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

BRAIN SALAD SURGERY

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.11 | 1297 ratings

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Neurotarkus
3 stars Exactly what is the best ELP album, that is a controversial question. I'd personally vouch for Tarkus, and that's where I'd suggest a newcomer to start with ELP. However, many say that Brain Salad Surgery is the best of ELP, and it's not hard to understand why- this album touches all of ELP's strengths- acoustic love ballads (Still... You Turn Me On), energetic bar tunes (Benny the Bouncer), classical reinterpretations (Toccata), and of course, multi-part epics (the 30-minute Karn Evil 9).

The album begins with Jerusalem, not a bad tune- however, it's not great, it serves more as a sign of things to come. Then is Toccata, a long, stirring tune, keyboard-dominated of course (what else would you expect from a band with the one and only Keith Emerson?). Then is Still... You Turn Me On, a very good love ballad with good acoustic guitar and vocals from Greg Lake- this is his song, where he gets to shine, and shine he does. Benny the Bouncer, continuing in the tradition of Jeremy Bender, Are You Ready Eddy?, and The Sheriff and acting as a fun, silly song, a bit of a counterpoint to the more serious works on the album- like the one that directly follows it, the half-hour long epic, Karn Evil 9. Well, this song showcases everything that is good and bad about prog- on one hand, there is excellent instrumental performances, energy, and a grand, pompous feel- on the other, it is long, gets absorbed in it's own greatness, and has a grand, pompous feel. As expected from ELP, the song is well-made and enjoyable to listen to, and features some really, really, cool parts, the kind of thing you can just listen to over and over again and it never gets old. And, as expected from a 30-minute prog epic, it can become somewhat lengthy and repetitive, dawdling too long in vast displays of instrumental virtuosity- unlike Tarkus, which seems to end far too soon, Karn Evil 9 is feels exactly as long as it is- very. In conclusion, it is a good addition to any prog rock collection- especially if you manage to get it for less than five dollars like I did! It earns 3.25 stars, rounded down to 3.

Neurotarkus | 3/5 |

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