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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Emerson Lake & Palmer CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.23 | 2021 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This one is for Karnevil 9, i hope he reads it. After some ELP bashing and being told not to listen to them by my friends i thought i would see what all the fuss was about. I only know about this bands sound and career from things i have read on this site, so i wasn't completely sure what to expect.

I certainly didn't expect that lush distorted droning sound to kick off the album, that is really nice. There is some strong drum work here but i think it is ruined by some very over dramatic piano work, but i managed to sit through it, once the piano bit is over there is a lush roar that sounds likea dragon waking up and then some more distortion which sounds kinda heavy and evil! Definetly a good start, i am actually impressed by "The Barbarian". The bass and drum work is very well done!

The vocals on "Take a Pebble" are pretty nice, somehow it sounds like a very unique sound that ELP have created very nicely here, and Greg Lake uses a different vocal style to King Crimson which is good because it is the start of a brand new sound and prog direction for each member, quite a big leap for a debut album, they have definetly kissed their previous bands goodbye! The piano work is a lot softer here, with some nice acoustics, which i prefer. I can't remember the last time i heard clapping and whistling in prog, how random, but it's here! The soft sound seems to lack direction, going through different acoustic and piano areas before it settles into a beautiful piano section. The thundering bass kicks in and all sounds good. This track can stretch on quite a bit, but i say, so far so good! There is a nice piano climax just before the 11 minute mark that leads back into some vocals, bringing this track to a brilliant close. The vocals are powerful and full of passion and emotion.

"Knife Edge" has some really strong bass and keyboard work, perhaps a sound that i prefer. It can get quite frantic and then flow into more steady parts. The vocals work really well once again. The musicianship here is definetly strong and powerful, sometimes it can be scarily overdone, i prefer them in their less pretentious areas.

The first three songs are excellent, but "Three Fates", the track that a very popular forum member is named after, let me down. This track is nothing but Keith Emerson making love to his keyboards for nearly 8 minutes. Sure he has talent but he is just showing off here, and it becomes boring. I managed to sit through this though, it gets interesting when the organ comes in but then it leads back into the same old drizzle. There is a really annoying sound, like someone is winding up a clock which quickly gets repetitive and irritating. I would suggest listening to this one or two times, if it still doesn't do anything for you then the skip button is all you need!

"Tank" doesn't do it for me either, another let down, this is just some mindless drum work, followed by some uninterting tag ons from the rest of the band. ELP really overdo it here. "Lucky Man" definetly redeems this album with some nice vocals and acoustic work, yet it has a stupid ending which sounds like you are being chased by an ambulance or something!

ELP are definetly talented as well as unique and original. Sometimes they can really overdo it and dont know when to calm down but at the end of the day this is definetly some strong, good and interesting work. Still, i can see why a lot of people make fun out of them! Overall, their are 4 really good pieces on this album, yet it is let down big time by "Three Fates" and "Tank". I think this album just scrapes 4 stars.

frenchie | 4/5 |


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