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King Crimson - Islands CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.81 | 1737 ratings

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The Sleepwalker
Prog Reviewer
2 stars I really like most of King Crimson's albums in the 70's, their music was very epic and (even the improvs) had something that made them very enjoyable. This album however, is kind of dissapointing compared to ITCOTCK or Larks' Tongues In Aspic.

The album starts out pretty good with the quite gentle "Formantera Lady", a ten minute long song which starts out very soft and mellow, lovely flute, piano and gentle vocals make it a pleasant experience. After a while a smooth bassline joins the song and the song gets more bombastic. After about seven minutes some sort of jazzy jam comes in, this is the King Crimson I like, it's a really good opener for this album.

"Sailor Tale" is next, an up-tempo song with a pretty nice bass riff and saxophone playing. The first two minutes are basiccaly a jazzy jam, after a while Robert Fripp's growling guitar takes the leading role, mellotron comes in and the song reaches it's climax. Though not really being a bad song, the song isn't able to touch me, it feels kind of unfinished.

"The Letters" is worse, it starts out very soft with really quiet vocals. Eventually guitar comes in, which is compared to the vocals extremely loud, the song turns into a not very enjoyable jam and sometimes the very quiet vocals return, not a good song at all.

"Ladies Of The Road" is a more decent song than "The Letters", it's kind of funky and the vocals are much better than on the previous song. The song has several guitar and saxophone solo's, but the song lacks power, and just like most of the songs on this album, feels like it could have been much better.

Next is "Prelude: Song Of Gulls", a mellotron driven song. This song is very much influenced by classical music and sounds pretty fun, nothing more than just fun, though. The song is not very diverse, but can be quite a nice listen.

"Islands" is the final track of the song, it also is the lengthiest track. The vocals sound very melancholic and they are driven by nice piano. This soft music goes on for a couple minutes, a couple minutes too much maybe, and they lead to a very short climax, a very short jazzy jam. After a minute of total silence we get to hear some talking and improvising, maybe this is added as some sort of hidden track, but I'm not sure. "Islands" could have been an amazing song, I'm sure of that, I don't understand why the climax couldn't be more powerful and lengthier and why the song didn't have a little more diversity, it now is a mediocore song instead of a KC classic.

Islands really lacks the feeling most other King Crimson albums have, it's not diverse at all, which doesn't have to be bad, but in this case, it is. Only "Formantera Lady" can maybe be called a KC classic, though it isn't as good as any track on ITCOTCK, the rest of the tracks all are dissapointing. I really think this album could be much better, I can't enjoy this album so I'll give it just two stars.

The Sleepwalker | 2/5 |


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