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Peter Sinfield - Still CD (album) cover

STILL

Peter Sinfield

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soundsweird
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The Japanese Mini-LP sleeve CD version of "Still" sounds much better than "Stillusion", which suffers from an EQ problem: the high frequencies are unnaturally pronounced. I loved this album from the moment I bought it in 1973. I'm sure many listeners are put off by Sinfield's high, thin, reedy voice, but I find it fitting and original. The songwriting, performances and arrangements are first-rate and varied. Stylistically, it isn't really a "progressive" album throughout, with elements of folk, classical and even country. Some of my favorite Pete Sinfield lyrics appear on this album. Since "Islands" is the last King Crimson album with Sinfield, it's no surprise that there are similarities. Both albums have more than a passing "pastoral" feel that runs through them. Admittedly an acquired taste, this album makes me wish Sinfield had continued his solo career...

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Send comments to soundsweird (BETA) | Report this review (#33420)
Posted Wednesday, December 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
greenback
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record is strongly early King Crimson influenced. Indeed, most of the early King Crimson players are present here, except Robert Fripp: Greg Lake, Mel Collins, Keith Tippett, Robin Miller, John Wetton, Ian Wallace and Boz Burrell among others. The bass is VERY BOTTOM, while being not aggressive at all! A couples of tracks slightly have the country music style, especially the electric guitars, like on "Will it be you" and on "Envelopes of yesterday". There are many dissonant sax parts. There are often subtly floating keyboards a la "Il Volo". The best track is probably the catchy song "Under the sky", full of delicate flutes, drums and acoustic guitars. "Wholefood Boogie" is a retro boogie full of rhythmic piano and low-pitched saxes. Greg Lake sings on "Still", a catchy track starting very slowly. "Envelopes of Yesterday" has the Pink Floyd's "Meddle" style, in a bit more joyful way. The beautiful "The Piper" has VERY delicate & peaceful flute and acoustic guitar parts. "A House of Hopes and Dreams" starts delicately, and finishes more dynamically with visceral saxes. The last track "The Night People" is different: it sometimes sounds like the Nick Mason's "Fictitious sports" album, and the last part is very fast and sounds more like free jazz.

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#33421)
Posted Monday, April 04, 2005 | Review Permalink
platinumblond
5 stars I once had the Japanese vinyl pressing of Still,the album was about 1/2 inch thick and it was in mint condition when i sold it" i wish i never got rid of it".It was one of the best packaged Japanese records of prog music as far as apperence i had ever seen,a luxury record.The music itself is incrediable its almost mystical music and i have never heard anything like it since its really unique.Most of the music is basically beautiful and is very coherent and just flows gracefully along,it does have a early Pink Floyd sound to it which is great,and it does have sounds of Crimsons Islands album running through it.There are no harsh sounds to Still,its a wonderful piece of mysical prog and doesnt sound dated at all,its a charming album and its totally unique.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#46070)
Posted Friday, September 09, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It was interesting to listen what kind of result comes from the musical vision of King Crimson's court lyricist and its musicians without the presence of Robert Fripp. Peter had left the group in bad circumstances, and I believe the lyrics of the fine song "Envelopes of Yesterday" are about this event. John Wetton also played bass on that song, so maybe during the touring and recording breaks of Larks' Tongues in Aspic he secretly visited Command Studios and played on song criticizing Mr. Fripp. I had slightly contradictory feelings about this album, as it has many really wonderful tracks in it, but also some quite terrible among them. Luckily there's only three in my opinion poorer songs against six really excellent tracks, so the scales turn to favorable direction.

The A-side of the album begins with the "Song of The Sea Goat", which is an arrangement of Antonio Vivaldi's "Largo" movement on the famous concerto for guitar & string orchestra in D major. Also Steve Howe has been playing this tune on his solo record and at concerts of Yes. The arrangement here is also successful, and Peter's lyrics are truly astonishing; He is really a master in creating intelligent metaphors and beautiful poetry, and it's a pleasure to even just read his lyrics from the gatefold sleeve without listening to the music. The following "Under The Sky" is also a nice song, tumbling carefully upon ethereally shimmering divine pastures. The album's title song has Peter dictating a poem and Greg Lake singing in the verses, these gentlemen uniting in deep philosophical contemplations.

The B-side starts with earlier mentioned "Envelopes of Yesterday", a minor key moody piece growing with power, perhaps even frustrated anger. Following "The Piper" is a quiet folk music oriented pastoral, painting a portrait of kind little elf with an acoustic guitar and a flute. "A House of Hopes and Dreams" is also a fine and emotional song with great lyrics, which synthesizing perfectly to the dramatics of the music. The last track "Night People" sounded quite irritating to my own ears, though the message of it possibly has a point. Peter is not a very good singer, and especially this tune shows it up quite clearly. But his voice fits well on the more tender tracks, and I admire his courage to put himself front honestly to his creation. "To sleep calmly with confidence among the jaws of the beast", like it could be seen from the album cover illustrations.

I would recommend this to the fans of the jazzy phase of King Crimson, and I consider it a worthwhile album to check out for those with different kind of tastes too. I got my vinyl copy of this with blue colored borders. I have read somewhere that Peter changed his mind on the original pink color when the pressings had already begun, so there are copies with both colors in the markets.

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#58500)
Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I first heard this album many years ago, I was a big fan of King Crimson, so I thought I would try it out, but its more like pure Folk than Prog. Unfortunately Pete Sinfield is better at writing the words than the music, so it is alot softer & simpler than KC. I am not sure why this album rates higher than the CD release "Stillusion" which is the same except for a different order + 2 extra tracks. (I've heard the CD re-release, the 2001 version does not seem to have the EQ problems) Tracks #2 & 9 are the best on the album, more prog than the others. #2 "Under the Sky" was co-written with Ian Macdonald, former Keyboardist with King Crimson, while #9 "Night People" had Mel Collins, who played Sax in KC, co-writing. Tracks 3 & 4 are more jaunty folk numbers, with "Wholefood Boogie" sung about Pete's dietary beliefs (he's a vegetarian). The title track is good but a little unusual, with Pete reading Poetry in the beginning then Greg Lake singing Vocals at the end. Pete Sinfield got many of his old bandmates & associates to help him, with Keith Tippet playing piano or bass on some tracks & John Wetton, Boz Burell played bass on some others. On the whole not a bad album, but only for those who like more mellow folk music. If you want to read Pete's poetry check out his website songsouponsea.com

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Send comments to freebird (BETA) | Report this review (#74915)
Posted Friday, April 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars The word charming comes to mind everytime I hear this lovely recording, understanding very clearly that this is not for everyone. In fact, many dislike Sinfield's lyrics as being way too quirky and overblown : "The Seagoat casts aquarian runes through beads of mirrored tears" does definitely stretch the boundaries for those you are comfortable with "She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah" or "da, da, da" or "life is Life, dada dadadada". But in retrospect , his penmanship was unique, different and luxuriant to say the least. "Song of the Seagoat" is an alltime fave with a beautiful melody inspired by Vivaldi's Four Seasons and with Keith Tippett's cascading piano. "Under the Sky" evokes KC's "I Talk to the Wind" both gentle uplifting ballads both co-penned by Ian MacDonald. The next two cuts are tinged with a pseudo country feel with a lyrical nod to KC's "CatFood". The title cut is an achingly memorable power ballad where Sinfield's delicate poetic voice is overtaken by Greg Lake's majectic segue, perhaps one of his most imperial vocal performances ever ("Ceasars and Pharaohs"). Goosebumps every time. "Envelopes of Yesterday" evokes hints of the "Islands " period and "Piper" remains in a very folkish vein. "House of Hopes and Dreams" is another winner with a great brass propelled finale. The final cut is more mercurial with Mel Collins putting in some memorable blasts on sax augmented by "gargoyles chewing on wet cigars" . Though not as musically accomplished as In The Court, In The Wake , Lizard or Islands, this one-shot personal musical postcard has withstood the test of time nicely and remains a mystical companion forevermore. 4 prophetic heroes

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#94854)
Posted Tuesday, October 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Peter Sinfield - the only member of KING CRIMSON no-one ever saw on stage !!! Peter's role in Crimso was manifold - not only providing the vivid and imaginative lyrics/poetry to go with the amazing music, but also handling the stage sound and lighting and was up-to-date with the (then) contemporary fashion trends (now don't you think every band should have a 'Sinfield' in tow ?!!....) Sinfield had left the Crimson King sometime in late '71, and in 1973, recorded and released this magical slab of vinyl, 'Still', on E.L.P.'s Manticore label. Featuring well known Crimsoners Mel Collins, Boz Burrell, Ian Wallace, John Wetton, along with Greg Lake and avante pianist Keith Tippet and a roster of lesser known compatriots, the album offers a wide array of ideas and styles, never sticking to any set genre. Sinfield's thin and nasally vocals are as accessibly polite as they are eccentric. Going through, what I consider as the choice tracks - 'The Song of the Sea Goat' is a lovely string-synth driven symphonic piece based on a Vivaldi composition (Four Seasons, I think) and is one beautiful crescendo lasting 6 mins to an emotional finale. Tippet's tinkly piano runs feature on this track. Title song 'Still' is a Sinfield and Lake duet that's nothing less than magnificent, ranging from the atmospheric sections of Sinfield's poetic recitals, to the uplifting verses sung passionately by Lake. 'Envelopes of Yesterday' (where Wetton contributes some Fuzz-Bass) and 'The Night People' (with the Wallace/Burrell rhythm section) are longer cuts that are reminiscent of 'Islands' era Crimson. The remaining songs are all lyrically descriptive, and musically light and enjoyable - 'The Piper' is full of Fairy-Tale imagery, 'Wholefood Boogie' is quirky and fun, 'Under the Sky' is dreamy and innocent, 'A House Of Hopes and Dreams' is as close to a 'normal' Rock-Song as the album gets and on 'Will It Be You?' Pete throws in a good dose of C&W, with its upfront slide guitar and the cheezy tones of a 'Woolworth's Organ'. In 'Sounds' magazine, Sinfield speaks of 'Still' - 'People should have realised I was doing something that was very unviolent and very unsurprising..........I wanted to do something that was not exactly muzak but was something pleasant on the ears'. I think he succeeded. 4 stars.

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#202018)
Posted Saturday, February 07, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Peter Sinfield is best known as early King Crimson's member (even if his contribution was only their song's lyrics, some covers design ideas and light during their live shows). But he was involved in some unknown musical projects still before his collaboration with King Crimson as well.

This, his only solo album, was recorded with help of many present and future King Crimson musicians - Greg Lake, Mel Collins, and John Wetton between others. Peter Sinfield is not only lyrics author, he sings and plays keyboards and guitars.

Whole album is very melodic, dreamy and folksy one. Sinfield isn't a great vocalist, but his lyrics and participation of great musicians build a nice atmosphere. Keit Tippett ,Mel Collins and brass section gave a jazzy feeling on some songs. More prog-folk, than Crimsonian music, this album is really pleasant addition to serious King Crimson collection. Could be interesting to early folksy prog lovers as well.

My rating is 3+.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#289968)
Posted Monday, July 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Pete Sinfield - Still (1973)

This King Crimson related record is the sole album of lyricist Peter Sinfield who wrote the lyrics for the first four Crimson albums, some ELP albums and some Italian progressive rock bands. On this album Sinfield not only writes the lyrics, but also shows his more then reasonable vocal capabilities and he plays 12-string guitar and synth. He also wrote most of the material, being helped by McDonald (also ex-KC), Brunton, Jump and the well-known Mel Collins (who's wind-instrument are a great contribution). The line-up of 'Still' has some recognizable names, to name a few; Greg Lake, Mel Collins, Keith Tippet, Boz, John Wetton and Ian Wallace. Let's face it; this is almost like a King Crimson reunion (albeit without Robert Fripp himself).

With not much written about this album and little knowledge about what to expect I must admit I was seduces by the amazing sleeve and artwork of the record. The painting on the cover (by Salumith Wulfing) 'The Big Friend' is one of the best in my collection.

The result is a symphonic folk album with some compositions leaning towards jazz (think of Cat Food). Sinfield has a high-pitched an vulnerable vocal sound, but his voice sounds quite majestic with the reverbs and symphonic land-scapes. The King Crimson influences are all over the place, mainly the dedicated ballad style (think of I talk to the Wind) and long symphonic chord progressions. 'Still' is however a less confronting record and on songs like 'Will it be you' and 'Wholefood Boogie' there's some space for humor and country vibes. Songs like the opener 'The song of the Sea Goat' (and many more) represent the beauty aspect of the album, which for me is the main attraction. It's all about that majestic symphonic beauty that's so easily disrupted, luckily this album has a nice amount of successful tracks.

Conclusion. A nice album I can recommend to fans of early King Crimson and symphonic folk (with that majestic feel). I think of it as the rightful celebration of Peter Sinfield's lyrics inspiring the whole progressive rock community. Three and a halve stars.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#553246)
Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011 | Review Permalink

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