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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 2591 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website


BACKGROUND: King Cirmson were one of the forerunners of progressive rock at the time. On this album, with a new line-up, they were re-inventing themselves, noticably, as a more hard-edged band, so how did it go?

ANALYSIS: King Crimson did re-invnet themselves as a harder-edged band. At this time they don't have a proper keybaordist, Fripp handles the keyboards himself. This is a sticking point for me; I mean they don't really need one, but the texture seems a bit incomplete and lacking colour at times, although, that is sometimes a good thing! The problem is, since this album, they haven't really re-invented themselves since, this album has come to define them and what they have been about since. Sure, they're 80's stuff has a synthy-glossy sheen, but underneath the production, it's the same sought of material as this.

The sounds is a lot of heavy guitar's that are often juxtaposed with quiet passages of music, so it's more of a 'shock' when the loud guitars suddenly come in. There are excellent tracks on here, the talking drum is a chance for drum-wizz 'Jamie Muir' to shine, and this is an excellent piece that slowly builds up and up, and just as it is getting very loud and raucous, it ends. A mix of slightly Eastern influences and avant-garde as well. That said, this album has a lot less outside influences than previous albums, and is actually fairly narrow-focused. This would continue with subsequent albums.

The classic 'Larks Tongues in Aspic' is excellent; begins with some Eastern/African sounding 'bells', but this soon makes way for a dissonant heavy guitars and wild violin. The second part is similar, but that song slowly builds to a crescendo, and rocks pretty hard.

There are three vocal tracks. 'Book of Saturdays' has some pretty guitar but is ultimately a sloppy ballad, Easy money is a simple hard rock song that is dragged out to 7 minutes with a fairly boring extended guitar solo in the middle, and 'Exiles' is a mysterious ballad, probably the best of the vocal tracks. John Wetton is not really a bad vocalist, but often his vocal parts are rushed, probably to fit in with the music, and too often his vocals are in the background, and are therefore hard to understand.

CONCLUSION: Because of poor vocals and a few weaker tracks, I feel that this deserves three stars. There are moments of pure inspiration, but I feel they reached even greater peeks on other albums, as well. The best songs are the two title tracks and 'Talking Drum'

Brendan | 3/5 |


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