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Keith Emerson - Keith Emerson Band featuring Marc Bonilla CD (album) cover

KEITH EMERSON BAND FEATURING MARC BONILLA

Keith Emerson

 

Crossover Prog

3.53 | 57 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Zitro
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars really!

He's back! Emerson's best moment since Brain Salad Surgery!

His playing is energetic, melodic, bombastic. His synthesizers are familiar, his hammond/church organs are nostalgic, and his piano playing is surprisingly tasteful. Add a great singer and guitar player with him for the good ballads and guitar solos. Sadly, the lack of dynamics from the drummer prevents me from giving this album 4 stars. You'll most likely miss Palmer when hearing this album.

Anyways, once Emerson plays those evil church organ chords in 1st presence, you'll be likely to grin if you are an Emerson fan. This is a big suite of 15 songs, not as improvisational as Karn Evil, but surely more melodic and easier to get into. For example, Miles Away Pt1-3 are all excellent songs that feature Marc Bonilla singing. Miles Away pt3 is especially great with a guitar solo at the end and some great background keyboards. Unfortunately, the finale is a tad disappointing and I wouldn't have minded if they ended it with a slightly extended version of Miles Away pt3. Another part of the suite worthy of notice is the ballad A Place To Hide where Emerson plays some excellent pianos and synthesizers.

The remaining four pieces are a mixed bag. Falling Down is a mainstream-sounding vocal-led song that is decent, but not outstanding. Malambo is an wild keyboard-driven cover that is as enjoyable as his 70s classical covers. Gametime is a terrible 'benny-the-bouncer' type of song that should be skipped (unfortunately, he keeps doing these unfunny songs), The Parting is a wonderful album finale/ballad that has some energy as well. The piano solo halfway is a definite highlight in the song: he rarely sounded this elegant before and it's a great new side of him.

Oh yeah, and there's a remake of 'The Barbarian' with heavy use of electric guitars as a bonus track. I prefer the original due to Palmer's performance in it, but this is an interesting version.

So, in conclusion, if you're a fan of Emerson, you have to get this, no excuses. If you don't like Emerson because he's too wild, you might like this more melodic album.

Zitro | 3/5 |

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