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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 1982 ratings

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Francisco Perez
5 stars 'Lizard' is a singular album, probably the most cerebral work of the first King Crimson era. Rationality doesn't appear in metronomic compasses or numberless recordings searching for the perfect take. It's more a matter of planning, where sound overflow is conceived together with the intention of the whole album. Ways and forms are part of the same idea. Any one can put a name upon this idea, mine is 'extravagant elegance'. Pure Fripp, I would say.

It's a hard listening record. Here Fripp shows his interest in new expressions in jazz (did anyone say 'free'...?), in improvisation and polihythm. But it's not the only distinction: it must be said that is the first KC album with a real good sound.

To delve into Lizard is to face the improbable. Everything seems to be planned in order to disturb with manners. With this line in sight, brasses show thw way in contrast with acute pianos and mellotrons. It's the case of the downright blowing of the trumpets that present the ominous 'Cirkus'. The austere voice of Gordon Haskell collaborates with the oppresion with some uneven chords. 'Indoor games' sounds clownish, seen from the one who suffers the mockery. 'Happy family' follows with a similar approach, but repently seems to disappear in a chaos of improvisation (everyone playing a different tune...), and is finally rescued in a one-hand-clap to the beggining line. 'Lady of the dancing water' is a filler and short song, before the main act, 'Lizard'. All the elements shown before entwine in this four part suite. First Jon Anderson sings behind Prince Ruppert, then the amazing Bolero and his seductive tread. Some of the best passages of the album and one Fripp vintage solo crown the song and the record, which slowly vanishes in the arena.

Francisco Perez | 5/5 |


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