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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 2978 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
5 stars King Crimson: Larks' Tongues in Aspic [1973]

Rating: 9/10

Larks' Tongues in Aspic is the first King Crimson album to feature the classic lineup of Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, and Cross (along with Muir on percussion). I consider this to be the band's most consistently excellent formation; some of Crimson's most adventurous, most innovative, and craziest music was created during this era. Larks' Tongues is a creative milestone for Fripp and company. The style of this album is eclectic and hard to describe; the music goes from ambient minimalism to heavy fusion to Mellotronic symphonics to experimental grooves to peusdo-metal. Larks' Tongues could not have been more different from its predecessor Islands, and is yet another testament of Fripp's ability to reinvent this band.

'Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 1' is probably the best instrumental King Crimson ever did. It begins with an extended ambient intro played on tuned percussion. Intense violin builds up to metalesque riffing, and heavy jazz-rock insanity is combined with chamber-rock ambience to create a stunningly memorable composition. 'Book of Saturday' is a short vocal/electric-guitar piece that adds some melody after the assault of the title track. 'Exiles' is the probably the most 'traditional' Crimson track here, with bolero drums and Mellotron passages. Cross's violin and Wetton's vocals stand out here. 'Easy Money' is another amazing song. I find this track hard to pin down; is it rock, jazz, blues, or just King Crimson? The wonderfully unorthodox guitar soloing and odd percussion prove it to be nothing but the latter. 'The Talking Drum' is one of my favorites. An absolutely infectious bass groove dominates this piece, with Cross's manic string soloing bringing the song together. 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 2' is the heaviest track here, and is probably the most recognizable piece on the album. The song mostly builds upon a main theme by adding increasingly complex and multilayered instrumentation.

Larks' Tongues in Aspic is another King Crimson masterpiece. Creative songwriting and unparalleled musicianship are displayed here en masse. I would heartily recommend this album to any fan of progressive/experimental rock. I would especially point this album out to any open-minded music listener who is not yet familiar with avant-garde music; although not crushingly experimental, this album opened the doors to my appreciation for avant-rock. This is a prog classic that has never truly been replicated, and I don't think that it ever will be.

Anthony H. | 5/5 |


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