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King Crimson - In The Wake Of Poseidon CD (album) cover

IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.83 | 2038 ratings

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ProgressiveAttic
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.

ProgressiveAttic | 4/5 |

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