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The Nice - The Nice CD (album) cover

THE NICE

The Nice

 

Symphonic Prog

3.37 | 62 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Being a fan of ELP, it felt only only natural to me to start digging in the past of the band's three members. This journey began with the first two King Crimson albums where Greg Lake played a significant role and then followed by exploration of Atomic Rooster's debut album with Carl Palmer on drums. It did take me a bit longer to dig into Keith Emerson's past due to the low availability of the three original studio albums from the Nice and my complete reluctance of purchasing a compilation album. Eventually I did get a hold of a used copy of the band-titled 1969 release and that's where my journey felt complete. But what about the actual album, you might ask?

To tell you the truth, I was expecting just a bit more from this early power trio formation. Maybe I set my expectations way too high for this '60s band, but it's hard not to considering the talent the existed within the collective. If anything, the live material featured on side two really shows that both Brian Davidson and Lee Jackson could hold their own against Keith Emerson, which is a great achievement in itself. The biggest problem for me here is the writing. After listening a bit more of the earlier the Nice albums, it appears that this problem stretches pretty much all throughout their short career. The members were just not that good at writing memorable compositions. The Nice is more of a jam-based band that created one or two riffs and then constructed their arrangements around them, reminiscent of the Psychedelic rock movement of the time.

One might argue that the band was running thin on ideas by the time of this release and therefore resorted to completing the album with two lengthy live performances on side two. Personally, I think that this was on contrary a very wise move from the collective since the Nice is ultimately a live band and therefore should, first hand, be experienced as such. I honestly consider side two to be the highlight of this album since it shows a great energy burst from all of the members that I fail to notice in their studio performances.

In the end, I can understand why the band decided to call it a day after this release. All of the members depicted great potential in their individual performances but the final result never really came off as a legitimate band effort. I might argue that this is the problem that followed most of Keith Emerson's career but at least ELP knew that giving the actual compositions more room than the individual solo spots would pay off in the end.

**** star songs: Azrael Revisited (5:56) Hang On To A Dream (3:59) Rondo '69' (7:55) She Belongs To Me (12:15)

*** star songs: Diary Of An Empty Day (3:58) For Example (8:55)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |

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