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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover

LIZARD

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 2111 ratings

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Walkscore
3 stars Nice to have more jazz, but musically mixed.

Lizard continues the formula of Poseidon, but without Greg Lake and Michael Giles. Fripp relied on his old friend (which would, because of this experience, cease being a friend) Gordon Haskell to sing like Lake (except on one tune), and Sinfield to continue writing the words. Much of the end of the second side of Lizard is taken up by an extended quasi-version of Bolero, just like much of the second side of Poseidon was taken up with a quasi version of Mars. However, unlike Poseidon, it is the second side here which shines, while the first side has less staying power. The second side starts with Jon Anderson singing Prince Rupert Awakes, and this is the best vocal performance on the album, followed by the extended Bolero suite. The later was apparently recorded in stops and starts, with Fripp getting everyone to improvise for four bars, stopping and listening, before doing the same for the next four bars, etc. A strange way of recording the piece, seemingly limiting in free expression, the result still works. It is listenable. The same cannot be said of much of side one, though. The opener, Cirkus, is OK. Great heavy riff. But Sinfield's lyrics are really sub-par, and Haskell's snide delivery makes the singing annoying. The worst tracks are 'Indoor Games' and 'Happy Family'. These two tracks border on unlistenable, and I can't listen to them any more (of course, after many decades) while the closing tune on side one, 'Lady of the Dancing Water' is actually very pleasant. But even side two - which is musical - is not super original. Fripp has said these years involved decisions that he knew weren't fully right, but had to be done to keep going. The music reflects this, and the album is somewhat of a transitory one. But there is still enough originality to make this worth having in your collection. I give this 7.1 out of 10, which translates to 3 PA stars.

Walkscore | 3/5 |

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