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

LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.40 | 1924 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars I remember when I was a kid and a making his first advances in Prog, when a good friend tried to introduce me in wonders of KING CRIMSON, his dream was to make everybody a fan of his favorite album "Lark's Tongues in Aspic", no matter what effort he made it was too much for me, I simply wasn't able to understand that cacophony with no sense at all (IMHO). The years have passed and the situation has changed only a bit, now I can listen the album once each every 5 or 6 years but still can't get into it, no matter how much effort I have placed, and believe me, listening people talking about it as the greatest example of Prog perfection there have been moments in which I felt like an ignorant that isn't able to get it.

"Larks Tongues in Aspic Part I" sounds to me as a as five guys playing their instruments randomly without any sense of melody, some guitar sections have some meaning, but the rest is simply cacophony. It's clear that Fripp, Cross, Wetton, Muir and Bruford are outstanding musicians, but the lack of melody just eliminates me as a fan.

"Book of Saturday" is a simpler tune but thanks to God Wetton's wonderful voice at his peak and the nice melody make perfect sense, even the distorted violin by David Cross fits perfectly in the track, give me melody or better don't give me the album.

"Exiles" starts confusing with a serious of sound effects that I prefer to call noise, not spooky, not dramatic, only senseless for me. But then a wonderful change, the violin adds a new dimension to what was a complete cacophony, maybe a bit too high for John's vocal range but very nice, after the first vocal section another instrumental that says nothing to me leads back to the melodic passage, Fripp's performance is simple outstanding and again the violin is extremely beautiful. Liked the song, but honestly where is the Prog icon?

Good melody, nice vocals, dramatic violin and delicate piano but adding weird noises to a beautiful and basic melody doesn't make it Prog, good song, I like it but not remotely outstanding IMHO.

"Easy Money" beginning reminds me of 21st Century Schizoid man, distorted guitar and vocals with great percussion by Bruford and Muir lead to a melodic section, not very memorable and again the strength, this is Prog without any doubt but not all Prog has to outstanding for everybody, after 7:54 minutes I keep asking myself what they pretended.

"The Talking Drum" is another excuse for calling themselves experimental and more advanced than the rest of the bands, maybe I'm wrong at it's a full masterpiece, but the intro is just noise without any logic, I understand Bruford left YES among other reasons because with KING CRIMSON he would have more chances to improvise, and sure he had, but the music says me nothing. The song goes always in crescendo until the end but again I can't stand it.

"Larks Tongues in Aspic Part II" is a prove that you can be risky, advanced and experimental and still make sense, love this track, my favorite, the radical changes the mysterious viola and the perfect drumming are outstanding and have a reason to be there, it's not just noise, this is music of the first class. The guitar and bass section is out of this world proving how underrated John Wetton is, he can be the perfect complement for Robert Fripp much better than Greg Lake ever was on bass and still be a great vocalist on other tracks, the gem of the album.

I know people will probably hang me, but if it wasn't for the final track, I would rate this album with 1 star because if I have to be honest almost nothing of it says too much to me, but I will rate it with 2 stars only because of this track and the simple but effective "Book of Saturday" (If possible I would give an average rating of 2.5 stars, that would be perfectly adequate IMO, but sadly this is not possible).

I could easily live without "Lark's Tongues in Aspic" and I understand a review has to be an honest personal impression of the album, I would lie if I placed it in the level of ELP's debut or other excellent albums I rated with 3 stars.

Some bands are better than their individual member, this is not the case of KING CRIMSON, we all know the members are all outstanding but the music of the band says nothing to me in most of the cases. Maybe I'm wrong and we are before a masterpiece, because millions who love this album shouldn't be wrong, but that's how I feel.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 2/5 |

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