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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Works Vol. 2 CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

2.39 | 577 ratings

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3 stars Well, they might be left-overs, but at least they were playing together, unlike 3/4 of "Volume 1".

I alway loved "Tiger In A Spotlight". Best ELP's "straight rockin'" tune. "When The Apple Blossoms Bloom In The Windmills of Your Mind I'll Be Your Valentine" (what a title!) is not bad, it's simply ELPish. A bit directionless, perhaps. That could be said about the whole album. "Bullfrog" is great! No excuses. It's one of the best songs from ELP's catalogue, but it's carrying the burden of a) being on an album widely accepted as bad and b) it's outside the usual scope of band's musical instruments, even style. It's over the top and pretentious, right, but if you are bothered because of prog rock album being pretentious, and you are prog rock fan, go examine yourself.

"Brain Salad Surgery" is a leftover from album. The song is great...until Lake's vocal starts. "Barrelhouse Shake-Down" is first of the rags here, and it's humorous. Well, you like Emerson's rags or you don't. They are an important part of band's expression and style, if nothing else, for show-off and joke. "Watching Over You": it's enough to see the title and to know it's another of Greg's acoustic ballads. It is. It's sort of a lullaby. I would NEVER play this trying to lull my child; it contains so much reverb it's a actually scary. Okay, skip button.

"So Far To Fall" is weird. It's a mixture of jazz-fusion and sympho rock (sympho rock non-ELP style) and it could be quite decent if there's no Greg's vocals gain, who's inclining again boogie clichees. Pity. "Maple Leaf Rag" is another rag. Well, band member's decision to fill the album with literally anything became more obvious here (it became obvious one and half album ago actually, but this one is difficult to swallow). Nothing wrong with this pointless little tune; it shows how "The Sheriff" was created.

"I Believe In Father Christmas". I don't.

"Close But Not Touching" : what's this? It's hardly a song, it's more an undeveloped idea. A good idea, but nothing else. Non-ELPish brass rock. "Honky Tonk Train Blues" is last of the tree rags here: I have a problem with this one too. Meade Lux Lewis was a genius, and Emerson picked him for a reason. "Honk Tonk Train Blues" should sound like a steam locomotive, with rolling and whistling. In my opinion, Emerson didn't caught the spirit of original boogie-woogie tune properly. Ad the same will be repeated over and over again on numerous live shows...

"Show Me The Way To Go Home" is fine. Just fine. A bit much reverb on vocal, but okay. String section is unnecessary.

In conclusion:

album is certainly ELP's below par product. Not bad, but far from excellent. Actually far from the "very good". There are good moments (more than few), but this is a shadow of a band we used to know. Shadow is still impressive - like a ruin of Roman arena. Pit they were not able (or not willing) to manage more cohesive album, with a story, rather than scarce ideas which are not bad.

clarke2001 | 3/5 |


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