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

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.23 | 1377 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Neurotarkus
3 stars ELP exemplifies all that is good and bad about prog. There is loads of instrumental prowess, classical and jazz influences, and feeling here, but there is also a lot of overblown, pompous displays of "look how good I am". The debut isn't exactly one of my favorite ELP releases, but it's still good. It's main problem is consistency and filler- while Tarkus was an engaging journey, with not a note wasted, some of the songs here seem to be stuffed with filler, usually along the lines of Emerson shoving in a piano part wherever he can.

The Barbarian is a classically-influenced rocker, with muscle and menace- Lake's bass romps around like an angry dinosaur, as Emerson's organ flies around overhead. Around the middle, Emerson turns it into a keyboard piece (surprise, surprise), before it reverts to its original state a bit later. Take a Pebble begins with Emerson's piano and Palmer's tinkling percussion, with Lake singing over it, though the singing blurs the line between the earnest and the pretentious. After that, it dissolves into nothingness before turning into another piano part, until Lake and Palmer come back, and it ends like it began. Knife Edge is the best song here, being a powerful, aggressive rock song with more classical influences- however, the organ parts seem a tiny bit inconsistent with the overall "mood" created during the vocal parts- this isn't a big problem, because both sequences are very well-made. And then, the Three Fates; if you like long keyboard exercises, you'll love this, as Emerson flies solo for five minutes, until Palmer comes in and makes things a bit more interesting- not really bad, but not great either, and nothing really memorable here. Tank is a good instrumental, with a really nice drum solo in the middle, because we all totally needed convincing that Palmer had massive amounts of talent. And finally, ELP's best-known song, Lucky Man- once again, not bad, but nothing really mind-blowing, either- however, it's more memorable than a lot of the stuff here, the vocals are good, and there are nice guitar and Moog solos, so it's got my blessing. All in all, ELP's debut is a good start, but they're not quite there yet- though there's lots of fun to be had here, they still need to learn to cut back on useless instrumental performances in the middle of otherwise good songs. Good, but not great- three stars.

Neurotarkus | 3/5 |

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