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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Trilogy CD (album) cover

TRILOGY

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.08 | 1046 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Emerson, Lake & Palmer were at the height of their career when they released this album, titled Trilogy, in 1972. All of the elements of success are in this album, but did they come out on top? Well, it's one of their better albums, in my opinion, but still, it is far from a masterpiece. After the two epic albums Pictures at an Exhibition and Tarkus, they returned to a more concise format of songs. The results here range from fascinating to mediocre, but doesn't that happen with many albums we listen to, anyway? Let me just say that the musicianship for this album is once again top notch, with each member really showing expertise and mastery of their respective instruments. Keith Emerson once again plays some magnificent organs and synthesizers on this album, Greg Lake plays passionate bass, melodic acoustic guitar, and sings very well, and Carl Palmer keeps the group together with dynamic and lush drumming. All the elements of success are on this album, but does it really come out swinging (and yes, I know I said something similar above)?

The album opens well with the three part Endless Enigma (part 1)/Fugue/Endless Enigma (part 2). Emerson's organs are bombastic and grandiose, Lake's bass is dynamic and intuitive, and Palmer's drumming is melodic and intriguing. It's one of the better songs on the album. From the Beginning is the acoustic piece on the album in the same vein as Lucky Man and Still... You Turn Me On. But instead of it being an entire affair by Greg Lake, the rest of the band gives great performances, especially Carl Palmer, whose percussive work really gives the song a more organic feel. The Sheriff is the jokey song on the album, and it's probably the best song in this vein that the group has ever done. Expect some great piano work from Emerson on this one. Hoedown is the group's really fun piece of the album. A sprawling version of the Aaron Copeland original, Emerson's synthesizers in the beginning give way to a great organ line and some dynamic bass guitar. Trilogy is a nice display of Emerson's organ abilities as well as his synthesizer abilities (as if you can't derive that he's a good keyboardist), and Lake's vocals are great here. Living Sin is a bit of a throwaway number, with an uninspired vocal performance by Lake. And finally, Abaddon's Bolero is a great buidlup piece with some great snare work from Palmer and some more dynamic bass work from Lake.

In the end, Trilogy is one of the better Emerson, Lake & Palmer albums. It is in the same league as their debut and Brain Salad Surgery (which in my eyes are their best two albums). Fans of bombastic and pretentious symphonic prog will find refuge in this album. It should make an excellent addition to anyone's collection. 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |

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