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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Trilogy CD (album) cover

TRILOGY

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.08 | 1108 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars By the year 1972, the progressive rock scene was in full swing, and ELP helped prove that with their third album, Trilogy. While I don't think I will ever understand what's so great about this band, it's hard for me to deny the immense amount of quality that this album has to offer. Keith Emerson shows that he's the master of the Hammond organ throughout this album, Carl Palmer shows that he can really rip on the drums, and Greg Lake shows his talent through his vocals and his bass and guitar playing. Obviously, the highlight of this band for me is the superb musicianship.

What makes this album stand out to me in the context of ELP's discography is that this album has a lot of strength compositionally, whereas many other ELP albums are suffering in this area. I don't believe that this is anywhere near the compositions of Yes and Genesis, but it proves that ELP is more than just a never ending noodle-fest (mostly on Keith Emerson's part). While Trilogy is indeed full of solos, not many of them strike me as completely directionless. That's not to say that there's no filler on this album (quite the contrary, actually), but there is definitely less filler than on other ELP albums.

THE MUSIC:

"The Endless Enigma, Part 1"- The sound of a spacey synthesizer opens up the album, but is shortly followed by chaotic piano notes and percussion. This section sounds very avant-garde influenced, but it is shortly followed by a very classic ELP sound, thanks to the Hammond organ and piano. This short instrumental run flows perfectly into the first vocal section of the album. The rest of this song is explosive and powerful, and Greg Lake delivers an excellent vocal performance. This is possibly the best song off of the album.

"Fugue"- This is a short acoustic piano piece (aside from the bass guitar near the end) that serves as a bridge between the two parts of "The Endless Enigma". This is a well crafted song with beautiful melodies.

"The Endless Enigma, Part 2"- The previous song flows right into the classical-sounding opening, except with drums and bass. The song then successfully reprises the first track, bringing the suite to a conclusive ending.

"From The Beginning"- This is an acoustic ballad in the vein of "Lucky Man" and "Still You Turn Me On". This song is one of my favorite ELP ballads, as it is extremely memorable. The extended guitar and synthesizer solos in the middle never tire, and they keep the song interesting.

"The Sheriff"- This song opens up with a drum intro, leading into the trademark ELP sound. The Hammond organ is present throughout the song, and the melodies are excellent. This is in the vein of ELP's ragtime-influenced songs like "Benny The Bouncer" without the mediocre music that destroyed those songs. This is a good song, and a highlight of the album.

"Hoedown"- This is an instrumental cover song of the last part of Aaron Copland's "Rodeo" doesn't disappoint in any way. Keith Emerson delivers an excellent performance on Hammond organ, but the synthesizers need an honorable mention as well. The drumming and bass playing are superb as well, keeping the song moving at a fast pace. This is a superb instrumental.

"Trilogy"- A short, synthesized opening leads into a beautiful piano section with Greg Lake's wonderful voice. An unneeded piano section brings us into a fast and complex synthesized section with a rather weak transition. While this part is fun and interesting, the transition into the next vocal section is rather poor. The mediocrity of the vocals in this part don't help either. I can't exactly say what's wrong with this transition, but for some reason I find it weak and a bit forced. Overall this is a pretty poor epic.

"Living Sin"- This is a hard-rocking blues rock song filled with Hammond organ and low vocals from Greg Lake. The riff is pretty memorable, but this song is rather bland and uninteresting. Carl Palmer's smart drumming deserves a mention, however.

"Abaddon's Bolero"- The last song on the album is a repetitive and uninteresting instrumental piece. The entire song builds off of one solitary riff, but never gets anywhere interesting. This is kept at a march-tempo, so the rhythm section is largely uninteresting. This song is focused on Keith Emerson, and I honestly find that he's not playing anything interesting either. This is a rather poor way to end this otherwise excellent album.

Conclusion:

Trilogy is a great album by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and it stands today as one of my favorite ELP albums. I don't think I'll ever become a huge fan of this band, but it would be hard for me not to enjoy this album, since I'm a symphonic prog fan. If you're a lover of Hammond organ, this album is a must-own. However, I find that (like all ELP albums), this album lacks in interesting compositions and songwriting. Still, Trilogy is a solid album, filled with excellent moments, so I will rate this with a big 3 star rating.

3 stars.

J-Man | 3/5 |

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