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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.13 | 1820 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Considering all the reviews before mine, I'll try to keep this short.

Has there ever been a more bombastic, overblown, pretentious album than this? Okay, so maybe Topographic Oceans, but other than that, I can't think of one (and I love that album too).

This album has a very cold sound in the production and even the songwriting. It comes across as a kind of robotic, relentless, musical machine. Very much in keeping with the concept that pervades the entire album (didn't know it was a concept album, did you? well, it is). The idea of computer technology becoming sentient and proclaiming it's God hood may seem very 70's on the surface, but it's something that still resonates today (remember the Matrix films?).

And yet, I still love this album to this day. From the opening strains of Jerusalem to final oscillating and gradually speeding up moog melody, it is just a towering achievement in prog music. Karn Evil 9 is a truly great epic, presented in a classical music format of 3 movements, or in this case, Impressions. I've always been partial to the musical dexterity of 2nd Impression, and never tire of hearing or cease to be amazed by it. And Tocatta is simply incredible. Still You Turn Me On is one of Lakes best acoustical singer songwriter numbers with great lyrics, and even Benny The Bouncer fits into the concept with it's "lower class" focus on the mundane. Jerusalem is the perfect introduction to the concept, even though it wasn't written by the band at all.

Okay, it's not a perfect album. But to me, it's close enough for the highest rating. It was ELP's peak, one they could never possibly hope to better. It has historical significance, whether you think it represents the apex of 70's prog, or the most glaring example of it's imminent demise, there is no denying it's resonance even now. A truly great album.

infandous | 5/5 |


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