Wednesday, July 14, 2010

King Crimson - Islands


This is an album I don't listen to that often. The awesome dark atmosphere of the earlier King Crimson albums is replaced by dreariness- most of these songs are just slow and dull. It doesn't help that new singer Boz Burrell (later of Bad Company- now there's a band you wouldn't expect to see connected with KC) is just awful- his voice is just boring most of the time. There are a few parts where he sounds okay (the "IMPALED ON NAILS OF ICE" bit from "The Letters" is overdramatic but effective), but he has no personality at all for most of the time.
However, when Islands manages to get out of first gear, there are some decent moments- "Ladies of the Road" is ridiculously sleazy but enjoyable, and "The Sailor's Tale" is a pretty good noise/free jazz instrumental, while "Song of the Gulls" is a perfectly acceptable string-based piece. Unfortunately, most of the rest of the album is just dreadfully dull and has almost no energy at all. I have to rate boring songs like "Formentera Lady" and "Islands" just a rung or two above Moonchild- they're too damn quiet, and go on way too long.
So yeah, this is probably my least favorite studio album by King Crimson. Only small parts of it even come close to working, and the rest of the album is just boring soft rock songs that go on forever.

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