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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 3262 ratings

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4 stars I want so much, almost like Lizard, to give this album 5 stars. It is an absolutely fantastic and mind-blowing album. Masterpiece? Flawless? No. So I guess I can't give the rating I so really really want to. But I'll restrain myself and get on with it, mainly because, well, you wouldn't be reading this unless you were interested in this album. Ha. I can laugh at you now. I wasted part of your life with you reading this. I feel better and worse about myself at the same time. Ever feel that way? Anywho, on with the review:

This was my second Crimson album, after their debut. My first listen to this album was disastrous. I was expecting ITCOTCK. I didn't realize that I had to let go of that Crimso. I didn't know Crimso changed so much that I would have to let go of a version of them. Granted, I knew they had a lot of line-up changes, but I didn't know that their music changed dramatically as well.

Once I got past my own mental barrier, I was greatly rewarded by this album, again, like Lizard. Don't parallel those two albums though. They are truly different experiences. I probably prefer this album, although that might probably be like 7 or 8 days out of 10. The other 2 or 3, I'll be in a Lizard mood. I'm wasting your life again. Anywho:

Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part 1: I couldn't stand the opening 3 minutes on my first 5 listenings or so. Why do that, I thought. It seemed so pointless. However, once I realized the album for what it is, it made more sense. Anyway, after that, the violin starts up in the 5/4 time signature, and the amazing Fripp guitar starts in. This blasting riff will leave you speechless when understood completely. The whole violin break in the middle is wonderful, as well as the climax/ending. Perfect.

Book of Saturday: My real thought on this song used to be "piece of absolute junk." I didn't want the almighty Crimson making little 3 minute songs. That's not what they were supposed to do. And, of course, once I broke through my ITCOTCK barrier, I realized what a great little song this is. Wetton, although impedimented a bit by his speech, still has a great voice.

Exiles: A favorite of mine. Wetton's vocals here really stand out for me. Truly, a beautiful song. Hard to describe. I absolutely love this song, and my feelings about it cannot change. Bruford's simple snare work is perfect.

Easy Money: Picks up the pace a bit, with weird sound effects and lyrics as well. I couldn't get over how strange the song appeared, but it grew and grew on me until it became, of course, like everything else. Fripp's guitar work is nice here, and I love when, towards the end of his solo, it comes back in with Wetton's chanting.

The Talking Drum: Actually my least favorite track here, possibly the reason that I can't give this album a 5. Something about it just doesn't grab me and pull me in. Granted, it is a good instrumental, in typical Crimso style, but it doesn't do it for me to the same extent as the other songs on the album.

Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part 2: The mother of all album closers. Which is why this also became a concert staple for them. Absolutely mind-blowing with the amazing guitar bringing back the 5/4 time signature arrangement from Part 1. Every member of the band work together, it is really heard on this song. Very very cohesive. And of course, it's ending lasts over a minute. Mind-shattering. Hard to believe how incredible it gets.

Now for my recommendations. Crimson fans: You already have this. If not, that isn't my fault that you've been deprived, but you can help yourself out and go get it. Looking to get into Crimso? Just like Lizard. Don't start here. Not as radically different as Lizard, but still, this is not the right Crimson to start with. Go to their debut. 4/5 stars, phenomenal album.

Yanns | 4/5 |


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