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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover

LIZARD

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.09 | 1452 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Truth
5 stars This is my personal favorite Crimson album. Not even sure the reason, something about it just makes it my favorite King Crimson listen. It probably isn't even their best album musically and the lineup was only there for an extremely short while.

Maybe it's just such a rare gem that I love it for that reason but anyways...

We begin with the soft opening of Cirkus which gives us our first taste of those silly- sounding vocals by the one-time vocalist Gordon Haskell. He doesn't try to sound silly I don't think but he sure does to me haha. Then suddenly without warning there is a heavy and dark turn in the music with Fripp's guitar and Mel Collin's sax which gives a very ominous jazzy feel. The feeling stays for pretty much the remainder of the song except when Haskell sings the soft verses. There is a jazzy sort of improvisation in the middle of the song which is very beautiful.

Indoor Games and Happy Family to me are very similar tracks. Both sort of playful but with seemingly darker hidden meanings. Haskell's vocals create this playfulness I believe, but I'm not really sure. Both have the jazzy feel of the previous track and are very catchy for full- blown prog.

Lady of the Dancing Water is a soft acoustic end to the first side of the record which sets the mood for the beast to come. The vocals are sung with perfection and the mood is set like a table.

The second side of the album is the monstrous Lizard suite which starts with some guest vocals by none other than Jon, the-Yes-guy, Anderson. His vocals suit the track perfectly and it starts as a very majestic and dark piece of music. Then there is a interlude in which we have some excellent trumpet playing which is soon succeeded by more soloing. Then the jazzy feel is revived with some excellent brass instruments battling over marching drums. After that comes to it's end the mood gets calm again and Haskell starts his vocals. He sounds alot less silly in this track (I guess it is possible!) and the calm mood remains all the while he sings. Soon though, things get pretty extreme with another burst of jazziness and the sax starts to plow through everything in it's way. This section is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard, the sax is just so powerful in it. This wonderful section continues on for some time before eventually coming to a screeching halt. The main theme keeps playing but in a softer way with the piano tingling in the background. The song starts winding down for it's majestic close with Fripp playing some beautiful guitar parts. Then when you think all is said and done sounds of a carnival come and go to end the album.

Masterpiece in my book, I get the feeling it's a pretty misunderstood little record. It's got so much to love though. A total 5 star.

The Truth | 5/5 |

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