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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 2105 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
5 stars King Crimson goes Quirkier and Jazzier than ever!

After the un-inspiring, though excellent musically, In The Wake of Poseidon, Robert moved to ''dangerous'' grounds, jazz. With a whole bunch of new musicians, Greg Lake finally left to pursue with the Symphonic masters, ELP, so Gordon Haskell who had sang in Cadence And Cascade in their previous, now gets the role of singing in the entire album plus playing bass, his voice is nothing than an acquired taste, definitely not a appealing voice from the first listen, but with each listen it starts to grow on you, primarly because you notice his low-timbre really fits the music here. Also Mel Collins gets a much important role in this album, featuring his whole potential in the sax. But as some members were ''promoted'', others were ''demoted'', for example Robert Fripp, his role as a guitarist is diminished, while his important role on the mellotron still stands. On the other hand Keith Tippet who had played some few, though beautiful, notes, this time he gets a whole bunch of chords to play with his jazzy and quirky piano and electric piano.

Lizard gives you highly entertaining songs from the very beginning, through the dark and melancholic, psych-esque, Cirkus, in which the highlights are the haunting mellotron and the smooth/dissonant sax by Mel Collins. Then Indoor Games gives you a less haunting view of the album, though still complex, managing the KC fan stay focus on the album, with some quirky moog plus the quick change of moods. Later on KC delivers you a more powerful entry with Happy Family, though it soon fades away and gets into a dissonant, jazzy-style, song, with Gordon's voice twisted and delayed giving the dissonant feel, plus some entertaining flute that'll give the KC fan some memories of In The Court. Finally Robert gives you the smooth and gentle acoustic/flute lead moment with Lady of the Dancing Water, ala Cadence and Cascades or Peace from their previous effort.

But what really makes Lizard one of it's own, is the title track, with the highly original structure/composition developing all the potentials from the ''promoted'' members, plus the main incorporation of the jazz leanings all throughout the song, mainly lead by Mel's sax or Keith's keys. The first part features Jon Andersons' delicate voice, in which the songs develops from beauty to calm dramatic moments with the mellotron, in which in the second part it will all fade away, moving to the long-awaited jazzy territory with sax and piano. The third ''movement'' is the darkest and greatest, with a stunning dissonant, psych-esque climax, fully lead by Mel's aniquilating saxophone, along with crazy mellotron touches, and a impossible rythm to follow. Pittily the last part is quite dissapointing, being crazy, circus-esque, letting the epic fail in the end.

As nearly all KC albums of the 70's, each one is unique(with the exception of ITWOP and SBB) because of a certain mood or genre dominating it. Like I said in my Islands review, I highly recomend you to try non-stop with this album until you enjoy it, by the way it's the only KC album featuring a 20 minutes+ piece. Also highly recomended for those saxophone lovers, you won't find in any other Crimson album as much sax blast-off's as in this, with the exception of Islands.

A masterpiece. Lovers of quirky sounds, jazz, and complex, yet old 70's fashion, music, check this out.

The Quiet One | 5/5 |


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