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King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 2994 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars What a strange album: so much to love, and also so much to irritate.

It takes guts to put out music like this, and for that I applaud Crimson simply for adding this to the land of prog. However, different is not always good, and that's the case here for me. The experimental stuff is not consistently engaging (for me, at least), and the more straightforward numbers by and large suffer from noticeable flaws (vocals among them).

Larks Tongues in Aspic (I). When it's good, it's phenomenal, but unfortunately it's only good for about a third of the song. We've got 3 minutes of basically random noise until the frightening guitar comes in. Then it's over 5 minutes of an absolute BARRAGE of rock: truly bombastic percussion and brilliantly chaotic bass and guitar. There's simply nothing like it elsewhere, and maybe this is the musical equivalent of being in a beseiged city, with 1000 pound bombs dropping and artillery shells raining. Then it dies down and features a meandering violin for a few minutes before the cool (yet anticlimactic) distorted bass finale.

Book of Saturday, Exiles. Tender yet ominous music with a great texture added by the violin, these songs are another highlight of the album, although Wetton's wheezing voice is a definite limitation.

Easy Money, The Talking Drum. Usually 8 minute songs are desirable, but when hardly anything exciting happens throughout, as is the case here, they are just a drag. There's some memorable guitar and a good extended jam on Easy Money, but The Talking Drum is just another forgettable Crimson improv piece.

Larks Tongues in Aspic (II). Crimson finally put it all together here and show that they can rock for more than a few minutes at a time. The riff is relatively simple, but when you throw in those cannons for drums and the violin texture, you get something special...and that's not even including Fripp's often maniacal guitar. Great finish to the album.

I may be committing prog sacriledge, but I'm only going to give 3 stars here. I definitely think this album is worth having for its originality and the excellent parts, but overall there's a lot of average, and even boring, material.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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