Sound — 10
King Crimson's debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, is probably one of the most influential progressive rock albums out there. The albums sound really varies from song to song, from the blazing fast saxophone solos in "21st Century Schizoid Man" to the free-form improvisation in "Moonchild". Robert Fripp's guitar work is amazing on this album, from simple but powerful parts to support the rest of the song, to intense and speedy parts that are the main focus. Greg Lake's bass playing is also superb. The bass is always heard, and is always moving somewhere and is often complicated, giving the song a sense of direction. On drums, Michael Giles is one of the best out there, able to play incredibly fast and complicated things in strange time signatures that somehow end up sounding great. Finally, Ian McDonald's work on other instruments really adds another level to this album. The serene and beautiful flute solos and the furious sax solos really add another dimension to the music that you don't often find in many bands. My only problem with this albums sound is that the improv in "Moonchild" drags on for too long, and with little happening it tends to bore you fast. Other than that, this album's sound is nearly flawless; every instrument fits in perfectly with all of the others resulting in one powerful and amazing sound.
Lyrics — 10
Greg Lake's singing is brilliant for most of this album. His voice changes to fit in perfectly with each song on the album. His vocals can be both soft and powerful, and no other singer would better suit this album's mood. Lyrics, by Peter Sinfield, are full of metaphors and deeper meanings than what they first might appear to be, and they flow in perfectly with the mood of the song. Overall, the vocals and lyrics on this album are amazing, and help make the album what it is.
Overall Impression — 10
King Crimson is one of those bands that not many people other than hardcore progressive fans have really heard of, and have never really had much radio time. After you hear this album, you'll be wondering why this is. This is, in my opinion, the greatest progressive album ever made and any fan of the genre who hasn't already heard of it will be kicking themselves for missing out on it. Some of the best tracks on the album for me are "Epitaph", "In the Court of the Crimson King", and "21st Century Schizoid Man". The length of the album is about 45 minutes, but you'll be getting much more from it than that. If you like progressive rock, or just want to check out what could be the greatest album of all time, buy this. Now.