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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover

LIZARD

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.09 | 1440 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Raff
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.50 stars, really - musically speaking it would probably be a 5, but the vocals bring the rating considerably down. As a matter of fact, Gordon Haskell (whose performance on "Cadence and Cascade" was adequate, though nothing earth-shaking) was the worst possible choice that Fripp could have made when he had to replace Lake. Just listen to the initial "Cirkus", an otherwise excellent song with lyrics that reflect the content of the stunningly beautiful cover artwork: Haskell's voice has an odd timbre, low but at the same time metallic and almost tuneless, which may perhaps fit the heavily jazz-influenced music, but makes listening an ordeal. "Prince Rupert Awakes", featuring Jon Anderson's angelic vocals, definitely soothes the ears battered by Haskell's so-called singing.

On the other hand, the musicianship here is quite astounding. Fripp brought on board a group of jazz musicians, including Keith Tippett, who had already graced "Cat Food" with his deranged piano runs. The presence of brass and woodwind instruments is quite prominent too, giving the album a weird orchestral feel. Together with the already- mentioned "Cirkus", the varied, complex title-track is the highlight of the record; while I'm not crazy about "Lady of the Dancing Water", which to my mind cannot hold a candle to "I Talk to the Wind" or "Moonchild". Sinfield's lyrics also deserve a particular mention for their sharpness and irony: I know he's not to everyone's taste as a lyricist, but I must admit he's one of my favourites - I really enjoy his way with words.

I think "Lizard" may be very well summarised by this short statement: great music indeed - shame about the vocals!

Raff | 3/5 |

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