CRIMSON lyricist calls heavy arms to his court and creates a masterpiece in his own write.
Whatever objections from Pete Sinfield's side might be there - and there's none - he's first and foremost a poet, not a singer. But his co-conspiration in creating of KING CRIMSON taught Pete to not be limited by his own limitations, so in 1973, full of both musical and lyrical ideas, Sinfield came up with this strange fruit which sees the light now as its author intended, and that's quite a reason to discard its CD debut under the "Stillusion" tag and dive headlong in the fantastic imagery swirl. As far as intentions go, the second disc of a new re-issue presents original mixes of the album, the punchier ones, yet it's in the final smoothness that the eternal enigmatic pull of "Still" lurks.
It's alluring, the depth of the opening "Song Of The Sea Goat", punctured by John Wetton mighty bass and Keith Tippet's piano ripples, but Sinfield's voice nicely compliments his songs as does his 12-string acoustic, and shifting the attention focus to the other players would be a great mistake. Still, due credit should be given to Mel Collins, a musical director of it all, whose flutes and saxes warmly wrap the hidden angularity of the compositions. In places, it's very CRIMSON-like, like in the brightest gem of all, "Envelopes Of Yesterday", with a gentle interlude in its heart and Snuffy Walden's wild guitar solo, or the title track where Greg Lake joins Sinfield on the lead lines to roll his guitar later on on the jazzy "A House Of Hopes And Dreams". Even more avant-garde feels the hysterical finale, "The Night People", featuring imaginative drum patterns courtesy of Ian Wallace who adds to the CRIMSO camp on board. Elsewhere, though, the styles go dancing, like in the rocking, brass-brandishing "Wholefood Boogie", or the countrified "Will It Be You" adorned with BJ Cole's pedal steel - on these two, vocals ride the shotgun while calling the shots.
CD 2 contains two cuts which could have graced Pete Sinfield's second LP if there was one, yet there ain't, so "Still" remains the only edifice to the musical endeavors of the poet whose lyrics continue to inspire and have been picked over the years by such mainstream artists as Cher and Celine Dion. His debut is essential for KING CRIMSON fans and interesting to the prog aficionados, others should approach "Still" cautiously but, ultimately, satisfaction is guaranteed to all.