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


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 2127 ratings

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5 stars UPDATE: Hmmmmmm... Very difficult not to give this five stars. I think if we had "out of 10" ratings on this site I could give it a nine and finally sleep at night. I even enjoy the third impression of KE9 a lot more nowadays, though I'm no Star Trek fan.....

REVIEW: Loving this dosage of hardcore keyboard prog. If there's ever a 70's album which succeeds to sound almost heavy or "emo", without featuring any guitar, it's this.

Emerson's keyboard work is perhaps the most virtuosic in the band's career. The same can be said for Palmer's drumming. Lake has a strong voice and faultless bass too. So it's obviously the peak. But that doesn't make it automatically perfect, and not a 5-star album by any means (none of ELP's are in my opinion). The bombastic and very impressive nature of this record, takes something important away from it's potential warmth. There's less compositional depth than something like 'Trilogy' because the focus is on the impressiveness. Having said that, 'Trilogy' isn't very impressive...

'Karn Evil 9' is fantastic overall but let down by the overblown, sci-fi-esque third impression. The 30 minutes is generally well-spent though and the storyline is very thrilling. 'Toccata' I love. This is a good slice of classical-cover prog, complete with drum triggered synthesizers! 'Benny the Bouncer' is okay, nothing special and rather out of place (but better than the other ragtime/pub-piano offerings in the ELP catalogue). 'Still... You Turn Me On' is another fine Lake acoustic. 'Jerusalem' just isn't really neccesary.

So for me, this album is great all over, no real filler- but some weakER points. The main attraction is obviously 'Karn Evil 9', which packs in a lot of great material, but some padding as well.

thehallway | 5/5 |


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