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King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.41 | 2952 ratings

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3 stars Okay, here we go: time to write the review of the most highly-acclaimed album in Prog World that I can't seem to understand or appreciate, much less like. 1. "Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part One" (13:36) Okay, give a percussionist three-plus minutes and he's going to fill it for you. (I do love the use of the kalimba.) Then David Cross's Psycho-like staccato viola notes with Fripp's menacing guitar squeals! The band bursts into a well-known chord progression a couple times as Cross and Fripp's scary duets get scarier but then the music bursts forth into a couple minutes worth of whole-band jam-weaving. Aaron Copeland-like Cross and Fripp interlude in the ninth minute turns Vaughn Williams as David soars like a bird, soloing with a little support from Jamie Muir far below. Back to Copeland and Haydn before Cross and the band reignite the earlier theme in a subtler, milder form, for the final 90 seconds. Certainly interesting--and different! (26/30) 2. "Book Of Saturday (2:49) nice music ruined by John Wetton's pitchy singing. This pop song will never be a hit. (8.5/10) 3. "Exiles (7:40) Krautrock noises fill the first 90 seconds, then a cool, slow low end with cymbal play enters before the band just bursts into fully formed song. (Teo Macero-like editing, I presume.) Even asking John Wetton to stand 49 feet away from the microphone (as they obviously did here) won't solve the primary issue of his pitch-less singing voice. Otherwise, this is actually kind of a pretty, tender song. (12.5/15) 4. "Easy Money (7:54) cool march-like opening--sounds like the inspiration for all CLASH music. BEATLES vocal is weird way to start. Horrible vocal! The rest of the song just doesn't bring me in despite the nice drum and bass play. (12/15) 5. "The Talking Drum (7:26) exploring with the band exploring KLAUS SCHULZE/TANGERINE DREAM territory! Then hand drums join in. Who thinks Jamie Muir could keep up with Santana's percussionists? NOT ME!! Innocuous bass line paves the way for David Cross's viola. Weird to hear Bill Bruford playing such a straightforward drum beat. Fripp joins in, playing off of Cross's continued viola play. Obviously, these guys are not in the same league as the members of the band they're finding inspiration from, the MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. Still, decent song. (13.25/15) 6. "Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part Two (7:12) Taking off from the start with the famous Lark's Tongue chord progressions, then backing off at 0:45 to begin from one and build and add, over and over, moving back and forth from the opening theme to the second twice before going into an improv/solo section. I never noticed before how very true to classical music constructs this follows! I always liked this song in concert--as did the musicians, apparently, cuz they kept playing it over the course of 50 years. (13.25/15)

B/four stars; an interesting display of the continued evolution of one of prog's boldest experimenters, here incorporating many ideas from many musical genres and sub-genres. When I listen to this next to some of Miles's work or Mahavishnu, or even early Chicago and Soft Machine, I am not so very impressed.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |


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