Is this really a rehash of In the Court of the Crimson King?
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 08/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I have to say, partially. Many people say that In the Wake of Poseidon is a pale rehash of their debut. Everyone knows how King Crimson was never known for a steady lineup. Here the band was already witnessing changes. Ian McDonald was now out of the picture. Greg Lake was now just doing vocals duties on all but one of the vocal cuts (he didn't play bass here, Peter Giles, brother of Michael did). Mellotron duty was now handled by Fripp himself, and sax was handled by Mel Collins (a guy who would find himself with numerous groups like Camel, The Alan Parsons Project, Clannad, and much more). Of course after this album, Lake was to team up with Keith Emerson and Greg Lake to form one of the big-name prog rock acts, Emerson, Lake & Palmer. About the accusations of this album being a copy of their debut, well, let's examine the songs. "Pictures of a City" does bear resemblance to "21st Century Schizoid Man". Similar jazzy sound, dominated by wind instruments. "Cadence & Cascade" is the mellow, laid-back piece that draws comparisons to "I Talk to the Wind". But there's a major difference here: Gordon Haskell is the guy providing the vocals here, who obviously sounds a lot different from Lake, and seems to fit in with the song just fine. The title track is the Mellotron epic in the vein of "Epitaph". But what King Crimson done on the second half of the album really sounds little what they already done on their debut. "Cat Food", for example, is a quirky little piece with humorous lyrics, with guest Keith Tippet on piano. Nothing like that was done on their debut. Then you have "Devil's Triangle", which is a sinister Mellotron experiment partially borrowed from Gustav Holst's The Planets. The music really goes off the experimental deep-end, and somewhere you get to hear a reprise of "The Court of the Crimson King" (the song) amongst all the noise. I love how the music ends all mellow and acoustic with the third and final "Peace", with just acoustic guitar and Greg Lake's vocals. Although their debut is the stronger album, this is still an album worth getting, after you get In the Court of the Crimson King."
If the CD had been invented a generation earlier...
R. L. MILLER | FT LAUDERDALE FL USA | 12/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"...this album wouldn't really be a cutout today. It would be part of a sixty-something-minute "In the Court Of the Crimson King", consistent with the length of present-day Crim albums. The resulting expanded "Court" would contain the good stuff like "Pictures Of A City" (a hard-hitting piece that would make it so "21st Century Schizoid Man" wasn't the only hard-rocker), "Cadence and Cascade" (a good ballad in the style of "I Talk To the Wind"), "In the Wake Of Poseidon" (a decent emotive number that's not as much of an apocalyptic downer as "Epitaph") and "Cat Food" (a whimsical number whose like doesn't appear on "Court"). They could have left out the divided trilogy "Peace" because these interludes exist only to support "The Devil's Triangle", a takeoff on Holst's "Mars: Bringer Of War" that Tomita did a better job on with his Moogs, and Keith Emerson did about as well with years later with his mega-Yamaha. Really, the thing should have remained a live show excercise that never should have seen the studio. Fripp proves here that, not only is he not that good a keyboardist, but the Mellotron can be a horrible lead instrument. Fripp exposes about every flaw the instrument has here. The thing works well in songs like "Poseidon" and the earlier "Epitaph", where it isn't overexposed and can enrich the arrangement. But if you use it as a main instrument, you got your timbre problems caused by undersampling in the tape drum. You got your tracking lags because the thing is mechanical, not electronic. It is a mid-20th century instrument after all. And you got over 11 minutes of what sounds more like a broad parody of "Mars" than anything else. So here's a suggestion. If you buy it, treat it like the second disc of "Court" and program your player past this mishmosh of noise and its companion pieces. As other reviewers said, this is more a companion disc than an album in its own right. As far as where to get it besides the sellers here, maybe they offer it on Crim's own site Discipline Global Mobile."