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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover

LIZARD

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.09 | 1463 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

FishyMonkey
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This one caught me completely off guard. After loving LTIA, Red and Discipline and liking the the rest, I was expecting Lizard to be a good album. What I got...well, was much better than a good album. In fact, I have absolutely no qualms with placing this next to CTTE, SEBTP, ITCOTCK and Thick as a Brick as an essential prog masterpiece. While CTTE and SEBTP givewell-rounded and mature perspectives of the genre, Thick as a Brick gives a more fun, accessible perpective to the genre, and ITCOTCK just defines the genre, this album defines the creativity that prog is so known for. Every second I listened to this, something interesting owuld be happening. I think at one point there were five or six solos going on at the same time, making for one crazy trip. There are little solos and shots of intrsuments thrown in everywhere to make it very itneresting. I promise you each time you listen to this album, you will hear something new. People told me this was going to be the hardest KC album to get into, which made me a bit ambivalent, On the contrary, I loved this album from the beginning, and this really defines creative jazz prog rock. This is excellent stuff.

The album opens with Cirkus, which starts very quiet and slowly builds throughout the whole song to grand proportions. The singing is not all too phenomenal, but I have never truly liked a King Crimson vocalist, to my knowledge. Teh truly highlight is of course Fripp's guitar and the insane song itself. The sax solo maybe a third of the way through backed by the mellotron is lovely, and Fripp's guitar at 4:51 is awesoem to listen to. I think this part suits as an excellent example of the intense layering in this album, with so much going at one time. The song finishes with another nice (frantic and not happy, but nice) sax solo, then a trumpet solo of similiar style, and it's done. Phenomenal track. I like this one almost as much as Schizoid Man, definitely. 9.5/10

Next is Indoor Games, which is a real funky piece, with saxes providing the main melody most of the time. The acoustic chord hit when Gordon sings indoor games is lovely, and Fripp's little feature at 2:38 is really refreshing. The song kinda meanders along with various solos and general jazz stuff people may or may not enjoy. I personally do. At 4:46 the song returns to the main theme, finishes strongly and ends with some slightly maniacal laughter, which I thin symbolizes the insanity of the next song. I love this track. 9.5/10

Holy crap. This song, Happy Family, is trippy as hell. I imagine this is the soundtrack to a stoner's paradise. This fetaures just about every intrsument possible, I believe, to floaty flute to classic mellotron, to bluesy piano to sax to a bitchin' trombone. This song is just insane, and at one time has about three solos going in the right ear with another three in the left. Yup, this is what I meant when I said about 6-8 solos at one time. This song is not for the faint of heart or for non-fans of jazz, but I doubt real prog fans will have a problem with it, as good music is good music, no matter what the style. 9.5/10

Lady of the Dancing Water has some bad singing. Like real bad. Kinda a shame. I like the flute on this song and the general melody, but god, this man cannot sing well. I always flinch when I hear him go flat, which is a lot. Besides that, the flute melody is pretty and it's a nice peaceful track after the last three insane ones. I really like the trombone part halfway through too. Meh. 8/10

Lizard! The epic 23:15 song! It begins with some slightly chilling mellotron and piano and vocals from Jon Anderson of Yes. Anderson comes through with flying color and does an excellent job. The song builds for the next four minutes or so, quite nicely. Then you hear that telltale trumpet come in. You can almost hear Fripp standing there, nodding while saying, "Alright guys. Have fun for the next seven minutes or so. Go nuts." And they do go nuts. Like Happy Family, this song has about every instrument imaginable in a "rock" song. At around 12:00 minutes in, the painful vocals come in again. Then the song starts bulding with some real nice jazzy parts that make you wanna be like..."Yea!". I love that sax in minute fourteen with the flute going nuts in the background. So funky. The song builds off that sax part in grand proportions and just grooves! I can imagine people getting bored, but not I, with so much going on. It just...grooves. Like, damn. And it's awesome. The song fades out slowly, and ends with Fripp playing his guitar in the style of Jimi Hendrix, which I found a bit odd but whatever. This whole album has been odd. Anyway, this song gets a 10/10 for sure, it's just awesome. Not for everyone yes, but awesome. 10/10

So there ya have it. One of the msot insane jazz prog albums ever created. Not for the faint of heart and/or people who dislike jazz, but with an open mind (which is what prog is all about), this album rocks. It grooves, it moves it solos and it does it all right. Awesomeness. A masterpiece no doubt.

FishyMonkey | 5/5 |

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