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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.83 | 2020 ratings

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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.

seventhsojourn | 2/5 |


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