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King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 2976 ratings

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Mr. Mustard
4 stars This may very well be King Crimson's most experimental and consequently least accessible album. Being biased towards the more melodic side of prog, I find one hard to appreciate. Much of the experimental exuberance falls on flat ears, and mostly sounds like noisy drivel. Unfortunately, this is something the band is usually known for, and is quite prevalent here.

Though I will admit much of the album IS well composed. The opening to the title track is quite like the freeform styling of Moonchild or Providence but develops into a dark, uneasy-feeling section, with one of their more memorable and heavy riffs. In fact, this whole section before the aimless violins come in is what I think the band is best suited for, especially with the perfect reprise at the end.

Unfortunately, the remaining songs don't match the strength of the bookending title track. There is no shortage of atmosphere, creativity, and experimentalism; Brudford in particular absolutely kills it. But the melodic side just falls short. The vocals are weak and add nothing to the music, which can at times become convoluted, and at times simply messy. I would praise the songs for their themes and especially the development thereof. At the very least, each song has something unique about it; 'Exiles' has a symphonic sound similar to their debut, 'Easy Money' has a rhythmically intense atmosphere, and 'Talking Drums' has an undeniably remarkable buildup.

While this may be for sure King Crimson's most adventurous, experimental, and cerebrally difficult album, it is because of this that it fails to be one of my favorites, or even a good album in that regard. In the Court was where I felt they were at their best, employing melody in a more symphonic fashion, but doing so without giving up their harsher edge, and is something which I do not believe this album encapsulates.


Mr. Mustard | 4/5 |


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