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

BLACK MOON

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

2.85 | 301 ratings

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Garion81
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In 1992 ELP reformed to record Black Moon and set out on a World tour. I was very excited to hear that as ELP was one of my all time favorite bands and they had done nothing since the EL Powell mid 80's collaboration. I thought back then this album was a greally good effort. Sure the band had added the some of the trappings all music had in this day being influenced by MTV. They also had shortened their songs by quite a bit and in many way only appeared to offer the long time fan only glimpses of the past.

Lets review what an ELP album has to have. It needs a ballad, it needs a classical adaptation and it needs an epic. Even love Beach had all three. So does this album have this? Well certainly the ballad, kind of an almost John Denverish,in sound and structure, Affairs of the Heart. It has the classical adaptation, albeit short, in The Theme from Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev.

Does this have an epic? Not really and there in lies its fatal flaw from being a classic to being merely good. Instead ELP try and add ELP epic moments to shorter songs. For instance the end of the Title Track where Keith does a multiple keyboard orchestration but someone forgot to tell Carl he needed to come along as well or the synth solo at the end of Farewell to Arms. Unfortunately these aren't epics and the closest we get to one is the 6 minute instrumental Changing States which comes off a lot like Canario did on Love Beach. I think though Carl still felt like he was drumming for Asia as there is none of the frantic quality he always put in an ELP classic. Instead it is a laid back Palmer who seems like he is just counting out time. I have to say it just wasn't Carl but ever since In the Air by Phil Collins came out every drummer threw away his cymbals and minimalized. There are moments in this song that do you get you thinking about how good these guys still were and even though its not quite enough it was better than 99% of the music coming out in this time period.

Then there is Keiths solo piano piece called Close to Home. I always have loved this one. It reminds me of Jefferson Airplanes guitarist Jorma Kaukanen's Embryonic Journey. Just an quiet introspection of the artist and his instrument. After that it gets a bit sketchy with Burning Bridges written by the albums producer Mark Mancina. I knew Mark when we were both younger and it is a well crafted pop/rock power ballad but not for ELP although Mark sure knows how to get the best sound out of Keith's Synths. They do soar on this CD.

Some of the rest of the songs sound like they could have been on a Greg Lake solo album rather than an ELP and putting an Emerson solo on such a song does not make it ELP. Still all in all these guys did a pretty good job with this and the tour was fun as well. My opinion has changed since 1992 but this is still a 3 star.

Garion81 | 3/5 |

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