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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 2127 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Pretentious, overblown, keyboard-driven prog madness. If you think you're knowledgeable of prog and you don't have this, what are you waiting for? This is a landmark in progressive music.

1. Jerusalem- The music is a hymn adapted by ELP and the lyrics are a poem by Blake. It works as an extremely effective opener to this album, and the instrumentation is spot on. Great, majestic entrance. I couldn't see this album being opened any other way. This is definitely my favorite church hymn! 9/10

2. Toccata- Here comes the prog. If you are one of those listeners who shies away from ELP's notorious pretentious tendencies, this song will most likely annoy you. This song is genius, from the electronic drums to Emerson's driving keyboards. I've heard accusations that this song sounds like a video game, and that's actually a funny way to describe it, since it almost works. However, it is definitely in a good way; this song is a masterpiece adaption and ELP really crafts their signature sound perfectly here. Never a dull moment! 10/10

3. Still.You Turn Me On- What would an ELP album be like without the necessary Lake ballad? It is a good acoustic ballad with good vocals by Lake, but I sometimes skip this if I don't feel like listening to it. The wah-wah guitar is amusing, however. 7/10

4. Benny the Bouncer- A joke song. I prefer joke songs like the Sheriff and Jeremy Bender, though this song has really grown on me over the years. I used to skip it all the time, but it's at least enjoyable and contrasts with the more serious material on the album. A great song to introduce what comes next, when you think about it. 8/10

5. Karn Evil 9- I'm not splitting this up. Every impression is ABSOLUTE GENIUS. This is one of the pinnacles of progressive rock, and for good reason! The instrumentation is amazing, and the structure is always interesting and innovative. If ELP made more epics like this, they wouldn't have as much controversy. Flawless. 10+/10

When first thinking about what to rate this album, I was going to give it 4 stars for being a flawed masterpiece. I then re-considered and realized that this is the only ELP album that is an absolute masterpiece of progressive rock, despite a "joke" song and a ballad that interrupted the flow. Really, the album wouldn't be the same ELP style without them, and this album is worth owning for Karn Evil 9 alone, let alone all the other goodies.

ELP at their best.

MovingPictures07 | 5/5 |


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