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


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 1909 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This self-titled debut of ELP's possibly represents the band at their most focused and most is it any good?

My answer would be just listen to the first thing you hear, that fuzzed-out bass thing at the beginning of ''The Barbarian''. That instrumental track is an all-out assault on the ears with the pounding drums, heavy bass and piercing organ. If that's not enough, they managed to reprise the assault on ''Knife Edge'' (add in some vocals) and ''Tank'' (with an astounding clavinet part). This heavy bass-keys sound is what I enjoy most from ELP, the band and the album.

However, it isn't an ELP without even a slight degree of pretentiousness. ''The Three Fates'' is just that to the max, a chance for Keith to show how impressive he is on church organ and piano all the while not much impressing me either. Carl Palmer is also guilty by squeezing in a drum solo in the middle of ''Tank'', although that solo doesn't get on my nerves. My problem is that this is the first album to feature the ''obligatory Greg Lake sappy ballad'', one that will be copied several times throughout ELP's career to get radio play. Here, the ballad is ''Lucky Man'', and it contains some of the worst lyrics in the ELP canon. The catchy chorus saves the song though.

All three kind of get out of hand on ''Take a Pebble''. While the acoustic guitar is put to great use in the form of a country-hoedown-esque solo (I rarely have complements for ANYTHING country) and Keith lays down some great piano solos (including the very beginning of which he plucks the strings inside the piano), ultimately, it's length gives me fits as many solos go on for longer than I desire.

All fussing aside, check this out if you think excursions like ''Tarkus'' and ''Karn Evil 9'' are too much for you. Probably my personal favourite of the ELP albums I've heard so far.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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