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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Trilogy CD (album) cover

TRILOGY

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.08 | 1097 ratings

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40footwolf
3 stars This is a bit more like it. It still fumbles on self indulgence occasionally, but Trilogy is probably their most well thought out, least pretentious and most consistently enjoyable album.

Things begin with the "Endless Enigma" suite. While lyrically it's a bit muddled, Emerson's keyboards manage to give the song a very theatrical feel without falling into bombast. It feels like a hymnal, and Greg Lake's pleading "Please, please, please open your eyes" is probably one of the band's most powerful moments. It's one of the most accomplished of their longer pieces and it's a good way to start off the album.

Sadly, "From the Beginning" is tripe-the lyrics are saccharine and cliche, the guitar is completely without a hook and the keyboard intervention near the end makes the entire debacle far goofier than it needs to be. Thankfully it's one of only two real duds on the album. Things pick up again with "The Sheriff", a charming little tale of the Outlaw Josie Wales. It's not their most technical song and there's little dramatic weight, but it is plenty of fun.

Speaking of fun, "Hoedown" is ELP's most aggressively likable song. It may sound kind of like a cowboy composing a song on a Super Nintendo and it's hopelessly dated for sure, but I don't want to meet the guy who won't crack a smile listening to this song. Silly as it may be, it's also pretty exhilarating at points and by far the album's breakout song.

Next up is "Trilogy", which, while a perfectly fine song on its own, sounds a little too much like "The Endless Enigma" to be a real standout track. "Living Sin" has a killer groove and is one of the few truly rockin' songs on the album. Things end on a bad note with "Abaddon's Bolero", a plodding instrumental that neither builds nor climaxes in any fashion that can be referred to as interesting. A few charmingly whimsical keyboard bits but on the whole, needless and indulgent.

If you aren't a fan of ELP than it's likely that this won't change your mind. But if you can stomach some dated keyboard effects and occasionally pompous songwriting, you'll find that "Trilogy" has a good deal to offer, and it goes down smoother than their other albums to boot. "Non-essential", certainly, but the good kind of non-essential, if you know what I mean.

40footwolf | 3/5 |

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