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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Tarkus CD (album) cover

TARKUS

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.04 | 1232 ratings

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Atkingani
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars I had the opportunity to listen to TARKUS au complet probably 4 or 5 years after its release. Certainly the early hearing of band works like TRILOGY or BRAIN SALAD SURGERY, chronologically newer, may have affected my discernment, I think but it didn't impress me too much, then, and even today it says very few to me. Well, with age I've become more condescending and I've spotted some points in this album that are really pleasant.

First, the cover, impressive, haunting, well in accordance with the times when the album was released. The battle between the hybrid Tarkus and the hero Manticore is nicely displayed. Second, and more important, the suite which bears the album name: "Tarkus", a epic-like song that has grown intensely in my taste. The more I hear, the more I like the opening track. It contains fine moments, even discounting the intro, with its arrangement resembling a kind of soundtrack. As the song continues EL&P show their higher musicianship and the listener is introduced to a series of enjoyable parts, very melodic and symphonic, all backed by some of the most luxurious Greg Lake's vocals, who personally provides another great moment, with his rare guitar solo, in the segment 'Battlefied', a peak, doubtlessly.

Other tracks are less inspiring: "Jeremy Bender" has a mixed western-vaudeville atmosphere, which is funny, cheesy, and nothing more. "Bitches crystal", has good instrumentation, especially Keith Emerson's keyboard playing that disguises song weakness. Vocals are disappointing with Lake screaming more than singing.

"The only way", a hymn based upon some Bach's theme, is fair but lyrics are catchy and indulgent, even being beautifully soothed. Greg Lake compensates here greatly the flaws noted in the previous track. Maybe if this song should be extended it could be better appreciated. "Infinite space" seems more a rehearsal than a full track. The jazz connotations add few, the song is poor - a waste of time.

"A time and a place" brings again Lake screaming instead of singing, which is a shame, considering his marvelous and tuned voice. Emerson's keyboard acrobatics are a clear attempt to give some soul to a completely tasteless song. Final track, "Are you ready, Eddy?" brings some amusement with its rockabilly style, and that's all.

In the end, we have to recognize that "Tarkus", the song, saved TARKUS, the album. The splendid epic makes this album good, even not being essential. Final rating: 3.

Atkingani | 3/5 |

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