"I am so freaking tired of people slagging this album because it follows the same compositional format as the first album In The Court Of The Crimson King: metal song, ballad, mellotron dramatic song. Yes this album's first side (Peace-A Beginning, Pictures of a City, Cadence and Cascade, In the Wake of Poseidon) is in terms of song type essentially an imitation of In The Court Of The Crimson King's first side. But I'm going to break with conventional wisdom here: with the exception of Pictures of a City, I think the songs on Poseidon are just as good, and in some cases better than their counterparts on ITCOTCK. The album opens with an acappella vocal by Greg Lake entitled Peace - a Beginning that is striking in its simplicity and beauty. Following is Pictures of a City which is VERY much like 21st Century S-Man. Both are metallic hard driving songs featuring Robert Fripp's searing guitar. Both have similar (if not identical) instrumental breakdowns, and both are excellent, but 21st Century is in my opinion the more manic and exciting of the two. The next song Cadence and Cascade is a top notch ballad sung by newly hired vocalist/bassist Gordon Haskell who would be more prominantly featured on the following album Lizard. This is his only vocal on the album, the rest are sung by Greg Lake. Cadence and Cascade is simply beautiful with excellent acoustic playing by Fripp, wonderful piano playing courtesy of Keith Tippett and a jazzy flute solo by Ian MacDonald. The mellotron driven In The Wake Of Poseidon is next. It's a suprisingly rocking and dramatic piece reminscent of Epitaph meets In The Court Of The Crimson King from the debut album. But it has a more engaging melody than either of those two songs, and has more lively instrumentation/playing. Fripp's acoustic guitar and Greg Lake's vocals are wonderful as are Mike Giles aggressive drums. The rest of In The Wake Of Poseidon is unique unto itself. Peace - A Theme is a beautiful and short acoustic guitar interlude. Next up is Keith Tippett's manic Cecil Taylor piano workout of Catfood. A song that really seems out of place on this album in it's conflation of free jazz and pop but enjoyable none the less. The long, dark and rambling Mars follows, called The Devil's Triangle on the album perhaps due to copyright issues. Gustav Holtz's composition about Mars the god of war is given a sonically dense and appropriately spooky interpretation by Crimso. The quiet ballad Peace - An End beautifully sung by Greg Lake, closed out the original album. It's a fitting end after the chaos of Mars. The two bonus tracks the Cat Food single and it's B-side Groon are a welcome addition. Groon is an especially interesting jazz/rock? instrumental workout by the Giles brothers on bass and drums and Robert Fripp on electric guitar. Very wierd, very cool.
Yes the comparisons to the first album have some validity, the first three songs (not counting the very short vocal of Peace a Beginning) have the same formula: metal scorcher, ballad, dramatic melotron piece. But I happen to think Poseidon is an excellent album in its own right. It might not be as ambitious but it doesn't have the over-earnest sense of buzzkill that permeates the first record. Both Catfood and to a lesser extent Groon act as a welcome and humorous foil to the other oftimes portentious or heavy tunes. The Peace songs are emotionally moving in their humanity and simple dignity. On Poseidon Fripp seems to relax a bit and plays some smoking electric and beautiful acoustic guitar. The music seems just as confident as on the debut album but in general it has loosened up, allowing for some breathing space and release of tension, not to mention humor. In the Wake of Poseidon is an excellent album that has been overshadowed by it's predecessor. Considering the circumstances surrounding this album, it's amazing that it was recorded at all. Essentially everybody in Crimson but Fripp quit the band either prior to, or during the recording sessions. Fripp managed to hold Crimson together long enough to finish this album knowing that the original band was dead. Yet despite the odds he managed to make a very good if not great album. If you are a fan of the original Crimso or the nuttiness that followed on Lizard, there's a very good probability you will like if not love this album."
Impressive followup, though strangely familiar
Bourbeau | Ann Arbor, MI United States | 04/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The common complaint about this album is that it is an almost song-for-song clone of the band's debut, "In The Court Of The Crimson King." To make things worse, the band has already begun to fragment and lineup changes had already begun before the disk was completed. However, this is still a great album. "Pictures Of A City" may not have the collective group feel of "21st Century Schizoid Man," but it's just as agressive and has some excellent guitar work. "Cadence And Cascade" is just as pretty as "I Talk To The Wind," and "Cat Food" has a great jazz-rock feel with wild piano work by Keith Tippet. Some songs even do better on this album than the debut's counterparts they are modelled after: I much prefer the title track over 1969's "Epitaph," and "The Devil's Triangle" is a nicer look at the band's improvisational style than the free form ending of "Moonchild." The mellotron work on this album is very nice. King Crimson records are some of the most well-produced albums ever made and I can certainly recommend this one."
Come on now, this CD rules
Gobi Kalooki | California, USA | 05/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, this may be similar to their debut album In the Court of the Crimson King, but it is longer and just as good. It has a great variety of tracks from soft and moody (Cadence and Cascade) to funky (Pictures of a City) to just plain fun (Cat Food). This is an essential buy for King Crimson fans."
This album should not have a three, its too good
fats | 12/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, the album has similarities to album one, but i consider it an extension of one rather than a second album, since it had no touring band and some of the pieces were left over from ITCOTCK (pictures of a city, the devil's triangle, etc.) Overall, this album has some of the most beautiful tracks Crimson has ever laid on tape. Listen to Cadence & Cascade and In The Wake Of Poseidon for heart-wrenching melodies and vocals, Pictures Of A City and Catfood for insane riffs, and The Devil's Triangle for one of the most haunting, albeit repetitive, pieces of music ever written (based on Holst's Mars, in the first Crim's repotoire). The Peace Beginning, Theme, and Ending are all excellent, separate the album nicely, and are beautiful indeed. By this album, and shame on the reviewers for making it a 3/5."
It sounds like the debut, although there are some difference
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 09/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many folks criticize this 1970 album, citing it as a weak effort that simply regurgitates material found on the highly influential debut album In the Court of the Crimson King (1969). I suppose that admittedly, this album does mirror the debut at times although there are some subtle differences. In spite of the criticisms that have been leveled at this album, I still enjoy In the Wake of Poseidon just as much as any of the other albums released by Mr. Fripp and company during the 1969-1974 timeframe.
The lineup at this point represents a slightly modified version of the first lineup and includes Robert Fripp (electric and acoustic guitars, mellotron, VCS3); Greg Lake (vocals); Michael Giles (drums and percussion); Peter Giles (electric bass guitar); Keith Tippett (piano); Mel Collins (saxophones and flute); Gordon Haskell (vocal on Cadence and Cascade); and Peter Sinfield (lyrics). I think it goes without saying that all of these musicians are absolutely top shelf, with Michael and Peter forming an incredible rhythm section. For those of you that are curious, following the dissolution of this lineup, Michael and Peter would go on to record the excellent album McDonald and Giles (1970), with former King Crimson member Ian McDonald (he played on the debut). Lastly, Gordon Haskell would contribute lead vocals and play bass on the excellent follow-up album Lizard (also 1970).
I suppose that I need to get this out of the way so here I go - the track Pictures of a City sounds a great deal like 21st Century Schizoid Man; In the Wake of Poseidon sounds a lot like In the Court of the Crimson King; Cadence and Cascade somewhat resembles I Talk to the Wind; and the three part The Devil's Triangle suite superficially resembles Moonchild, yet without the structureless sound collage found on Moonchild. There are however, some important differences. The dark and sinister suite The Devil's Triangle is loosely based on Gustav Holst's composition Mars (from The Planets) and is played predominantly on the mellotron (there is a snippet of In the Court of the Crimson King buried in there somewhere). Cat Food is an absolutely manic piece, with some dazzling, avant-garde piano playing from Keith Tippett. Finally, there are the quiet and acoustic Peace themes (A Beginning; A Theme; and An End) that are placed at the beginning, middle, and end of the album.
The sound quality of this remastered album is excellent and the bonus tracks constitute worthwhile additions.
I think that on the whole, while this album does quote heavily from the debut, there is enough in the way of really interesting compositions and excellent playing that it all balances out in the end. Besides, I absolutely love the debut and it is quite possibly the most influential prog album ever released. So, as far as I see it, quoting from it is a good thing. As such, this album is recommended along with In the Court of the Crimson King; Lizard; Islands (1971); Larks Tongues in Aspic (1973); Starless and Bible Black (1974); Red (1974); and the live album USA (1975). The album McDonald and Giles is also highly recommended."