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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 2112 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars I have to tell you, this is a hard album to summarize in words. One part of me wants to give this 4 stars, because it certainly is excellent, one could almost say unique, expression of the experimental spirit that infuses progressive rock.

But the experiment failed. 2 stars. This is only for collectors, fans, and people who are interested in seeing Fripp and Crimson redefining what we mean by fusion.

Make no mistake, that's what this album is all about. It's a uniquely fresh take on jazz rock fusion with the emphasis on planned spontaneity and unorthodxity that infuses all of the early Crimson albums prior to Red. Catfood off In the Wake of Poseidon foreshadowed clearly what direction KC was moving in.

When I say planned spontaneity, that's what the first half of this album is about. The King Crimson philosophy of all players adding to what is played instead of what is planned to be played is in full force. This leads to passages which seem muddled and just about to careen out of control, although they never quite do. Still, the first three tracks require a great deal of patience and attention to bring the listener to an appreciation of Fripp and Company are trying to accomplish.

"Lady of the Dancing Waters," on the other hand, demonstrates everything that went right in recording this. Mel Collins' work throughout the album is outstanding, and here we hear him featured. Fripp brings in a more classical guitar sound in the album, and again, you hear that on this track. Even Haskell's mediocre vocals sound good here.

That brings us to the final track, "Lizard." This is a generally more restrained composition that inteligently leads us through an amazing number of genre styles of playing. If you are prepared to listen and think, this track will be the most rewarding of the lot. Still, it stretches on longer than it should and runs out of gas eventually.

In good conscience, I cannot give this more than 2 stars. But the creativity and imagination brought to this album would have given it 4 stars if only it were more accessible to the listener.

ghost_of_morphy | 2/5 |


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