Hey there fellow tourists I hope that I haven’t kept you all waiting too long for this week’s souvenir. For this week I thought I’d go out of my comfort zone as a native of the land of punk and venture to once foreign and enemy lands. This Souvenir of the Week comes from the weird land of progressive rock and is the album In The Court of the Crimson King by the band King Crimson.
Originally formed in 1968, King Crimson has since gone through an almost absurd amount of lineup changes and has stopped & started back up again about four times since. In The Court of the Crimson King was their debut album and although it originally was met with mixed reviews, it has since been considered a classic and one of the first works to truly embody the genre. Since its original release it has been remastered and re-released a number of times.
I always appreciate those who incorporate a wide variety of instruments into their music and King Crimson is pretty good at doing just that. Besides the usual guitars, drums, and bass, which by the way are masterfully played, this album features 10 other instruments including a mellotron, vibraphone, and saxophone. These additional instruments help to make this album a very interesting listening experience in addition to making the songs sound beautifully detailed as if they were hand crafted by a master artisan. Examples these intricacies can be found in the tracks I Talk to the Wind and Moonchild.
Another thing that I always appreciate is if an album or song is an experience and not just something you listen to. I know that sounds really cheesy so let me better explain what I mean. When I say a song or an album is an experience I mean that it is something that can bring about a variety of emotions and/or a variety of images or scenes in the listener’s mind, like how a good book does. If you sit down, relax, and really listen to this album it really is an experience. From the loud and distorted opening track 21st Century Schizoid Man to the soft melodies of tracks like I talk to the Wind and Moonchild the listener is presented with a variety of emotions and is able to imagine vivid images and scenes to accompany the music. Although you could easily enjoy much of this album while running errands or driving around with your friends, it is best when you are able to really focus on the music.
My favorite tracks off of this album are 21st Century Schizoid Man, I Talk to the Wind, and The Court of the Crimson King. This album avoids the pitfalls that a lot of progressive rock works suffer from, such as being overly complex. Although this album may demand more of you as the listener in order to fully enjoy it, I honestly believe that it is worth it. I find this album to be a really beautiful listen, so if a punk like me can appreciate it then hopefully all of you can too. That’s all I have to say so thanks for reading, I’ll see you next time, and remember don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone!
Photo credit: http://imgkid.com/king-crimson-albums.shtml
Original Punk Rock Tourist photo taken by Monique F.