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CCVP View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2008 at 18:07
You reviews are so good i think im gonna steal them and post em like they are mine lol (just kidding)Big%20smileLOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2008 at 19:44
Nice review of 'in the Court...'  and especially shrewd in pointing out Mark's review.   His review of that album was one of the best single reviews I've read here... and his thoughts on  Moonchild in particular was the proverbial throwing of the lightswitch for me on that.  I tended to be ...scathing in my commentaries here on that track.   It will never be one of my favorites.. .but I have actually started to enjoy it rather than go into convultions and bleed from the ears. 

Edited by micky - March 24 2008 at 19:44
[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2008 at 14:23
Many thanks, Micky and CCVP for the compliments.

Certif1ed was responsible for my own understanding of the track (which I've always liked in an abstract way regarding how it prepared for Court, but not in and of itself), so I felt it was my duty to at least post a link here.

Anyway, Court has now reached my widely coveted 2nd-best album ever spot.

Time to slave away at hammering something out for ITWOP.

On that topic:

Does anyone else believe that In The Wake Of Poseidon is a great stand-alone effort, rather than sticking to the formula of the previous album. I mean, superficially, you have one fast rocking song with vicious lyrics, one grand song with a bit of mellotron, and one softer, shorter song on each album, but really, I think people go too far with the comparison because of this. The individual compositions are really pretty different in their emphasis.

Not quite sure if it qualifies for masterpiece status for me, largely because of Cadence And Cascade, which has never been my favourite, even if I'm warming to Cat Food, but I'm not certain whether I would  have decided not to award it the fifth star if it wasn't for Court.

So, thoughts on this, everyone?

---
also, just put in a large progressive order. Thanks to Micky for his part in introducing me to Magma and Il Balletto di Bronzo.


Edited by TGM: Orb - March 25 2008 at 14:24
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2008 at 17:06
Originally posted by TGM: Orb TGM: Orb wrote:

Many thanks, Micky and CCVP for the compliments.

Certif1ed was responsible for my own understanding of the track (which I've always liked in an abstract way regarding how it prepared for Court, but not in and of itself), so I felt it was my duty to at least post a link here.

Anyway, Court has now reached my widely coveted 2nd-best album ever spot.

Time to slave away at hammering something out for ITWOP.

On that topic:

Does anyone else believe that In The Wake Of Poseidon is a great stand-alone effort, rather than sticking to the formula of the previous album. I mean, superficially, you have one fast rocking song with vicious lyrics, one grand song with a bit of mellotron, and one softer, shorter song on each album, but really, I think people go too far with the comparison because of this. The individual compositions are really pretty different in their emphasis.

Not quite sure if it qualifies for masterpiece status for me, largely because of Cadence And Cascade, which has never been my favourite, even if I'm warming to Cat Food, but I'm not certain whether I would  have decided not to award it the fifth star if it wasn't for Court.

So, thoughts on this, everyone?

---
also, just put in a large progressive order. Thanks to Micky for his part in introducing me to Magma and Il Balletto di Bronzo.


Great album that is very underrated because people keep comparing it to In the Court. It is true that its not the best Crimson album, but it is still a terrific album. On a 0 to 10 grade i would give it 8.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2008 at 18:17

Review 18, In The Wake Of Poseidon, King Crimson, 1970

StarStarStarStar

This album had the unfortunate disadvantage of following In The Court Of The Crimson King. After such a stunning debut, it seemed unlikely that a somewhat changed and unstable line-up (with Peter Giles replacing Greg Lake's bass, Keith Tippett's jazz piano contributions and Mel Collins replacing Ian McDonald's saxes and flutes. Fripp takes over the mellotron, and Gordon Haskell provides one vocal) could possibly follow up on the band's promise. The resulting album, In The Wake Of Poseidon is an absolutely superb effort, and in no way the 'sticking to the formula' that some have accused it of being. Superficially, you have a fairly fast jazz rock song featuring sax, an 'epic' with mellotron, and a softer song on both, but really that's about the extent of the similarity. This is, even if not quite as mindblowing as Court, an absolutely essential album, because of The Devil's Triangle, the acoustics on the title track, and Mike Giles' second dose of absolutely amazing drumming.

The album begins with a distant vocal from Lake, the first of the three enjoyable peace segments, with a couple of taps on acoustics at the end. Peace – A Theme, is a pure acoustic guitar solo, which is enjoyable, but not really a standout track. The final Peace – An End section begins with Greg Lake's vocal as quite unsteady, presumably to show Sinfield's ideas of moving towards a conclusion, but really, I think it just seems weak here. It is a lovely ending though, with a little more minimalist acoustic playing from Fripp, and lyrically beautiful.

Pictures Of A City is the faster jazz rock piece mentioned earlier. Opened mostly by Peter Giles' twanging bass and a smoky sax from Collins, with a tremendous drum roll thing, Lake enters the song, with his gripping vocal. After a couple of verses, Fripp kicks in with his insane fast jazz guitar, and then moves to a softer bass-and-drums-dominated break, to a faster pace lead back into the final verse (lyrically it merges parts of the previous two). The music and lyrics are joined perfectly, a series of images, flashing past. Lyrically, I think this is also the song that best lives up to what Pete Sinfield achieved on Court. Gripping, working well independently and in the context of its album. It ends by ascending into chaos, and sharply contrasts with the soft follower, which is really the biggest (in my opinion, the only) justification of the Court doppelganger comments of many reviewers.

Cadence And Cascade is the album's problem for me. Gordon Haskell really seems quite weak as a vocalist compared to the superb Greg Lake and, despite the truly superb work from all the musicians involved, the song fails to really grip me. Tippet and Mike Giles really stand out on this one, though, and the flute part from Collins is enjoyable.

The mellotron-and-drums powerhouse of In The Wake Of Poseidon's opening is one of Crimson's finest moments, and the continuation is very strong, if a little too reliant on the mellotron. Lake provides absolutely stunning vocals, and Sinfield's lyrics have really grown on me from a poor start. The real highlight of this song, though, is Fripp's finest work on acoustic guitars, providing twinges that subtly alter the feel of any individual word. Mel Collins adds a bit of flute in here. It bears basically no relationship to Epitaph, as far as I can see, except in the possession of a chorus. Mike Giles on drums, again, stands out. A truly superb drummer.

The jazzy Cat Food was hate at first listen, but I've really grown to enjoy it. A bass-driven song, to which Tippet's chaotic piano provides the real substance, while the drums tap away in a suitably unpredictable fashion. Following the end of the vocals, Fripp comes in with a few good acoustic chords, and adds something else to the song. Lyrically, a fairly clever hammering of commercial advertising.

The Devil's Triangle is perhaps the most visceral reinterpretation of a classical piece, ever. Based on Holst's 'Mars, The Bringer Of War', it takes the basic outline and ideas of the original and provides savage biting ideas, dark atmosphere, and a general utter amelodic chaos to the mix. On Merday Morn, Fripp shows off the whining guitar sound that he'll master on Prince Rupert's Lament and ample mellotron handling, while Tippet and Collins are the other two standouts. Collins for just playing notes that don't seem to fit, but add to the feel very perfectly, and Tippet for his ability to use a piano to create angry textures even if it's unconventional. The Garden Of Scion, I think, begins with a chaotic windy section that'd be seen later on Pink Floyd's Meddle album, and continues in a much more jazzy style, with Tippet, Pete Giles and Collins carrying all before them. This moves to an almost comical drawn out violin-like wail and an echo of Court's vocal harmonies, and slowly and chaotically just generally does what the hell it likes before Collins' flute and Fripp's acoustics bring it back to the final peace section. I've got to give Sinfield credit for his choice of names, and I'm quite glad that the band was actually refused permission to use the classical piece's name: this creation is far too unique for that. An experimental, daring piece. Not to be missed.

Perhaps the most unfortunate feature of the remaster (see Tales From Topographic Oceans or Brain Salad Surgery for comparison. Same problem.) is the inclusion of bonus material. While having Groon and the single version of Cat Food in some form wouldn't otherwise be a bad thing, they completely ruin the effect of the album's three Peace sections and damage the lyrical ideas built up throughout the song.

This album failed to live up to the previous album in a couple of ways: lyrically, Court is more immediate and resonant, while this is clever in a way that usually succeeds, but doesn't have the same impact. Second, there are two small flaws in this album: Gordon Haskell's vocal on Cadence And Cascade, and the over-extension of In The Wake Of Poseidon. However, it's nonetheless, as I have suggested, a vital and very individual album.


Favourite Track: Pictures Of A City (with a nod to The Devil's Triangle)
Rating: Four Stars

----

Considered giving it a five at one point, but thought better after much consideration. Superb album. Reminds me: I need to get the McDonald & Giles album soon (as well as a David Cross album or two, I think).
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2008 at 20:16
yes... it is a great stand alone album.. and actually prefer the album to it's predecessor....   it might have been similar.. but you know what..  burn me at the stake... I simply think it is a better album. 

glad you came around in a way on Cat Food.... I ADORE that song...  did from the first listen....

another great review....  a promotion I see in your future
[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2008 at 02:43
Sorry I'm a bit late responding as I want to talk about Trespass and you did that a while ago.  I love Trespass and I don't think it's far fetched to say that Gabriel's vocals here are as good as they get, they are not better than some of the stuff on the Lamb and SEBTP but equally good. Great review BTW. I could hear the music in my head as I read it.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2008 at 21:24
i just disagree in one thing: to me, the best tracks are Devil's Triangle with a nod to Pictures of a City. Don't like Cat Food that much.

Edited by CCVP - April 01 2008 at 17:07
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 01 2008 at 16:08
@ Micky + Kenmartree

Embarrassed

@CCVP
Hm. Pictures Of A City was one of the Sinfield-dominated tracks for me. I love Fripp's jazz-rock guitar on that one, too.

@Everyone
Just got back from a five-day charity walk, which was good, even if the distance we did wasn't up to my levels of energy. However, there will be a short break for several reasons:

1) I physically don't know what some of the instruments from Lizard and Islands sound like individually. I need to youtube up on them.
2) The cats are angry with me. They insist on standing on the keyboard if I sit still for two minutes.
3) Got some reading to catch up on.

and most importantly,

Kobaia / s/t - Magma
Welcome Back My Friends, Black Moon - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Stand Up - Jethro Tull
La Masquerade Infernale - Arcturus
Rubycon - Tangerine Dream
Grace Under Pressure - Rush
Still Life - Van Der Graaf Generator
Space Shanty - Khan
and Yeti - Amon Duul II
have just arrived, while a Koenjihyakkei album and Ys - Il Balletto di Bronzo are yet to come.

Thanks to everyone who's given a recommendation, started an interesting thread, written a good review, or put up a sample that's led to me getting one of these. Mini-reviews and, at some point, real reviews, will follow.


Edited by TGM: Orb - April 01 2008 at 16:50
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 01 2008 at 17:06
lol, did my comment really needs translation? Big%20smile LOL Tongue
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 01 2008 at 17:35
Originally posted by CCVP CCVP wrote:

lol, did my comment really needs translation? Big%20smile LOL Tongue


Ahem. Too little walking has scrambled my brain. My comment-reading skills have fallen down as a result of this.

Confused


Edited by TGM: Orb - April 01 2008 at 17:36
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 01 2008 at 19:51
Originally posted by TGM: Orb TGM: Orb wrote:

Originally posted by CCVP CCVP wrote:

lol, did my comment really needs translation? Big%20smile LOL Tongue


Ahem. Too little walking has scrambled my brain. My comment-reading skills have fallen down as a result of this.

Confused


wat?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 14:16
^
Nevermind. I was posting too late last night.

Mini-reviews based on first listens:

Grace Under Pressure - Solid Rush album, but maybe a few more vocals than I like. Standout track was The Enemy Within. 2-4 stars.

Yeti - Wow. Absolute stunner, and an excellent introduction to the Krautrock scene. 4-5 stars. Standout track was the final improvised one, but everything was superb.

Rubycon - Again, wow. Again, absolute stunner. Very interesting electronic album. Enjoyable listen, great theme. 4-5 stars.

Space Shanty - Very enjoyable rock, with good musicianship all round. Vocals seemed a little overwrought in some places, but still great. Couldn't decide on a standout. 3-4 stars.

Welcome Back My Friends - Everything I want in a live album. Standout track was Karn Evil 9, which I enjoyed much more than the studio version. Greg Lake's vocals are absolutely gorgeous on this album. 5 stars, possibly.

La Masquerade Infernale. Great album, even if I don't usually like metal. 3-5 stars, with Ad Astra as a standout track.

Stand Up. Good fun, very bluesy, distinctly Tull. Anderson's vocals are a bit weak in comparison with the later stuff, but there are a few really great tracks on it. The standout was Bouree. 3-4 stars.

Black Moon. Enjoyable stuff, but a couple of weak spots, and Lake's voice just ain't what it was. Highlights are the title track and Romeo and Juliet. 3-4 stars.

Still Life and Magma have yet to receive proper spins.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2008 at 18:25
^ glad you love Yeti...... I gave it a glowing 5 star review... and you should just get the first 5 from them...  you will love them.
[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 11 2008 at 21:50
OK; thought I'd get back to reviewing, but couldn't be bothered to break down Lizard at this time of night.

Review 19 (not thingummy), Very 'Eavy, Very 'Umble, Uriah Heep, probably 1970, not 1967, as I said in the review I actually put up, which was a product of writing reviews at 2.00 in the morning instead of sleeping, because I have a (I kid you not) fear of being dragged off for a haircut if I get up before 3.00 in the afternoon.
StarStarStar
In their debut album, Heep show off their mindblowingly-utterly-amazingly-super-amazing singer, David Byron, great organ and guitar parts, and the embrionic status of the heavy progressive rock that they'll move onto by 1971's Look At Yourself album. It is the case, however, that this album would probably have benefited from a bit of touring prior to the album's release to iron out some of the kinks in the music. Occasionally immaturity and weak lyrics drag some of the songs down, and they are rather riff-based at this point, which sometimes turns out badly. The biggest problem of this album, however, is that it is dominated by the truly masterful hard rock song 'Gypsy', while most of the rest is pretty standard, if excellent, heavier blues. Very good fun, but non-essential if you have Gypsy already.

Gypsy is the song that makes the entire album more-than-worthwhile. Great opener, and one that's so powerful that it even makes the rest of the album look unsuccessful. I suspect I may have overplayed it. Great rhythm section, a very strong guitar duo of Ken Hensley and Mick Box, an absolutely stunning performance from David Byron, superb quiet and heavy organ sections, great riff, which doesn't dominate the song too much, and a stunning moment when everything comes together again after the organ interlude. The harmonies, which are often a bit hit and miss for me with Heep (from what I've heard so far: this album, Look At Yourself and the samples on PA), work perfectly. Lyrically, it works. All the adrenaline and passion of the song are intensified by the lyrics. A masterpiece of hard rock.

Walking In Your Shadow is somewhat a step down from this energy. Hugely based on a repetitive guitar riff, rather generic lyrics and uncertain drumming from Paul Newton. David Byron does a great job, but the harmonies, while they are something that defined Heep, just annoy me here.The short break from the riff was a damn good idea, but the execution was lacking, with more of those whiny harmonies. The instrumental break is fairly good, with a decent bit of guitar-work over the riff. The ending is a fairly lame fade. A complete shambles.

Come Away Melinda is a definite step-up, and an example of the band producing something with a lot of potential, even if I feel they went overboard. A nice acoustic side to the band, with mostly gorgeous vocals, tolerable lyrics and lush mellotron additions from Colin Wood. The drums kick in with good effect on the third verse. It is a slight shame that the attempted shift from personal to epic on the third verse is very clumsy, relying on massive harmonies, and extending the last words of each line a bit. The conclusion, however, is alright, and the song as a whole is passable.

Lucy Blues is a laid-back blues (surprise) with an odd, likable piano-and-organ-and-bass theme, with a little variety added by Mick Box's guitar. The instrumental organ section is very neatly done. The vocals are superb, and the ending is nice. The lyrics increase the feel. A very good, relaxed blues song.

Dreammare opens with nice organ fiddling. The other instruments enter quite heavily, and a long guitar chord gives way to the main riff, which is good. The harmony vocals are right on. The guitar soloing over the theme, and the weird whispering in the background, give it a lot of character and quality. A break in the vocals and riff gives way to a superb guitar solo, with occasional stabs from the others. The lyrics are pretty good, certainly above most of the album's attempts to do something lyrically a little more unconventional. The concluding part has more great soloing from Mick Box and David Byron (yes, singers can solo, but I can't exactly describe the difference from normal singing very well) over the harmony. Great song. I guess that the lalalalala partway through could annoy a few people, but not me.

Real Turned On is another heavy blues song, with a good riff, superb vocals and entertaining lyrics, an enjoyable bluesy jam, good use of the bass echoing the main theme, a strong moment for the rhythm section. The ending's chaotic guitar thing is a massive foreshadower for the later Shadows Of Grief, but feels a little out of place here, but the final conclusion, a good bass-and-drums affair, works well. Good song, but could have been polished a little more.

I'll Keep On Trying starts with a classy organ part, and has pretty good drumming. I find the harmonic aa-ah aa-ah... thing, which is repeated a couple of times, somewhat clichéd and annoying. The bass performance here is my sort of basswork, hitting high notes and bursting with energy, and there are some stellar ascending guitar moments as well as a killer riff. Again, amazing lead vocals, really managing the standard 'evil woman' theme with class and individuality. The break is a little slow and light, and only really catches on when the organ kicks in again. A particularly fine moment for the rhythm section. Flawed, but I enjoy it.

Wake Up (Set Your Sights) is a rather awkward song, really, as well as a victim of positioning (it doesn't flow very well from the last song). It is musically mediocre, and lyrically a little more intelligent than most of the other things on the album. However, the lyrics are very often cringeworthy and melodramatic, and David Byron's delivery, while the only way it could really be done, increases this. The first half of the song is rather based around the vocals and pretty repetitive and occasionally even cringeworthy. Nonetheless, the second half is great: soft, mainly instrumental, with a mellotron and gentle background vocals. Great ending.

My remaster includes a few bonus tracks, two versions of Gypsy, one version of Come Away Melinda, two versions of Born In A Trunk, one version of Wake Up..., and Bird Of Prey. Of these, one version of Gypsy is just slightly extended, Born In A Trunk is forgettable, or even irritating, depending on mood, though the instrumental version is by miles the better of the two. The BBC session version of Gypsy, however, is pure, unadulterated 'win'. Every bit as good as the original version, with its slightly more energetic guitar part and small vocal improvisation. The version of Come Away Melinda feels a little tentative, but I think that works for the song, the guitar seems to be focussed on a little more, and the harmonies are changed a little, but the differences aren't huge. The first half of Wake Up (SYS) works a bit better than the one included on the album, the second half is still good, but  maybe not *as good* as the one included on the album.

Bird Of Prey is simply a great song, with another stunning vocal performance, a couple of nice sarcastic harmonies, decent lyrics that work very well in the song, an excellent guitar solo (really, ignore my comments on guitar solos, I usually like them) over a killer riff. I love it to pieces.

In the end, a lot of talent, some great playing from Mick Box, stunning vocals, but the album has a lot of times when the flaws of a song have simply not been ironed out. Worth the price if only for Gypsy, even if the rest of the album doesn't really hit the same high. Generally, good work, but often flawed.

Favourite tracks: Gypsy, Gypsy and Gypsy
Rating: Three Stars.

---

[tired]My opinions on

Grace Under Pressure, Yeti, Rubycon, Black Moon, Welcome Back My Friends, La Masquerade Infernale, Space Shanty haven't changed much.

I now love Stand Up to pieces, especially We Used To Know.

Kobaia was very good, but also indescribable, and I simply need to know more of their stuff to suggest a rating. Still Life was enjoyable, even if it never rocks as hard as Godbluff and Pawn Hearts do in places, lyrically very good, but I feel I haven't been in quite the right mood when listening to it so far. Angherr Shisspa (Koenjihyakkei) was very weird. Occasionally it felt a bit showy, rather than honest, and the merge of vocal styles wasn't nearly as amazing as that one on the sample here (Lussessogi Zom from Nivraym), I believe. Seeing as that vocal merge was basically the reason I got the album, I think I really should get Nivraym when it's available again. Musically interesting, but I found it hard to visualise anything (rare for me), which was not the case with Magma. Maybe a cultural background thing. Ys was a superb album, even if I (shame on me! Embarrassed) loved the bonus track more than any part of the album itself. A radio-friendly song, I feel, but nonetheless very clever and lovable.
[/tired]


Edited by TGM: Orb - April 11 2008 at 22:04
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2008 at 10:52

Review 20, 2112, Rush, 1976

Here is a case where my criteria for a masterpiece harpoon me. I would love to give this album the full five stars, I absolutely love it pieces, I enjoy every listen, I know all of the lyrics, and always end up singing along to many parts. I even play the world's worst air guitar ever to a couple of songs. However, it's not truly perfect, and it's not a really challenging album, so it doesn't get a fifth star from me. Nonetheless, quite possibly the most-listened album in my collection, and so a very favourable review is forthcoming:

There are a few things that mark out this album from its followers: Alex Lifeson is still a bestial guitar soloist, while his later solos often feel rather sterile to me. Neil Peart's lyrics give the album a very individual feel, a lot of visual ideas, and a great concept: overblown, absolutely, pretentious?, perhaps, but still I feel his lyrics here are superb. His drumming, while often praised, usually leaves me cold on albums like Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves, but at this point in time has a real warmth and fluidity as well as technical competence. Geddy Lee's bass, as always, is superb, and his vocals are at their peak, with very high, high-energy singing throughout, that really brings out the lyrics, as well as some basic vocal fiddling around on various tracks.

Starting a review with the second side first, because I feel it could otherwise be neglected:

A Passage To Bangkok is one of those cases of superb verses being brought down slightly by an over-repeated chorus. Still a great song, but I could have done without so many repeats of the chorus (even if there is some quite neat variation in them). The opening and verses are absolutely classic, with Geddy Lee's memorable bass riff, and Lifeson and Peart both coming in very neatly. The chorus, slightly less so. It's still decent but lyrically I felt it didn't really match up to the powerful verses. Let us not forget a stunning Lifeson guitar solo prior to the final two chorus repeats. Standout performances from all involved, and only one small issue.

Twilight Zone is quite a weird song, since it begins with a potent guitar riff, then changes into a weird upbeat acoustic thing with Peart largely working around the guitars and characteristic high, slightly straining vocals. The chorus section (which is repeated with a whispered accompaniment that I've grown to like) features slightly softer vocals and a 'ni-ni-ni' thing that might annoy some people. Lyrically it's not up to the standards of many of the tracks here, but is nonetheless tolerable. The real highlight of the track for me is the slow-paced, tasteful electric guitar solo that harks back to The Necromancer.

Lessons (lyrics [of an acceptable standard] from Lifeson, here, IIRC) is a good rocker, with a particularly amazing bass performance from Geddy Lee, great vocals and a general energy that's always fitting. The song again combines acoustic and electric guitar. The long guitar solo is decent, but the way it's slowly faded while the acoustic strumming remains pretty constant just doesn't work for me. I'm not the biggest fan of fades, even if the one here isn't particularly offensive.

Tears is no ordinary acoustic ballad, it's an acoustic ballad with a mellotron, delicate bass playing and superb vocals. Geddy Lee's lyrics feel right for the song. I really don't have much to say about the song, except that everything comes together very neatly, and it has an emotional impact on me.

Something For Nothing was evidently the way to end this album. The rhythm section stands out, and Lifeson's rocking guitar is great. The lyrics and vocals are immaculate, motivating and extremely energetic, even managing to go to a mantra-like forcefulness without feeling aggressive or overblown. Another stunning guitar solo on this one, and a better, uplifting closer would be hard to find. With such a great opener and closer, the album certainly feels a little stronger than it perhaps really is.

Now. 20+ minutes of assorted drooling over the title suite. Firstly, this song was a first-time-blown-away-and-still-recovering-from-the-effect song (Caress of Steel, conversely, was a first-time-blown-away-and-still-recovering-from-the-effect album), and features Peart's superb lyrics, with emotional resonance, moral ideas, obvious real-world parallels and the advancement of the fairly basic sci-fi plot all taking place at once. It is, admittedly, a selection of seven songs, with parts from several of the later songs being foreshadowed in the Overture, and one fluid storyline.

The Overture begins with swirling synths, and throbbing bass, establishing the sci-fi atmosphere before the guitar-and-drums hammer their way into the mix, foreshadowing the later Oracle, Priests and Soliloquy moving straight on into the rocking main theme (with bits of background keyboards and acoustics added). Peart provides a sterling drum performance, connecting Geddy Lee's jabbing bass and Lifeson's rhythm/solo guitar cross, before the trio move into a brief jumping section, followed by the 'And the.

The Temples Of Syrinx is the album's almost-unchallenged high point (I didn't like it so much when I first heard out of context, though) – everything that makes early Rush for me stands out on this track. High-energy, powerful vocals emphasising the lyrics that establish the setting, introduce part of the story, question political conformity and fit in with the theme of the piece, as well as being awesome. Powerful, unindulgent, flowing rock drumming. A great rocking bass and guitar combination, rounded off by a short acoustic reminder of the Overture.

Discovery is in my mind the weakest section of the suite, the acoustic stylings (slowly developing from random strumming to more typical, upbeat acoustics) and the waterfall effect were both decent ideas, and work fairly well. Where this song falls down a little is lyrically. I think Peart did the best job he could with his idea, but it is simply very difficult to poetically describe a guitar without seeming a bit lightweight, despite the clever context he puts it in. Not weak, but not as great as the rest of the suite.

Presentation is where the ideas of the previous two songs are merged somewhat, with the two sides being represented. The protagonist presents his guitar to the priests, who break it, and Geddy Lee voices both sides very convincingly, and his bass seems to go along with it. Really, the argument between the two songs within this is very impressive, with all three musicians changing their sides very neatly. The lyrics are again excellent. When the argument's been concluded, Alex Lifeson provides his style of solo, very powerful and emotional, fairly fast, with a twisting, defined edge.

Dream: The Oracle begins with a distorted acoustic shimmering and gentle vocals, and moves into a much harder, slightly pompous, theme, with great vocals, lyrics and percussion. One of my preferred Neil Peart drum-parts.

Soliloquy is another of the absolute stunners, bringing back the light, beautiful vocals and acoustics (as well as the waterfall effect) of some earlier parts, before exploding with one of the most honest lyrical lines I've yet heard ('Just think of what my life might be/In a world like I have seen!') into an amazing, soulful hard rock song with one of my favourite guitar solos of all time. Perfect.

The finale is equally stunning, hammering through some altered bits of the Overture. Another great performance from all involved, ending with a tortured guitar sound, dark humming and the return of the elder race of man.

As said before, I love this album. Highly Recommended.

Rating: Four Stars, but I'd love to say five.

Favourite Track: 2112, especially Temples and Soliloquy


----
Note:

The Lizard review has been delayed because my opinion changed while I was reviewing it, so I'm splitting up a few listens over a couple of weeks to give a fair judgment on it. I'll be throwing in a couple of filler reviews while waiting to make up my mind on that rather than continue with the Crimson ones.

Album Of The Week: The Doors - s/t
Song Of The Week: Tua Casa Commoda - Il Balletto Di Bronzo
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2008 at 15:41
ahhh nice review...  how about Caress of Steel next Heart
[QUOTE=Nogbad_The_Bad]Christ you talk a lot of crap.[/QUOTE]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2008 at 15:58
2112 rocks man Big%20smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2008 at 18:34
^ Absolutely, second most rocking album in my collection (after Godbluff, and just before Look At Yourself).

@ Micky, I'm trying to justify not giving said album many stars, since I can see the small flaws, and failing. Probably going for it next, though I'm not sure whether it'll come before or after Lizard.
Lizard still merits five, and I think I might give Tarkus the fifth star as well, now.


Edited by TGM: Orb - April 19 2008 at 18:39
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2008 at 23:45
 /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\

Don't know about 2112 being one of the most rocking albums in my collection , but it rocks!

Tarkus deserved, deserves and will always deserve 5 stars. One of the most revolutionary albums in progressive rock. To be sincere, all of the first 4 albums of ELP are masterpieces.

Lizard sure deserves the masterpiece grade also Big%20smile
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