial and critical success of their debut ITCOTKC. That album was arguably what opened the floodgates for both Prog Rock and Heavy Metal bands to follow. Even during the late 60s it was clear to everyone that KC had released a very important album that would be considered a classic in the years to come.

So how would the band respond with their second album ITWOP? Well unfortunately they played it extremely safe by ripping off their debut and producing a close to copy-cat version of it. To be fair to the band they were the front runners and pioneers of this new Prog Rock genre and during writing no other artists had properly responded for them to draw inspiration from. When your debut is so radically different from everything else producing another album that significantly develops your sound is hard. They were able to do this with their next album Lizard, but here they did not suceed.

I normally like to go though each track in detail, but I won't do that for Pictures Of A City, Cadence And Cascade and In The Wake Of Poseidon, as they are heavily based on 21st Century Schizoid Man, I Talk To The Wind and Epitaph respectively. While these songs are not directly identical the instrumentation, tempo, song structure and basically all the tricks and turns are virtually identical. That is not to say that these songs are inferior than those on ITCOTCK, but they do not say anything new.

Fortunately there are some more original songs to be found here. The "Peace" tracks are short but very pleasant interludes in-between songs. "A Beginning" only has Greg Lake on vocals and almost no instruments being used, "A Theme" is a lovely acoustic guitar solo and "An End" combines both of those tracks to make a more complete and enjoyable song.

"The Devil's Triangle" works as the "Moonchild" of the record, but other than being very long, drawn out and very experimental they have nothing in common. The first section of the track is based heavily on the composition "Mars: Bringer of War" and features a very slow and repetitive buildup over many minutes. The climax becomes very chaotic and there are swirling sound effects like a magical portal has been opened for demons to walk though. After a few moments of near silence the song goes into full chaos mode with random sounds and effects firing everywhere. Annoyingly these effects are similar to the title track on ITCOTCK and there is even a direct rip-off section. It seems the band just could not escape the shadow of their debut and it does go some way to spoiling the entire song.

There is only one totally original song here that is of Prog fans real interest and that is "Cat Food"(which would sow the seeds for their next album). This is a very jazzy and eccentric song and is both very catchy but also complex. While this is a crazy track it does not reach the madness of those on Lizard and is far more accessible. The newer versions of this album also have the B-side "Groon" which is a rather lackluster chaotic Jazz-fusion instrumental.

There is not much more to say really, get ITCOTCK first and if you love that album and want more of the same then get ITWOP as well. I would give this 2 stars (as it is fans only) but as the more original songs are quite good so I will bump it to 3.

Report this review (#1047768)
Posted Sunday, September 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars Poseidon is well known as having full domain of the oceans and is known as "God Of The Sea," however he is also referred to as "Earth-Shaker" because he was thought of being the cause of earthquakes as well, so I guess the title of this album refers to the aftermath of the band after the sudden success of KC's debut album and following tours which were too much for Ian McDonald and Michael Giles who soon parted ways followed by Greg Lake being seduced by Keith Emerson to form ELP. That left Robert Fripp and Peter Sinfield as the only original members after it was decided that it was pretty much Fripp's musical vision in the first place. The former members did agree to sit in as studio musicians only.

What a change from the debut. This album seems to me like a collection of leftovers and outtakes. The very first full song "Pictures Of A City" is obviously nothing more than a reworking of "21st Century Schizoid Man." One of the better pieces on the album is "The Devil's Triangle" which was inspired by Gustav Holt's "Mars: Bringer Of War" from "The Planets Suite." An ok album but too obvious that it is a half-assed reworking of the debut. Given the band's tumultuous history it's somewhat understandable and would be a mere blip in the parade of outstanding releases to come. Despite its inferiority to "In The Court...." I still find this a worthy occasional listen.

Report this review (#1088016)
Posted Monday, December 9, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars In the Court of the Crimson King introduced us to a talented band that masterfully played hard rock/proto-metal (21st Century Schizoid Man), instrumental improv (Moonchild) and Mellotron short epics (Epitaph).

In the Wake of Poseidon has a band returning to what they do best and expanding on it. Despite the shakiness of the lineup (a problem which plagued KC for years), this album is very consistent in exploiting what KC has already acheived as well as breaking new ground.

Peace (and I'm going to treat all three of them at once) is one of the niftier and more innovative ideas on the album. Splitting up the vocals and the instrumentals and playing them seperately, then bringing them together at the end to provide closure for the album is an effective device. And the short song isn't that bad either.

Pictures of a City has that 21st Century Schizoid Man sound. It has the same type of plodding first theme and the same menacing instrumentals. Pictures of a City has a more jazzy leaning; 21st Century Schiziod Man has a world class guitar solo. So Pictures doesn't quite live up to it's ancestor.

Cadence and Cascade, with it's soft interplay between flute and piano and Haskell's vocals, looks forward to songs such as Lady of the Dancing Waters off the next album.

Again, we go back to giving the people what they want with In the Wake of Poseidon. This is another Mellotron dominated mini-epic. Not quite as good as Epitaph, but it's up there.

Catfood is the song that really shows us which direction KC is taking short term. The athletic piano and the jazzy instrumental sections foreshadow the first half of the Lizard album. But here KC does jazz so much more tastefully.

Finally, what to make of Devil's Triangle? Classically based, Mellotron drenched, improvisational parts above rich chords and a droning drum beat. Another innovative piece, especially for it's time.

As King Crimson's most representative and consistent album from their earliest phase, I will give this four stars. I don't give it five because I keep finding myself saying that KC did things better on their debut.

Report this review (#1099633)
Posted Wednesday, December 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Despite the unmet originality of the King Crimson debut, the first clouds in the relationship between the members started to appear in the horizon.Ian McDonald and Michael Giles, struggling both with life on the road and Fripp's tendency towards more experimental music forms, left the group at the fall of 69', after the US tour of King Crimson.By the beginning of the recordings of a new album Greg Lake had agreed with Keith Emerson to join him on the rising Emerson, Lake & Palmer project, leaving Robert Fripp and Peter Sinfield as the only original members in the King Crimson line-up.However all departing musicians decided to help out in the process of the new release, before quiting for good.Lake sung all but one track, ''Cadence and Cascade'', sung by Gordon Haskell, while the group was also helped by Mel Collins (formerly of the Psych/Jazz Rock act Circus) on sax and flute, Keith Tippett on piano and Giles' brother Pete on bass.Based on their regular Wessex Sound Studios in London, the recordings lasted three months (January-April 1970) and ''In the Wake of Poseidon'' was launched in May 1970 on Island.

Many people compare this album with King Crimson's debut soundwise, even refering to it as ''In the Court of the Crimson King 2'', which is only partly true, because complex tracks like ''Pictures of a City'', a mix of intense Jazz Rock and mellow Psychedelic Rock with a frenetic sax performance by Collins and Fripp's extremely difficult guitar parts, are rather absent from the debut.Quite intricate and adventurous music.''Cadence and Cascade'' will soften things, being a warm ballad with melodic piano and flute lines, somewhat recalling GENESIS folkier side, but the title track will show a return to King Crimson's unique symphonic approach, featuring grandiose Mellotron and intense singing by Lake with Fripp's smooth guitar playing accompanying.Very atmospheric and deeply emotional stuff.After the short acoustic crescendo of ''Peace-A theme'', ''Cat Food'' eventually shows a slight turn towards experimental, jazzy forms by Robert Fripp, combining the jazzier side of music on piano and rhythm section with poppy song sensibilities and light psychedelic vibes.The absolute peak in terms of originality comes with the 11-min. ''The devil's triangle'', certainly among the most daring experiments in the history of Rock music and an amalgam of King Crimson's genuine leanings.A long, sinister Mellotron intro sets the dark, almost cinematic mood for a composition, which eventually switches into dissonant experimentations with piano and orchestral manipulations before exploring a complex Classical mood with harsichord, electric piano and acoustic guitars, propably performed by Fripp himself.''In the Wake of Poseidon'' will close with another short peaceful outro, sung by Lake in a very romantic style.

While not being equal in terms of value with ''In the Court of the Crimson King'', ''In the Wake of Poseidon'' is another stunning release by King Crimson with an even more complex sound that their debut.Following about the same path as on the first album, does not make this absolutely original, but, even so, I can't even think of another band that could get so far around the period.Dramatic Psych/Jazz/Orchestral Rock with a couple of great pieces.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1106825)
Posted Saturday, January 4, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album, even though it sounds like a carbon copy of In The Court..., is still a great piece of Prog's more experimental side. The first track, "Peace-A Beginning" opens with a Greg Lake A cappella, portraying himself as wind, and other natural beings. Then, the similarities start: "Pictures Of A City" sounds extremely similar to "21st Century Schizoid Man", right down to the heavy riff and lightning-fast unison playing. "Cadence And Cascade", the only song on the album sung by Gordon Haskell, the vocalist on the next album, Lizard, sounds like another version of "I Talk To The Wind", with its pastoral mellotrons and whatnot. The side-closing title track is a ripoff of "Epitaph", yet with slightly less pretentious lyrics. Then we get another reprise of "Peace", which ends the side for good. Side 2 opens with "Cat Food", a jazz fusion piece in the vein of Frank Zappa's Hot Rats album. I highly recommend listening to the Pressurehed version for a more modern take on the track. Then, "The Devil's Triangle", a rewrite of Gustav Holst's "Mars" from the Planets Suite, does what King Crimson does best: shatters the conventions of songwriting. A sample from "In The Court Of The Crimson King" is inserted over top of the track about 3/4ths of the way into the song, which confused me at first, but then learned was part of a technique called "xenochrony", which Zappa used to effect on songs like "Inca Roads". And to close the album is yet another reprise of "Peace". All in all, it's a great album. If you like to be shocked and surprised by music, this album is for you.
Report this review (#1326264)
Posted Friday, December 19, 2014 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Okay, so it's already got a lot of reviews, but most people tend to compare it to it's predecessor. Yes there are similarities, but the music is still excellent just like it was in the first album. The line up is close to the same as the first. Greg Lake, prior to finishing this album, had decided to join Emerson and Palmer, but agreed to sing on a few of the tracks, and ended up singing on all of the vocal tracks except for "Cadence and Cascade" which was to be sung by Gordon Haskell, a future KC regular. However, with Lake leaving the band, Robert Fripp was actually considering a person who at the time was unknown by the name of Reginald Kenneth Dwight....wait a minute, that's Elton John's real name....why yes it is now that you mention it. Considering the first few albums that Elton John made, it's not a far stretch to imagine him singing some of these tracks, especially the folk-heavy pastoral sounding "Cadence and Cascade" and my curiosity makes me wonder how he would have fared on "Pictures of a City". I would imagine people wouldn't be saying this album was a clone of ICOTKC, but who knows. (BTW, Brian Ferry from Roxy Music was also considered as lead singer somewhere along the way.)

Anyway, whether it's a clone or not, think about how many bands were making clones at the time. It was a successful formula and it worked. But, they did the formula so well, that there was plenty of room to do it again, as long as it wasn't a direct copy, which in my opinion, it wasn't. I love this album as much as the debut album, if anything, I love it more because it hasn't been played to death like the debut.

It is still full or original music and still had it's huge influence on progressive rock and the development of it. You have "Pictures of a City" which is a chaotic opener (after the first very tranquil "Peace" theme that is) very similar to the structure of "21st Century Schizoid Man", except for the very quiet middle section, that patterns the sound of the experiemental section of "Moonchild" but thankfully not as long before it builds to a final climax. Then follows the peaceful, almost folkish, but better described as pastoral, number called "Cadence and Cascade" in the same style as was "I Talk to the Wind", and then the beautiful "In the Wake of Poseidon" which is in the same style as "Epitaph". All of this is great that the music was patterned after the debut album, but it is still excellent music and stands on it's own as masterpieces in music.

The album on the 2nd half, however, takes on it's own personality as it starts with another version of "Peace", this time as a guitar solo. before losing the peacefulness to the amazing "Cat Food" which was released as a single (in an edited format), but which is the perfect antithesis of a pop single. Chaotic piano destroys the happy track and it's such a wonderful thing to see the satirical take on pop music even back then. What? Cat Food? Again? After this, KC takes off into a classical/rock fusion number called "The Devil's Triangle" which is actually Fripp's take on "Mars, The Bringer of War". The original title was to be "Mars" but they were not allowed to use that title because of Gustav's family trust's legal holdings on the classical piece. But KC does it justice and even uses a little Ravel in there too in the form of the percussion pattern and the development of the crescendo (Bolero, anyone?) This is also a track that has no clone on the debut, and it runs for over 10 minutes. It is also a masterpiece, and Fripp pulls off the arrangement with all respect to the original, then adds his own degree of chaos when he suddenly brings back the theme out of nowhere, but in an evilly warped way. This is genius. Finally, the original album ends with another version of the "Peace" theme. However, countless reissues include the "Cat Food" single edit (What? "Cat Food" again?) and then throws on the B-side "Groon" which was not originally available on the album. "Groon" is a wonderful guitar led avant-garde jazz piece which I think is another amazing track which defies description or even comparison. Take that pop radio! I wonder what Zappa thought of this.

Anyway, I stand behind my rating of 5 stars for this album. Yes it starts out with a similar formula as the debut album, but even the songs that follow that formula are excellent. Then it goes off on it's own to show that the band was going to progress even if there was inner turbulence in the ranks. Fripp was still able to put together an amazing album and that would make 2 in a row! 5 stars.

Report this review (#1427251)
Posted Monday, June 15, 2015 | Review Permalink
Magnum Vaeltaja
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars In reviews, "In The Wake of Poseidon" is often overshadowed by its predecessor, "In The Court of The Crimson King" and is subject to stinging criticism. The terms "carbon copy" and "plagiarize", among others, are thrown around unrelentingly and many are quick to judge it. After all, how could King Crimson possibly create an album MORE experimental, MORE provocative, MORE innovative than their pinnacle of a debut?

"In The Wake of Poseidon" reminds me in a way of Greek intellectual Eratosthenes. A brilliant man of his time, he was the first to accurately calculate the Earth's circumference and pioneered adding parallels and meridians to the world map, among other geographical and mathematical innovations. However, Eratosthenes has failed to remain encapsulated in the minds of the modern public because, while he was accomplished at the highest levels of virtually all fields, he only ever became the second most successful at anything he did. "In The Wake of Poseidon" is like that in the sense that its formulaic approach and second-place standing relative to "In The Court of The Crimson King" has made many listeners unable to appreciate its mastery.

Of course, to call "Wake of Poseidon" a copy of "Crimson King" is a stretch; many of the tracks on the two albums had been written around the same time and songs from "Poseidon" had already been incorporated into the band's live repertoire by late 1969. In all reality, the two albums probably could have been released together in 1970 as a double album and no one would have batted an eye, they just would have been mind-blown by the 85 minutes of pure, unrelenting fusion-tinged prog.

Even where similarities lie, they are quite limited. The first side of the album (save for "Peace - A Beginning") is quite similar to side 1 of "Crimson King", with "Pictures of A City", "Cadence And Cascade" and "In the Wake of Poseidon" drawing many parallels to "21st Century Schizoid Man", "I Talk To The Wind" and "Epitaph", respectively. Rather than copy their predecessors, however, these tracks actually improve upon them and perfect them, the chaotic moments more brutal and discordant, the gentle moments softer and sweeter. I've also found myself better able to empathize with the sentiments conveyed by the songs on side 1 of "Poseidon" than "Crimson King" and "Cadence And Cascade" takes me into an unmatched realm of nostalgia.

Side 2 is a whole other beast all together. The formulaic approach often criticized has been thrown out the window by this point. "Cat Food" is new territory for Crimson and "Devil's Triangle" offers interesting new arrangements on Holst. The two remaining "Peace" tracks, along with their side 1 counterpart, also offer a little something that "Crimson King" lacked (i.e. brevity). So to all who overlook "In The Wake of Poseidon", take another listen and think again on your judgements. Anyway, if Robert Fripp released 37 more Crimson Kings and Poseidon's Wakes, you can be sure that any prog lover would promptly march out to the record store and buy 38. Give Eratosthenes a chance!

Report this review (#1434439)
Posted Friday, July 3, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars Review Nº 31

This is my fourth review of a King Crimson's album. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is their second studio album and was released in 1970. At the time, the group had already had the first change into their line up. One of their founder members Ian McDonald had already left the group, and two other members Michael Giles and Greg Lake were about to do the same. Michael Giles and McDonald left King Crimson to pursue solo musical careers. However, both recorded a studio album titled "McDonald And Giles" in 1970, before they dissolving their partnership. Lake, was the next member to leave the band, departing in the early of 1970, to join in what would become Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

So, the line up of the album is Robert Fripp (guitars, mellotron, celesta, electric piano and devices), Greg Lake (lead vocals), Mel Collins (saxophone and flute), Peter Giles (bass guitar), Keith Tippett (piano), Michael Giles (drums), Gordon Haskell (vocals) and Peter Sinfield (lyrics).

"In The Wake Of Poseidon" maintain much of the musical style of their debut studio album, "In The Court Of The Crimson King", released in 1969. Once again, all the lyrics were written by Sinfield and the music on the album was largely written by Fripp, with the exception of "Cat Food" written by Fripp, Sinfield and McDonald and "Merday Morn", which belongs to the track "The Devil's Triangle", which was written by Fripp and McDonald. Fripp's guitar isn't the dominant musical instrument on "In The Wake Of Poseidon". The mellotron, taken over by Fripp after McDonald's departure, still remains the main group's signature, in all over the album.

"In The Wake Of Poseidon" has eight tracks. The song "Peace" is divided into three tracks: The first track "A Beginning" which opens the album, the fifth track "A Theme" which opens the side two of the album and the eighth track "An End" which closes the album. About these three tracks, there isn't much to say, unless that they're three nice tracks, they're the smallest on the album, they're very quiet and they have only vocals and acoustic guitars. The second track "Pictures Of A City" is somewhat like "21st Century Schizoid Man" part two, completed with intricate guitar and saxophone lines and with a jazz rock musical arrangement. It has a great impact, because it was recorded much louder than the opening track. It's a typical energetic King Crimson's song, dominated by saxophone and guitar. It's a very well composed track, with excellent Lake's distorted vocal harmonies. The third track "Cadence And Cascade" is a mix of a folk and jazz song, with Haskell providing the lead vocals and a breezy flute solo of Collins. It may be the prettiest song that the group ever made. It's another calm song, very beautiful and is nicely sung. Some people compare this song with "I Talk To The Wind". But despite some similarities, I think that it's a different song, and a great acoustic theme. The fourth track "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is the title track song. It's a monumental and dramatic musical number, featuring waves of an ominous mellotron, and a Lake's poignant vocal work. It's the albums' answer to "Epitaph", and represents the masterpiece of the album. Sincerely, it's a beautiful and superb theme, which could perfectly to be part of their debut studio album. This is one of the greatest musical compositions released by the group. The sixth track "Cat Food" is a very original song, composed as something between the jazz and rock music, and that makes a very interesting musical fusion. It's a different song, it's very strange, but it's very curious too. It also features a neat vocal work from Lake and has also some tasty guitar work by Fripp. The seventh track "The Devil's Triangle" is an instrumental track divided into three parts: "Merday Morn", "Hand Of Sceiron" and "Garden Of Warm". This is the lengthiest song on the album. It's a very experimental song almost performed with free instrumentation. It's a massive track that builds some musical tension all over the song, with an effective use of mellotron, percussion and woodwind musical instruments. This is without any doubt, the most difficult and less accessible song of the album.

Conclusion: "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is often looked as the inferior sibling of "In The Court Of Crimson King". In a certain way, this isn't totally a surprise due to the monumental impact that the album had on the rock music world, even today. However, we can't forget that it was recorded at the time when basically the group was unstable, and with Fripp still managing to keep things together long enough to get the release of this excellent musical work. Despite some musical similarities between both albums, "In The Court Of The Crimson King" and "In The Wake Of Poseidon", I can't consider it as a clone of their debut. However, I don't consider "In The Wake Of Poseidon" as good or influential as "In The Court Of Crimson King", but still I believe that it's a very consistent album. So, in my humble opinion, I think it has enough quality, originality and song writing skill, to be considered a classic King Crimson's album.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#1481176)
Posted Monday, November 2, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars So where do you go after you have created not only one of the greatest progressive rock albums of all time, but the album that is considered to be the cornerstone of the entire genre? King Crimson had to answer that after the popularity of In the Court of the Crimson King. Their response? In the Wake of Poseidon, an album which can best be described as one-half original material and one half songs that sound a little too similar to their debut.

The album opens with Peace - A Beginning, which lures the listener into a calm with Greg Lake's hushed and distorted vocals. A nice little calm before the storm. Our next three songs are 21st Century Schizoid Man, I Talk to the Wind, and the eponymous title track. Oops. Sorry, I meant Pictures of a City, Cadence and Cascade, and the title track. Despite the quality of the songs, a comparison is unavoidable. POAC, like its predecessor is a heavy song with distorted vocals recounting apocalyptic lyrics and a jazzy/chaotic mid-section. While enjoyable (it's still King Crimson after all), it lacks the raw, savage energy which made 21CSM such a powerful piece. CAC differentiates from it's predecessor with quiet vocals and a dominance of both acoustic guitar and piano. At first I was willing to believe that comparison to ITTTW was overblown, but as soon as the flute came in, I realized that the comparison was not without fault. As for the title track, even though it sounds like a copy of the previous album's title track mixed with some influences from Epitaph, I would be lying if I said I didn't like the track. While the soaring mellotron, majestic lyrics, and Fripp's acoustics is something that has been done before, it's something I personally enjoy. In the Wake of Poseidon has it's own charm to it; similar, but something a little different.

Peace - A Theme is a nice little surprise where Fripp plays the vocal melody on his acoustic guitar. Now what about that original material I mentioned earlier? They finally make their appearance about 3/4th's of a way into the album. Cat Food is a humorous little number with fun jazz noodling layered throughout it and The Devil's Triangle starts off with King Crimson's rock interpretation of Gustav's Mars: Bring of War before becoming its own haunting and violent piece (Fun Fact: Due to the length of the song, I thought this was this album's answer to Moonchild, but thankfully I was completely wrong). Despite the power of these two songs, the album ends on a disappointing note with Peace - An End, a variation of the suite which lacks the ethereal quality of the first part or the beautiful melody of the second.

Now comes the difficult question of how to rate this album. While the album suffers from filler (The Peace Suite with the exception of "A Theme") and some blatant copying, it would be unfair to let that completely drag down the same album with Cat Food, the title track, and The Devil's Triangle, which are among 60's-70's Crimson's best output. Is it an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection or good, but non-essential?

I'll have to go with the latter, but a more accurate rating from me would be 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1499097)
Posted Sunday, December 13, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars Before we get the the review, lets get some background knowledge on the album. The year is 1969, and In The Court of the Crimson King is a huge hit. Half the band leaves very soon afterwards. Sinfield, Fripp, Lake (sort of), and Giles are left. They figure "Why fix an album structure that isn't broken?" The result is In the Wake of Poseidon. A solid, yet very misunderstood album. Now here's the review.

Peace - A Beginning: 6/10 A calm, decent opener to the album. It feeds right into the next track. "Peace" is a recurring theme on the album, which helps it flow a lot better than the debut did. Don't get me wrong from my rating, the song is great, but thereis just not enough to warrant a higher rating.

Pictures of a City: 8.5/10 A bizarre, speedy song compared to the first track. Has a nice solo and jazzy breakdown. If I had to compare it to Schizoid Man, as many people do, I would say it holds up pretty well, and even may have done a better job. Obviously the album is better produced, and more slick, but don't forget that sometimes, the original is just better because it's the one more people remember. I prefer Schizoid Man to this, but that doesn't mean it's a weak track at all. As a matter of fact, it may be the strongest track on the album.

Cadence and Cascade: 7/10 The calm song after the bizarre song. Again, when compared to the debut, it isn't as good, but its still the better produced song. This is the recurring theme with this album: better produced songs than the debut, but it doesn't make them classic just because they are technically better. Oh and lets not forget, Gordon Haskell sings the vocals on this track, whereas Greg Lake sings the rest of the album.

In the Wake of Poseidon: 8/10 The Epitaph of the album, if you will, but when it comes down to it, who cares? Epitaph was an amazing, strong track, and so is this. Its an amazing song from start to finish and if you pay attention to the song, it does some things completely different from Epitaph. Just because the songs sound similar at times doesn't make the album a track for track ripoff.

Peace - A Theme: 6/10 Here we see another "Peace" track, and like I mentioned earlier, they help the album flow better but that's really their only purpose, which limits them to a 6/10.

Cat Food: 7:10 A bizarre track to say the least. If you ever wanted to know what "pop" KC would have sounded like, this is probably it. The band just kind of goes crazy for 5 minutes while Lake sings about processed food taking over peoples minds. This song is something that can't be compared to anything on the debut, which to be honest, helps freshen up the album after a somewhat similar A side.

The Devils Triangle: ?/10 Hear me out with this one. The track was adapted from the 1969 band's live arrangement of Gustav Holst's "Mars: Bringer of War" from his The Planets Suite. I'm not really sure what to think of it. Its not bad by any means (I think), and its not something we saw on the debut, so its fresh. I think I like it, but its just such a bizarre track. As far as I can tell, it is comprised of 3 movements, and each are very different from the first. Its a very, very complex track, and I see it as a track that should be respected (due to its complexity), rather than liked. Call me a cop-out because of my rating, but I honestly can't come up with one.

Peace - An End: 6/10 The final "Peace" track, and the final track on the album. Yet again, it helps the album flow and finish up nicely. This is probably the best "Peace" track on the album, as it combines elements from the first 2 to make a nice closer.

Thank you for reading my review. I hope you enjoyed my personal view on "In the Wake of Poseidon". Like I alluded to earlier, I believe the A side of the album is more comparable to the debut. When in comes to the B side, I feel like all the material is fresh, which helps the album not be a track-for-track copy of the debut.

Report this review (#1619427)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2016 | Review Permalink
3 stars Same formula as Court, but without the magic.

With the rest of the band leaving, Fripp found himself with a recording contract and good songs, but no band. So, he asked Lake and Giles to please finish the recording, which they did with the help of Pete Giles on bass, and Mel Collins filing in for the departed Ian McDonald on saxes and flutes. Fripp essentially copied the formula established by their debut here, particularly on side one. After a soft prelude, the album storms in with the Schizoid Man-like (and excellent) 'Pictures of a City'. This was a key part of their US tour, and Greg Lake sings it, thankfully. However, Lake didn't sing the second song, 'Cadence and Cascade', which mirrors 'I Talk to the Wind' from Court, so Gordon Haskell (and old friend of Fripp's) is brought in to sing it, making his Crimson debut. He would continue on to sing on Lizard, but would then fall out with Fripp. 'In the Wake of Poseidon' is then the mirror of 'Epitaph'. The first side sounds a lot like Court, but just not quite as good. The second side is where the formula starts to deviate. It opens with the first statement of Peace - A Theme, and then instead of the soft improv from Court that is 'Moonchild', the album gets rockin' with 'Cat Food', the single from this album. This is a decent tune, with some quirky jazzy parts, and would point to the sound that would inhabit their third album, Lizard. The rest of side two has Fripp trying to re-create the magic of Crimson's version of the Holst classic 'Mars' (which one can hear on the live recordings contained in the 'Epitaph' box set), but with enough slight changes to the tune so that it classifies as an original song. The result is 'The Devil's Triangle'. Unfortunately, this tune fails, badly. As someone who loves Crimson's version of Mars, and who is also a fan of Holst, I can't listen to the Devil's Triangle. Not only is it a rip-off, but it suddenly stops and starts at key times when it really needs to be continuous - jarring the listener and raising one's ire. Fripp really messed up with this track. In the end, there is really only one great track on this album - Pictures of a City - and another decent track - Cat Food. Other than this, the album just doesn't have the Crimson magic, and Devil's Triangle is simply frustrating to listen to. So much potential. I can't help but wonder how this would have sounded if McDonald and the rest of the band hadn't split. I give this album 6.8 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

Report this review (#1696026)
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars Even though "In The Wake Of Poseidon" lacks the impact and innovation of King Crimson's debut, it certainly isn't a sophomore slump. It isn't nearly as adventurous of an album, and most of the tracks derive from songs on "In The Court," but by no means does this make it bad. It does a pretty serviceable job of following up one of the best progressive rock albums of all time, in my opinion.

For this album, the only remaining and credited members in the band are Robert Fripp and Peter Sinfield. Greg Lake still lends his vocal talent on most of the songs, but his bass parts were left unfinished after he joined ELP, so King Crimson alumni Peter Giles steps in to record the bass parts. Ian McDonald still holds writing credits to songs on the album, but the great Mel Collins fills in for his woodwind parts and Keith Tippett fills in the spot for a pianist. Fripp also picks up the keyboards, something that would be seen on every KC album to come, save for David Cross playing some here and there in the mid-70s. Gordon Haskell, one of Fripp's good friends at the time, sings on "Cadence and Cascade," since vocals were unfinished by Lake. Michael Giles also returns to bring his stroke of brilliance on the drums, but he just plays as a session musician this time around.

Even with all of these drastic personnel changes, King Crimson still manages to pull off a great album, although not as tight of an experience as "In The Court of the Crimson King."

One of the more notable and inventive tracks on the album is "Peace," which is scattered throughout the album in three sections, and the final section is just beautiful. The vocal performance from Lake is so touching and calming, and Fripp's simple guitar work makes all of the difference.

"Cat Food" is also the most adventurous, off-the-wall, and just amazing things on the album. The concept is absolutely bonkers: I originally thought it was a blues tune about how bad cat food is, but I was actually corrected (see comments) and the song is really about how frozen food and food manufactured to just be heated up is bad, so the band is comparing it to cat food. Still, a pretty bizarre concept and definitely progressive lyrically. It also contains bits of nods to the Beatles, such as the bassline being eerily similar to "Come Together." This is the best song on the album, and the things that really make it are Lake's amazing vocal performance and Keith Tippett's abstract piano additions.

"The Devil's Triangle" is a wonderfully intense instrumental piece mostly by Fripp on the mellotron, and some writing and arrangements done by McDonald. "Garden of Worm" is the best section on this monster of a track, and it even includes vocal samples from "The Court of the Crimson King" from the first album.

"Cadence and Cascade" is simply breathtaking, and still one of King Crimson's best tracks to date. Gordon Haskell does a fine job on vocals (even if they were pitched during mixing) and it is a beautiful song, especially during the section starting with the lyrics "Caravan hotel..."

"Pictures of a City" is good, but it is evident that this song is heavily based on "21st Century Schizoid Man" and it begs for more development. It's an enjoyable song, and I especially enjoy Peter Giles's performance on this track. The title track is also derivative of past songs, sounding similar to "Epitaph" and using lyrical structure similar to that of "The Court of the Crimson King." However, Lake's vocal performance is great here, and Fripp and Sinfield's chemistry is shown through the guitar sounds made in response to certain lyrics. My only real gripe about the song is its lackluster interlude entitled "Libra's Theme."

Overall, it's a 4/5. Yes, it has more flaws than the debut, but it is still a solid album and is worth it if you really liked the first album (I certainly did.) Thankfully, the ever-progressive King Crimson catalogue gets even better from here.

Report this review (#1938920)
Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2018 | Review Permalink
3 stars The second album by KC is a record uncertain of which direction to take, so it is found to be a precursor of various musical genres that the crimson king will take in his various incarnations. The structure of the first side refers entirely to that of the previous album, making it so unoriginal.

The first track, "Peace: a Beginning" is a short introduction based on vocals which has the task of dictating the tone of the album: dreamy, evocative, peace and love (vaguely hippy).

The second song, "Pictures of a City", has the ungrateful task of replicating the devastating effect that 21st Century Schizoid Man has had on the listener of "In The Court of....": it is clear that it fails, resulting in the draft (slowed down, less incisive, less surprising, more forced) than the original. In itself it is not a bad song, indeed, for some groups (but not for KC) it would be a masterpiece, but overall it is too built. Vote: 7,5.

"Cadence and Cascade" see for the first time the voice of Gordon Haskell, voice more serious and less evocative than that of Lake. The song is a nice ballad but that does not take off. I Talk to the Wind is incomparably superior. The King Crimson have lost Ian McDonald, fundamental author of the romantic pieces (I Talk To The Wind, The Court of the Crimson King), and his absence is felt: KC can not emulate in this record the epic-romantic pieces of "In the Court of...". Vote: 6,5/7

The album, until now, contains three tracks that bind very little to each other.

Finally arrive a masterpiece: "In the Wake of Poseidon" remember the great epic and romantic songs of the debut album (Epitaph and The Court of KC). It has a wonderful melody but she lacks something to reach the levels of pathos of his models. Vote 8.

Side B. "Peace: a Theme" tries to resume the ranks of the initial speech, bringing the group on romantic and acoustic tones without however much conviction. While in the debut album every song was impressive, monumental and unmissable, here there are already several songs that are mere fillers, completely non-essential. indeed, it becomes difficult to see what are the pieces that constitute the backbone of the disk, so much so that the various introductions praising peace seem to hold together a project that is actually very fragmentary.

"Cat Food" is finally a song that does not refer to the models of the previous album. The free-jazz piano played by Tippet appears for the first time in the production of KC and anticipates what we will hear in Lizard. The song is original and also introduces a sarcastic- ironic-grotesque tone that we will hear in several subsequent songs, and that was not present in the debut album, where everything was serious, dramatic or epic or romantic, but serious. Here the KC show that they are also able to joke, to have fun in a subtle way Vote: 7+

Comes an instrumental track, very long, a mini suite: "The Devil's Triangle". It is an interesting piece, full of anxiety, an omen of terrifying event; it does not follow a precise melody, but more than anything else, atmospheres, with the growing full of tension. The piece as a whole is evocative but does not yet find its way, which will be the paranoic and abrasive vein that we will find in the next production. Vote: 7+

Finally, the record ends by developing the acoustic song on peace that returns here for the third time. But without sowing any great melody (vote 6,5) : in fact it is the good melodies that are missing from this record, which can be said to reach the climax of pathos only in the song that gives the title to the disc.

It is ultimately an interlocutory record, one of the least convincing of the King Crimson, a minor album.

Medium Quality of the songs: 7,21. Vote album: 7,5. Three stars.

Report this review (#2086239)
Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | Review Permalink
3 stars In the Wake of Poseidon is the second album by the progressive rock greats King Crimson. It was also the second album I heard from the band. It marked the first lineup change in the band, the first of many. Greg Lake only stayed to record vocals on most of the songs, not playing bass or anything like that. He was totally ready for Emerson, Lake and Palmer at this point. Peter Giles, drummer Michael Giles' brother plays bass instead. Peter Giles played with his brother and Fripp in the oddity of a band that was Giles, Giles and Fripp before, so he fit in well. Mel Collins also joined the band, replacing Ian MacDonald. Again, Mr. Collins fit well in the band. The interesting part about all of this was the debut of new singer Gordon Haskell, who sung on one whole song! That was Cadence and Cascade. He would play bass and sing on the next album, Lizard.

The music on In the Wake of Poseidon is notorious by fans for being a copy of In the Court of the Crimson King. No, it's not the same music, the band isn't that cheap. It's that the two albums are structured the exact same. Starts off with a heavier song, then goes to a light song, then has a longer song right in the middle. That's all. They should have called this In the Court of the Crimson King 2.

This album is good at best. It's not as good as their later albums or the album before it. I still find enjoyment in it but not as much enjoyment as their other albums. It is good at best.

Report this review (#2119439)
Posted Saturday, January 19, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars

My 40th Anniversary Serie version. After buying King Crimson their legendary debut album (from 1969) in the mid-Seventies I was in Prog Heaven, and soon decided to buy more King Crimson, hoping for more Mellotron drenched prog like in the awesome and pivotal titletrack. So I bought In The Wake Of Poseidon, the successor of ITCOTCK and released in 1970. Well, for me it was a musical confrontation with very mixed feelings. On one hand typical KC prog like Pictures Of A City (the famous Fripperian 'gentle chainsaw' sound, along strong interplay between saxophone, guitar and a powerful rhythm-section, in the vein of 21st Century Schizoid Man) and the wonderful Cadance And Cascade (dreamy with warm vocals by guest Gordon Haskell and fragile piano, acoustic guitar and flute, by Mel Collins). And especially the compelling titletrack featuring warm vocals from Greg Lake and glorious Mellotron violins delighted me, what a breathtaking symphonic rock! But on the other hand I noticed the first strong efforts in the realm of experimental prog by King Crimson: freaky piano by Keith Tippett in the 'anti-single' Cat Food (in 1970 even playbacked in Top Of The Tops) and an avant-garde undertone in the Bolero-like The Devil's Triangle (3 parts). Fripp his use of the unsurpassed Mellotron (violin ? and brass section) is captivating, but for me a bit too close to cacaphonic in part 2 and 3. Personally I can't stand that huge difference between 24-carat symphonic rock and experimental so this second musical encounter with King Crimson turned out to be pretty disappointing.

The 3 bonus tracks on this CD are Groon (dreamy with twanging acoutic guitar getokkel and beautiful vocals), Peace ? An End (jazzy and experimental in an 'alternate mix') and Cadence & Cascade (with Greg Lake as the singer).

The DVD contains the 10 tracks of the original LP in 3 versions: DTS 5.1 Digital Surround, PCM Stereo 2.0 (24/48) and '30th anniversary remaster' from the original 1970 stereo mix. Also included are 12 extra tracks, like different versions of Groon and Cadence & Cascade. The 16-page booklet contains also this time very interesting information by KC connaisseur Sid Smith, along nice studio pictures from the band members.

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#2136633)
Posted Friday, February 15, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars King Crimson is one of those bands that people love to argue about, because when people say "Oh, I love King Crimson", the true nerds and diehards respond "Which one?"

See, it felts like with every new album came a new band to perform it, with Robert Fripp leading the charge as always. So when "Court of the Crimson King" was done, the band split ways, but Fripp still had a record deal and still had songs, so guest musicians were thrown together and Greg Lake made off with a PA system, and can be heard in most of the songs on this album.

Getting to the elephant in the room right away, yes, it sounds very similar to "Crimson King". On one hand, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! On the other hand, it kinda defeats the whole point of being 'progressive' doesn't it? Nonetheless, it's still one of their better albums by far. Sure all the "Peace" songs are soft interludes that break up the album, but the fact is this album feels a bit more structurally sound than "Crimson King". "Pictures of a City" isn't as catchy as "21st Century Schizoid Man", but the same groove and feel is there, more tight but just not as well composed. "Cadence and Cascade" would be a lovely ballad, had anyone but Gordon Haskell sung it, and the self titled track feels WAY too much like "Epitaph". Sure, these are basically leftover sessions Fripp finished up and turned into a new album, but it just feels like "Court of the Crimson King, Pt. Deux: Electric Boogaloo". Can you believe Fripp actually wanted Elton John singing on this record? Oof.

"Cat Food" is one of the brighter spots. With a funky beat reminiscent of Carl Palmer's work with ELP, the chords groove and contrast with the outlandish and jarring piano work schizophrenically scattered throughout the track. This is fresh, a standout song that has a classic rock groove with just enough progressive influence to keep you on edge and to keep the whole album from sounding like stale bread. "The Devil's Triangle" caps off the album as basically one progressive-itized version of Bolero, with some spastic sections near the end. (Honorable mention to the b-side "Groom" which is basically a spastic improv).

In short, it's a nice addition to the prog catalog, but if you've heard "Crimson King", you've heard this album, which begs the question, who won out, the fans for hearing Greg Lake on one last Crimson record, or Lake who made off with a sweet PA system for agreeing to sing?

My money's on Lake, bless his soul.

Report this review (#2262319)
Posted Thursday, September 19, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars Disappointing follow up to ITCOTCK, unsurprising given the turmoil in the band with Ian McDonald, Michael Giles and Greg Lake leaving after the debut album and Lake/ Giles recalled to the recording sessions to add vocals/ drums, with Peter Giles adding the bass parts and Gorden Haskel providing vocals on Cadence and Cascade.

Picture Of a City is a fantastic jam and a pointer to the kind of music that Fripp will make with better musicians in David Cross, John Wetton, Bill Bruford and Jamie Muir in the trio of albums beginning with Larks' Tongues in Aspic. Epitaph from ITCOTCK is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard and while the song, In the Wake of the Poseidon, doesn't have the same memorable melody running through it, it nevertheless moves in a similar enchanting way. Sinclair's lyrics are sublime, of the Greek god, Poseidon reeking corruption and destruction on society. This is 8 minutes of wonderful music with Fripp's haunting Mellotron and acoustic guitar and Sinclair's beautiful words inspiring Greg Lake to some of his most emotional singing.

The rest of the album is forgettable. Cat Fish, which was turned into a single, is jazzy but too heavy for my liking. Cadence and Cascade is a nice little acoustic piece, but Gordon Haskell doesn't possess the vocal chords of Greg Lake. Devil's Triangle, an eleven minute piece, is neither epic or memorable, borrowing too much from Bolero. I doubt Robert Fripp would have been pleased with the result.

For the best King Crimson albums, we should skip this one and jump from the debut album to Lizard, which has a new set of musicians.

Report this review (#2434634)
Posted Sunday, August 2, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars This fractured follow up to King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King, the group's first and arguably best album, has a lot going for it, all things considered. With Greg Lake just about to have mega success with ELP, he stuck around the studio just long enough to do the wonderful vocals on most of this album's lyrical moments. The title track is stupendous and is in the vain with ItCotCK's "Epitaph", without musically echoing it. Fripp is every bit as good at massaging the mellotron keys as Ian McDonald was. Alas, McDonald was another who jumped ship after the first album. Soaring, majestic, and heart wrenching, "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is the album's highpoint. But the Holst "Planets" inspired instrumental "The Devils' Triangle" again shows Fripp's keyboard skills in three ominous musical themes that were right up Fripp's alley. Instead of replacing McDonald, Fripp hired jazz piano genius Keith Tippet, whose trills and fills on "Pictures Of A City" and "Cat Food" are absolutely sublime and help to move KC's sound up another level. Fripp's old friend Gordon Haskell does a wonderfully warm vocal on "Cadence And Cascade", a mellow "I Talk To The Wind" type ballad. Indeed, this album does almost follow the template of ItCotCK to the letter, but I'm of the opinion that imitation is the highest form of flattery, so all is good with me. The incredible drumming of Michael Giles again graces this album and he must be one of prog's least celebrated drummers as his stamp on KC cannot be underestimated. His brother Peter handles bass in place of Lake, and while not as flashy he, unsurprisingly, meshes perfectly with brother Michael.

A masterpiece of prog? Not in the least. Sporting much improved production values over ItCotCK, In The Wake Of Poseidon is an album that hundreds of other bands wish they could have produced. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

Report this review (#2434879)
Posted Monday, August 3, 2020 | Review Permalink
5 stars Review #25

The second album: same formula, different results

After the success of "In the court of the Crimson King", King Crimson released their second album which is sometimes considered as a copy of their previous album, which I defer since I find it similar, yes, but quite original as well.

King Crimson split up and while Robert Fripp and Peter Sinfield were trying to reform a band, some session musicians appeared and formed this temporary band who created the material for their second album; Ian McDonald left the group, Michael Giles was lowered to the category of recording musician (not an official member of the band) and Greg Lake was only the singer and didn't play any instrument. Two musicians joined the band to replace McDonald: Keith Tippett on piano and Mel Collins on saxophone and flute (both of them considered still as recording musicians), Michael Giles' brother Peter played bass and Gordon Haskelll sang in "Cadence and Cascade", and would become the lead singer of the band in the next album.

The A-side (the "In the court of the Crimson King" twin):

1.- Peace (a beginning) (00:49): The album starts with an a-cappella song, very quiet and calm that lasts less than a minute, a soft introduction to the hard song that comes after it.

2.- Pictures of a city (08:03): Aggressive, jazzy, and moved, the same mood of "21st Century schizoid man" but more rehearsed than improvised.

3.- Cadence and cascade (04:27): Acoustic and melodic, Gordon Haskell singing instead of Greg Lake, the same mood of "I talk to the wind" but with more presence of acoustic guitar.

4.- In the wake of Poseidon (07:56): Quite similar to "Epitaph" but with a little fewer instrumental passages.

The B-side (the new experience):

5.- Peace (a theme) (01:15): An acoustic ballad with beautiful vocal arrangements opens the second side of the LP.

6.- Cat food (04:54): A relaxed jazzy tune with complex time signatures; the bass, drums, and piano give the soul to this piece.

7.- The devil's triangle (11:39): The longest song of the album is also the only instrumental one; it's an interesting composition that goes from dark moments to some relaxed ones. It resembles a little bit to "In the court of the Crimson King" in some moments.

8.- Peace (an end) (01:53): The end of the album is the third part of "Peace", in the same soft ballad mood of the first two parts, closes the album quite nicely with a beautiful acoustic-y arrangement.

Some CD versions of the album include as bonus tracks "Groon" which is a hard rock instrumental piece that was B-side of the "Cat food" single and "Cadence and Cascade" with Greg Lake as a lead singer instead of Gordon Haskell and without the flute arrangement. Yes, the album has a lot of similarities with the first King Crimson record, but it has a lot of original music itself. I don't consider it a cheeky copy but rather a wonderful new experience. By the way, I share my birthday with this baby.

SONG RATING: Peace (a beginning), 4 Pictures of a city, 5 Cadence and cascade, 5 In the wake of Poseidon, 5 Peace (a theme), 5 Cat food, 4 The devil's triangle, 5 Peace (an end), 4




I ranked this album #96 on my TOP 100 favorite Progressive Rock albums of all time.

Report this review (#2477252)
Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars REVIEW #19 - "In the Wake of Poseidon" by King Crimson (1970)

Not even one year into the existence of perhaps the most influential progressive rock band of all time, King Crimson already was on the brink of collapse due to a mass exodus of the band's musicians. Drummer Michael Giles, bassist/vocalist Greg Lake, and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald would all ceremonially leave the band following the release of the critically acclaimed "In the Court of the Crimson King". However, guitarist Robert Fripp would manage to keep the band together going into 1970, taking on the role of keyboardist in addition to guitars and managing to retain both Giles and Lake as session musicians, sacrificing the band's audio equipment to retain the latter. The band's sophomore effort "In the Wake of Poseidon" is considered to be an extension of the sound and structure of the first album.

The album opens up with a formal introduction in "Peace - A Beginning", the first of a trilogy of smaller compositions, before opening up into the heavily jazz-inspired and dissonant "Pictures of a City", considered to be the spiritual successor to the band's seminal "21st Century Schizoid Man". Indeed, the song follows not only a similar sound, but a similar structure to the song, something which occurs more than once on this album with a slew of different tracks. While many obviously view this as a criticism of King Crimson, I feel that this composition is strong enough to prevent from negatively hindering the album. This is still a very strong piece of music, although not necessarily as groundbreaking as the aforementioned "Schizoid Man". The band does experiment with quieter passages here, and the instrumental is markedly quieter on this song than the song it's trying to emulate, and the verses/choruses are still just as strong. Of note on this composition is the inclusion of saxophonist and future King Crimson member Mel Collins, who will appear on this album for this track and the following one, the acoustic "Cadence and Cascade", which is the only song on the album to feature vocalist Gordon Haskell instead of Lake. Haskell would end up being the lead vocalist for the band's third LP "Lizard", but makes a relatively minute appearance here. While there is more to talk about with Haskell and how he meshes into the band, I'll leave that for my review of "Lizard". For now, it can merely be summarized that Haskell has a deeper voice, that is much more blunt and less refined than Lake's. "Cadence" is a very beautiful ballad that, like "I Talk to the Wind" from ITCOTCK, serves as a calm and orderly rebuke to the frantic dissonance of the band's more heavy compositions. Once again, the flute (played by Collins) replaces the saxophone, resulting in a less abrasive atmosphere.

The title track, quite strikingly and blatantly, follows the same sound and structure as ITCOTCK's title track. It is here where the band stoically reintroduces the mellotron as a focal point of the band's progressive sound, with exotic surrealistic lyrics. While there are some very subtle differences between title tracks, like "Pictures of a City" I still have no problem with this song, even if it serves to retain rather than build upon the achievements of the band's last album. Definitely one of, if not the highlight, of the album.

Side two opens with the acoustic guitar solo "Peace - A Theme", a short emotive Fripp interlude before the band moves on into "Cat Food"; King Crimson's first attempt at writing a song that's remotely commercially appealing. It was the band's first single to be released, and unsurprisingly, it didn't chart (to my knowledge), but there is a lip- synced taped performance of this song performed for Dutch television that you can find out there. It is on this song that the brilliant pianist Keith Tippett, whose presence would be greater felt on "Lizard", would work his magic amidst an abridged form of the King Crimson sound, poppy but markedly progressive, with elements of psychedelia.

"The Devil's Triangle" is perhaps the most controversial addition to this album, foreshadowing Fripp's penchant for ambient music that would ultimately be elucidated in his collaborations with Brian Eno. In 1969, King Crimson often played their own cover of composer Gustav Holst's "Mars" suite from "The Planets". They originally intended to put that on this album, but due to legal issues, they were forced to write their own composition that resembled it. This track satisfies the improvisational elements found on "Moonchild", and just as that song was challenging to listen to on ITCOTCK, "The Devil's Triangle" is sure to alienate. Its theme of unsettling apprehension augmented by a prodding gradual build into utter musical chaos, similar to "A Sailor's Tale" from the band's 4th album "Islands", I'm sure piques one's progressive interest. This is the only song on ITWOP that I personally found challenging enough to be unable to listen to on a regular basis. Of note is the use of xenochrony - part of the chant from "In the Court of the Crimson King" is used near the end. Would be interesting if King Crimson, for all the bands they were inspired by, were partly inspired by Frank Zappa... perhaps we Americans can finally claim ourselves as the pioneers of progressive rock, even if Zappa himself didn't consider his music "progressive" and King Crimson's only "sometimes" progressive. Everything is then brought together with the finale "Peace - An End", which is a fitting farewell to Greg Lake and this incarnation of the band.

"In the Wake of Poseidon", mainly due to its emulation of ITCOTCK, cannot really be considered essential, even though it is a quality album, and fascinatingly enough, the highest charting album of the band's entire discography (#4 in the UK). King Crimson always had a penchant for writing incredible albums, and while many of the songs on this album are good, they pale in comparison to the band's greater discography. The band is still comfortable with playing songs from this album live; I've heard them play, among others, "Pictures of a City", "Cadence and Cascade", and even "Cat Food" live as recent as 2019. The band's sound would change quite radically by the release of their third studio album later that year, departing from the eclectic mellotron-driven psychedelic rock and changing with the times accordingly. I definitely think this is a great album to consider for your collection, even if it is a bit of an ITCOTCK clone.


Report this review (#2493210)
Posted Tuesday, January 12, 2021 | Review Permalink

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