Rantings, reviews and lists from a person who structures half his life around obsessing over music.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

King Crimson - In The Wake of Poseidon (1970)

2.5 ★/5.0 - 5.9

Don't get me wrong: if a band has a distinctive sound that works, then chances are it's a better choice for them to drive that sound into the ground with slight variation, rather than move on, attempt something radically different and fail miserably. But this is too much. This is the kind of bullshit you'd expect Nickelback to come up with, but not freaking King Crimson! Yet lo and behold: most of the follow up to In The Court Of The Crimson King is practically a carbon copy of that critically acclaimed classic. Sometimes this translates into very good things. "Pictures Of A City" isn't nearly as immediately impressive as "21'st Century Schizoid Man," but it still has invigorating twists and turns that keep you glued to your seat for the lengthy solo section. And "Cadence And Cascade" is every bit as stunningly beautiful as "I Talk To The Wind." Unfortunately, the bloated title track falls flat on it's face by trying to over-dramatically emulate "Epitaph," which wasn't a very interesting song in the first place. And if "The Devil's Triangle" was gonna play the part of "Moonchild" it could at the very least have some of the beautiful balladry that offsetted the aimless unrestrained wankery that followed. Instead it packs as much pointlessness as it possibly can in 11 minutes. The epic conceptual textures can't take away from the fact that it goes absolutely nowhere. What makes it even more frustrating is that the few new things they try are just as worthless. "Cat Food" is a head-scratcher that sounds totally out of place and the "Peace" interludes are all pleasant enough but ultimately add nothing to the album. But hey, Robert Fripp has has rarely ever kept King Crimson in one place for an extended period of time. Their musical style has shifted and changed about as much as their members have, so the occasional redundant blunder such as this is probably forgivable.

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