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King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 2975 ratings

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The Sleepwalker
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Strange sounds of bongo's, bells and other exotic percussion... that could only mean one thing... a new King Crimson era! The era Larks' Tongues in Aspic opens is KC's heaviest and my personal favorite era. This era will bring along some of the band's greatest songs, some amazing live albums and of course another King Crimson to discover, this time a King Crimson with Bill Bruford on drums, Jamie Muir providing percussion, and John Wetton being the new vocalist and bassist. The biggest change is David Cross on violin, the sensitive instrument takes KC's music to a whole new level. After the big dissapointment this could only be better, and yes, it is.

"Larks' Tongues In Aspic pt.1" introduces us to the strange sounds of the new King Crimson, with its strange percussions and experimental violin playing. The first part of the the title track is very powerful and very typical for this era, as the band would be more experimental than ever when performing live. Great track.

The next song "Book Of Saturdays" is a very short one, but still very good. It is guitar driven, but Fripp is soon joined by a great vocal job of Wetton. The song has a very emotional feel to it, which makes it very pleasant to listen. The track is the least experimental on the album, that's why it might feel like a bit as being on the wrong place... but it's a good one.

"Exiles" is one of my KC favorites, it is a true epic wrapped in a 7 minute coating, it really is great, and everything feels good about it. The vocals are magnificent, the gentle guitar playing is pretty laid back compared to the other instruments, giving it a very atmospheric feel and the percussions and violin show its experimental powers. Exiles is one of the highlights of this album.

"Easy Money" is just as "Exiles" one of my favorites, though I'm not really a fan of the version on this album. I rather listen to a live version, cause on the version on this album the percussion gets too much space I think, and it doesn't do the song much good. Also, on this album it sounds pretty stiff, which it absolutely isn't when performed live.

"The Talking Drum" also is a very experimental song. The title of the track might make you think it is some kind of drum solo or something like that, but it isn't. The talking drum is just like "Larks' Tongues... pt.1" a very experimental and loose song, and it's pretty good.

"Larks' Tongues in Aspic pt. 2" starts out pretty rough, with distorted guitar and heavy pounding bass, and of course percussion. The song isn't just a strange jam, as it is in fact pretty structured compared to the other instrumentals on this album. The song is however, just as "Easy Money", pretty stiff, and I prefer live versions of the song.

I think Larks' Tongues in Aspic is a very good and experimental album, but some of the songs sound pretty stiff and are much better when being performed live. In my case I had heard most of the songs played live (Great Deceiver box set) before I heard them on this album, so maybe that's why I find the songs that stiff. Nevertheless, I do suggest the live versions of the songs on this album, but if you're a big fan of wacky percussions and King Crimson, you really should check this album out.

The Sleepwalker | 4/5 |


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