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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 2112 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Crimson had delivered two wonderful symphonic albums with their previous releases. So, I was kind of curious to discover their third album after the departure of Greg Lake who will have more exposure in ELP. Gordon Haskell will replace him (he was already featured on the previous album in one song), but he does not convince me. On his behalf, I must say that I am quite a Lake fan.

The opening track "Cirkus" is brilliant : great acoustic guitar work, melodious moments after the (average) vocal intro with lots of mellotron and very subtle sax from Mel. This song still show some complex structure. Still, it is one of the most accessible here.

"Indoor Games" is another story : jazzy improv ending up nowhere. The follower "Happy Family" is way too jazzy for me as well. Piano has the lead role (a bit of flute though ..). These two tracks kinda ruin this album.

"Lady of the Dancing Water" is a very quiet short number and provides a bit of relief after all this cacophony. Nice and subtle fluting from Mel Collins. My preferred number on "Lizard". At times, I feel like I'm listening back to "I Talk To The Wind". This always provides me with some pleasure.

The central piece of this album features a special guest on vocals in the first movement : Jon Anderson ! Nothing special to mention though. Sober and good. That's it. Vocals during the chorus are rather weak (Haskell taking the lead, I guess). It's a nice intro for this epic.

The second movement "The Bolero" starts OK but then again turned into a jazzy, and melody-less improv. Only the last minute has marvelous mellotron and is very melodic (symphonic actually) as during its initial phase.

Third and longest movement starts again very promisingly. Good vocals, scary music for most of this section (reminds me VDGG) at times. Rather difficult but good. This piece of music is of course not to be compared with other prog epics like "Supper's" or "Close" which are love at first sight. This one is more to be compared with "A Plague" from VDGG.

Still, one doesn't forget, that this number was written BEFORE all the other ones and therefore needs some credits as well. It needs to be listened and listened again to allow the listener to get into it (it is my case). The "finale" features a bit of everything in less than seventy-five seconds. I was expecting something "bigger" to close it.

Vocals have never gotten a dominent role in KC, but I feel that Lake's departure had a dramatic effect in that respect. I cannot be considered as a Crimson maniac. The Crimson side I prefer is its symphonic one. There weren't too many here. Still, there are good moments in this album ("Cirkus", "Lady" and the title track sometimes) but I can not rate this album higher than three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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