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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover

LIZARD

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 2104 ratings

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Tombo2
4 stars A little darker, a little more ethereal, a little heavier on the synthesized effects, but overall the same King Crimson.

Even with the rest of the group abandoning him, Robert Fripp knew where KC was going. When he found new members to replace the old, he got those who could do essentially what the old ones could. Any change in sound from previous KC recordings can be put down to Fripp's own desire to attempt new things (or play with new toys). By the third album, Fripp is credited with playing a myriad of electronic devices, and the music is entirely his creation.

The low, soft introduction of "Cirkus" is swiftly shattered by a noisy tangle of instruments, carried on a brooding drone. This aptly sets the tone for the menace of Lizard. The first half of the album is punctuated by moments of start/stop rhythmic pacing that recall Gentle Giant's debut. "Indoor Games" and "Happy Family" in particular. The latter chronicles the breakup of a (fictitious?) group of artists. Although it features noticeable parallels to the recent (at the time) fragmenting of the Beatles, with this new KC lineup, one has to wonder if the story was inspired by a situation closer to home. "Lady of the Dancing Water" closes the first half, bringing to mind the understated opening of "Moonchild".

The side-long epic "Lizard" is the true strength behind the album, and it doesn't hurt having a guest appearance from Yes' Jon Anderson. Anderson's unique voice is well suited for the stirring opening portion, "Prince Rupert Awakes". Nearly half-way through its twenty-three minute span, Gordon Haskell takes back the reigns, sounding at times like he's channeling Peter Gabriel. The vocals don't make up much of the song, and the twisting turning soundscapes give the listener more than enough to keep their ears occupied for the duration.

Lizard is King Crimson's best so far, but Fripp and friends still have better things yet to come.

Tombo2 | 4/5 |

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