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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Tarkus CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 1663 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars From reading many other reviews on this album, one would know that this is a very divided album where the first half is quite different from the second half.

The first half, "Tarkus" is quite possibly one of the greatest progressive rock epics ever written. Not only is it progressive rock, but some sequences throughout the piece could just as well be considered 20th century classical music. In "Tarkus", Emerson utilizes 20th century harmony by means of quartal chords, chromaticism, parallel suspended chords, and the like in this brilliant composition. Most of it is played on the dirty organ sound, but occasionally piano and moog synth sounds come through to play melodies or harmonies.

The second half of the album is the debatable part. It begins with the song "Jeremy Bender"; a honky-tonk piano styled song where Lake sings about homosexuality. Although the lyrics and vocal line may be a bit poor, Emerson's honky-tonk piano style is innovative of old styles. "Bitches Crystal" is a combination of "Tarkus"-like sounds and the honky-tonk piano. It really isn't that bad, and sounds like a perfect continuation of the Tarkus album sound. "The Only Way" starts with Bach pipe organ before switching to piano. The athiest lyrics really hold a melancholy feel with the organ that really fits the music. I enjoy it despite the fact that I'm not athiest. "Infinite Space" is a continuation of "The Only Way" and involves a cool piano groove in 7/8 time that Emerson solos over. "A Time and a Place" is similar to "Bitches Crystal" with the "Tarkus" sound.

I will admit that "Are You Ready Eddie?" is the album's weakest moment and would probably be best if it weren't there, although I still don't think that it takes away from the album's well deserved five stars. Also, I did enjoy hearing Emerson quote a reveille at the beginning of his piano solo.

Amilisom | 5/5 |


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