In The Wake Of Poseidon Review

artist: King Crimson date: 07/28/2009 category: compact discs
King Crimson: In The Wake Of Poseidon
Released: May 15, 1970
Label: Island Records, Atlantic Records, Polydor Records
Number Of Tracks: 8
By the time this album was released, the band had already undergone their first change in lineup, however they still maintained much of the style of their first album.
 Sound: 8.5
 Lyrics: 9
 Overall Impression: 8.5
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overall: 9
In The Wake Of Poseidon Reviewed by: Big Tommy P, on october 15, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The second album of the band. Vocalist/Bassist Greg Lake, Wind/Brass/Keyboardist Ian McDonald and Drummer Michael Giles announced their desire to depart after the predecessor "In The Court of the Crimson King"; Lake to form Emerson Lake & Palmer, and McDonald and Giles to pursue a new direction of their own. Even though the band had broken up, most still appear on the album. Lake agreed to sing (although Michael Giles' brother Peter played bass), and Giles agreed to drum. Other musicians appear as well, including Mel Collins, Keith Tippett and Gordon Haskell (Collins and Haskell would end up joining the band). The sound is essentially the same (within an acceptable margin of error) to the first album, with more contrast between serene and chaotic movements. Robert Fripp's compositions are quite seemingly absurd at times, changing from some jazz right into avant-garde, then to melodic, classically inspired motifs. His guitar doesn't really focus itself as the lead instrument, leaving that to Keith Tippett's insane piano work. // 9

Lyrics: Well, Peter Sinfield wrote the lyrics. Just as absurd as some of Fripp's guitar work. They appear to be initially written as poems, then being fitted to the music. From the metaphorical meandering of the title track, to the inspired lunacy of Cat Food. For all their seeming individuality, they fit quite well with the music, which uses varying degrees of textures and timbres to make for very good songwriting. Lake's vocals are as stunning as expected, and Gordon Haskell's vocals on Cadence & Cascade really bring out subtlety of the song itself. // 9

Overall Impression: Although still considered inferior to Court of the Crimson King, it is a stunning record nonetheless. It bears virtually no resemblance what'soever to later albums like Larks' Tongues in Aspic. The most impressive songs are the jazzy Picture of a City, the serene title track, and the epic, eccentric Devil's Triangle, an instrumental (to which Ian McDonald is co-credited to writing) that sounds what one would imagine Pink Floyd to sound like on crack. It gets a little repetitive at times, but otherwise a beautifully crafted album, worthy of prog rock fan's collection. // 9

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overall: 8.3
In The Wake Of Poseidon Reviewed by: TheLlamaMan, on july 28, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: In the Wake of Poseidon is King Crimson's second album. By this time the band was well known for its progressive feel, the blending of influences outside of rock and blues into their songs, and their ability to change the sound from choatic and intense to serene and calm without losing the feel. Although only the bands second album, and even though the first one was quite amazing, we already see the bands first lineup change. Greg Lake, the original vocalist and bassist left to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer, but agreed to sing for the album. Also, the original woodwinds, brass, and keyboard player Ian McDonald left the band. Although the bands members have changed, it doesn't mean the sound of the album does. For the most part the album keeps the same feel and power that you got from the first album. Although this is a great thing, it's also a bit of a letdown as you feel like you're getting a lot of the same instead of something new that you might have expected. A great aspect of this album is King Crimson's ability to blend a lot of different styles into their music. Instead of the usual blues based rock that you heard from most bands of that era, we hear them blend aspects of jazz (Pictures of a City) and even classical (The Devil's Triangle). This is great because you won't be getting the same of what you would from the other bands, you're getting a really unique experience thats different but still amazing. For instrumentation, Robert Fripp on guitar is amazing as usual. His guitar playing isn't usually fast-paced shredding, loud, or even the focus of the music. In fact, it's quite the opposite, it's usually parts being played to support the rest of the band while still remaining a key part of the sound. On drums, we have Michael Giles, who is an absolutely amazing drummer. Whenever he plays, it's for a reason, and whether its a drum solo or a beat in the background, what he plays is always perfect and helps pull the music together and make it sound great. His brother, Peter Giles, plays bass for the album. Although in my opinion not as good as Greg Lake, he still plays well and what he plays helps the music be what it is. Mel Collins on flute and sax does a great job playing in a way that fits with the music and adds to it. Finally (yeah, I know, there was a lot) we have Keith Tippet on piano. It is clear that he is the focus of much of the music, and his playing is one of the key parts that gives us the melody. Overall, this albums sound is great. From the beautiful "Cadence and Cascade", to the epic title track "In the Wake of Poseidon", to the crazy "Cat Food", this album is full of great songs that will grab your attention. Although the album is almost TOO similar to its predecessor, and sometimes the craziness of the music can be a turn off, overall Robert Fripp and King Crimson as a whole did a great job with this album. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics, written by Peter Sinfield, are full of metaphors and deep meanings, as well as just being plain crazy. Often the lyrics will catch your attention because they are somewhat cryptic and feel like they have a deeper meaning. Other times you'll be wondering why Greg Lake keeps screaming "cat food! cat food!" over and over again. It might seem crazy, but it catches you attention and will stick in your head for a while. The lyrics are great, often wacky, but great. For actual vocals, we have Greg Lake. Like usual he is amazing with his tone, range, and just plain skill. Without him I don't think this album would have been nearly as good. There's not much to critique about his skill. We also have Gordon Haskell singing vocals on "Cadence and Cascade", who does a great job, his voice really fitting in with the soft and serene sound of the song. // 9

Overall Impression: It's impossible to get better from perfection, so if you were expecting something better then "In the Court of the Crimson King" you won't be getting it. That aside however, this is still a great album. Full of great songs like "Cadence and Cascade" and of course "In the Wake of Poseidon", it will really leave you wanting more. The first time through listening to this I wasn't really paying attention, and so didn't get too much from it. But like with all King Crimson music, when you actually take the time to listen to everything - the sound, the lyrics, the structure, all of the idividual instruments - you realize that it's so much more then you originally thought it to be. So yes, if you're a fan of King Crimson this album is certainly worth the money, just don't be expecting too much of it. // 8

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